Laura Y. Tartakoff

Senior Instructor

Mather House 309
Office Hours: Friday 2:00 - 4:00 by appointment

Research Interests

Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, Dictatorship and Democracy in Modern Latin America, Social Justice Issues (Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion) in Latin American Politics and Society, Comparative Populism and Constitutions.

J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Case Western Reserve School of Law, 1990; M.A.L.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Diplôme (M.A.), Institute of Advanced International Studies (I.H.E.I.), University of Geneva, Switzerland, 1978; M.A. (international affairs), Fletcher School, 1976; B.S.F.S, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1975.

Editor of Con todos y para el bien de todos: el pensamiento político y social de José Martí (2003), coeditor of Poetry and Politics: Selected Poems of Heberto Padilla (1974), and author of Mujer Martes (1977), Entero Lugar (1994), Intimo Color (2002), Inventario y otros poemas (2012), and Angels and Fish: Myths and Mystery, A Brief Bilingual Book of Poems (2021).

A Cuban-born American raised in Puerto Rico, Professor Tartakoff’s interests center on poetry, constitutionalism, democratization, and human rights. Her essays have appeared in European Community, La Tribune de Geneve, Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, and Society, where she served on the Editorial Board for ten years. She has lived for extended periods of time in Europe and Latin America and taught in Paris and Geneva. In Cleveland, she served as law clerk to the Honorable Frank J. Battisti, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and has taught American constitutional law at Cleveland State University’s Department of Political Science. At home in English, French, and Spanish, Professor Tartakoff has published poetry and prose in all three. She is a member of Cuba Archive Board of Advisors, Truth and Memory Project, and Vice President of the CWRU chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

At Case, where she is a member of the Political Science Department since 1994, Professor Tartakoff has received the Teaching Excellence Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences in 1997 and Top Prof Awards in 1997, 1999, and 2002. Professor Tartakoff was awarded the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2006. She was chosen Professor of the Year in 2000 by Alpha Phi and was a Wittke Award nominee in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008, as well as a nominee for the Bruce Jackson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in 2003, 2004, 2015, and 2019. In 2005, Professor Tartakoff received the Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award. The Undergraduate Student Government in April 2011 recognized her as Outstanding Faculty Member in Undergraduate Advising.

Professor Tartakoff has taught Law and Literature at Case Western Reserve School of Law. She coached the Case teams in the Seiberling Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition at the University of Akron Law School, where they won first prize in six of its seven years.

She also served as advisor to the Case team chosen to participate in the 10th francophone Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition held in Malta in March 1998, and is currently coadvisor to our Pre-Law Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and to the annual Constitution Day Forum.