Malick Ghachem
Senior Scholar

Malick Ghachem is a leading scholar in the law of slavery and race, and an expert in early French colonial and American legal history. He is the author of The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which is the first comprehensive account of the role of law in the transformation of Haiti from a slave colony into an independent nation. The book was awarded the 2012 J. Russell Major Prize from the American Historical Association, and was co-winner of the 2013 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award from the Caribbean Studies Association.

Professor Ghachem is Associate Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Senior Scholar at the University of Maine School of Law. He served on the fulltime faculty at Maine Law from 2010 to 2014 and taught criminal law and procedure, legal history, and law and religion. Previously, he practiced law in Boston from 2005 to 2010, working primarily in the areas of criminal defense, employment discrimination, and commercial/securities litigation. Professor Ghachem holds undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. He clerked during 2004 with the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami, and has also served as a lecturer in political science at MIT.

Professor Ghachem comments on legal affairs and the Atlantic revolutionary tradition at

Selected Publications

THE OLD REGIME AND THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION (Cambridge Univ. Press 2012) (awarded the American Historical Association's 2012 Major Book Prize and the 2013 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award).

Royal Liberties in THE PRINCETON COMPANION TO ATLANTIC HISTORY (Joseph C. Miller, ed.) (forthcoming 2014).

Religious Liberty and the Financial War on Terror, 12 FIRST AMEND. L. REV. (forthcoming Fall 2013).

Of “Scalpels” and “Sledgehammers”: Religious Liberty and the Policing of Muslim Charities in Britain and America since 9/11, 9 UCLA J. ISLAMIC & NEAR E.L. 25 (2010). [SSRN]

From Emergency Law to Legal Process: Herbert Wechsler and the Second World War, 40 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 333 (2007) (co-authored with Daniel Gordon). [SSRN]

The Slave's Two Bodies: The Life of an American Legal Fiction, 60 WM. & MARY Q. 809 (Oct. 2003). [JSTOR]

Additional Publications
The Antislavery Script: Haiti’s Place in the Narrative of Atlantic Revolution in SCRIPTING REVOLUTION: A HISTORICAL APPROACH TO THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF REVOLUTIONS (Keith M. Baker & Dan Edelstein, eds.) (forthcoming).

Introduction, Symposium, Law, Religion, and Lautsi v. Italy, 65 ME. L. REV. 755 (2013). [PDF]
A Comment on Christopher Johnson's “Post-Trial Judicial Review Of Criminal Convictions: A Comparative Study Of The United States And Finland”, 64 ME. L. REV. 477 (2012). [PDF]
Prosecuting Torture: The Strategic Ethics of Slavery in Pre-Revolutionary Saint-Domingue (Haiti). 29 LAW & HIST. REV. 985 (2011). [SSRN]

B.A., Harvard University
J.D., Harvard University
Ph.D., Stanford

Office Phone: 617-324-7284

Research Interests:

Civil Rights
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law & Procedure
Legal History

Curriculum Vitae