I am shocked and saddened to learn via Brian Leiter that Jane Larson of the University of Wisconsin's law school has passed away. I am dismayed at how many important law professors have passed away recently. Although I never met Professor Larson, so far as I can recall, I learned a great deal from her. Her article on the development and decline of the tort of seduction, "'Women Understand So Little, They Call My Good Nature `Deceit'': A Feminist Rethinking of Seduction," in the Columbia Law Review in 1993, is a fabulous article and a model of how to integrate the history of doctrine with the surrounding social values. (Here is a link to the article on jstor.) I think it one of the finest articles in legal history that I have ever read. I often recommend it to people who are thinking about writing on the history of doctrine and, though it's been nearly twenty years since I first read it, I still remember how I had the sense I'd read something very fresh and exciting.
Professor Larson's other work includes Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex (with Linda R. Hirshman, Oxford University Press, 1999).
The world of legal scholarship has lost an innovator.
Update: Here is a memoral statement from the University of Wisconsin's law school.