Professor David Stebenne teaches American legal history in the Moritz College of Law and modern U.S. political history in The Ohio State University History Department.
He graduated from Yale magna cum laude in 1982 and then earned a J.D. and Ph.D. in history from Columbia University through a joint-degree program that produces legal historians. He is a member of the Maryland Bar who moved directly into teaching, first at Yale (1991-1993) and then Ohio State (since 1993).
Professor Stebenne’s dissertation on the life and work of former labor lawyer and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg was published by Oxford University Press in 1996 under the title Arthur J. Goldberg: New Deal Liberal. While doing research on that project, Professor Stebenne worked with Goldberg directly during the last nine years of his life.
His second book was a study of the life and work of Arthur Larson, the legal academic who wrote the leading treatise on workers’ compensation law and also held three high-ranking posts in the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Indiana University Press published this book under the title Modern Republican: Arthur Larson and the Eisenhower Years in 2006.
Professor Stebenne’s third book (co-authored with Joseph Mitchell) was a history of Columbia, Md., the planned suburban “new town” created by Baltimore lawyer and real estate developer James Rouse. This book was published by The History Press under the title New City Upon A Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland in 2007.
He is at work on his fourth book, which is a political and legal history of the U.S. from the 1930s through the 1960s. The book’s working title is An Era of Moderation: The United States, 1933-1968.
Professor Stebenne also has written many articles, essays, and book reviews for a variety of legal and historical publications. Among the most recent is one titled “Who Really Won the Election of 1960?” which was first published on the Election Law @ Moritz website, and then on the History News Network (HNN) website and in print in the Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly.
He is interested in the history of American elections and in contemporary national politics. He serves the Election Law @ Moritz team as its “elections historian.” He comments regularly on national politics for both local and national media.
Professor Stebenne co-chaired (along with law professor Edward B. Foley and former political science professor Paul Beck) the Democracy Studies Speakers Series during 2012 and 2013. He served on the editorial board that oversaw the writing of a history of the Ohio General Assembly by historian David Gold. It was published in 2009 by Ohio University Press under the title Democracy in Session: A History of the Ohio General Assembly. Professor Stebenne serves as the chair of the committee overseeing the Ohio General Assembly Oral History Project, which is interviewing present and former Ohio lawmakers. He also is assisting the Ohio Supreme Court in its efforts to create an Ohio Supreme Court Historical Society.
Professor Stebenne is serving a three-year term on the Littleton-Griswold Prize Committee of the American Historical Association. The prize is awarded annually to author of the best book on American legal history.
He has won awards for his research, teaching and service.