Sally Gordon is the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is co-director with Kevin Waite of The Long Road to Freedom collaborative project, funded by a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded in 2019 and supported by the University of Pennsylvania. Their first public lecture based on their work together was part of the Huntington Library Centennial Lecture Series and was delivered at the Huntington in Pasadena in January 2020.
Gordon is known for her work on law and religion in American public life, and the history of religious liberty. She has appeared in documentaries, the Daily Show, podcasts, radio talk shows, and public lectures. Her popular writing has been published in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Salt Lake Tribune and the New York Times. Her current book project, titled Freedom’s Holy Light: Disestablishment in American 1776-1876, explores deep and abiding questions of religion and justice, especially in connection to race, slavery, and economic and political life. In 2020-21, she is a Member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. She was President of the American Society for Legal History from 2017 to 2019, and serves as co-editor of Studies in Legal History, the book series of the Society. Her scholarly work has appeared in the Journal of American History, the William & Mary Quarterly, the Journal of Southern History, the Journal of the Early Republic, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, among others. She is the recipient of several teaching prizes. Her first two books are The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth- Century America (Univ. of North Carolina, 2002) and The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Harvard, 2010).