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Boston University School of Law




I leave to others to talk about Betsy's scholarship. Let me only say that she had a remarkable ability to interest others in her projects. When she gave papers or workshops, she spoke softly but with such enthusiasm and engagement that she drew others into her topics and interests effortlessly. Her listeners would lean forward and intently follow her sometimes complex and nuanced train of thought. I have often wondered at this gift-I think it has something to do with her approach to her audience, her ability to be respectful and inclusive rather than distanced and formal. Despite doing painstaking historical work-work which was often tedious and lonely, enduring long spells in archives and generating mountains of notes-she found a way to make that work germane and accessible to a wide range of audiences. Without grandstanding or overstating her claims, she would weave a web of words and images, of evidence and categories, peppered with insights and interesting asides, and then step back and place it all in a historical perspective, or indeed several perspectives, thereby addressing major theoretical questions from a situated, concrete basis. It is one small part of the tragedy of her death that she was unable to complete her book and get the recognition that she deserved.

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