The legal studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to study the role of law and legal institutions in society.
Students who minor in legal studies learn about law in courses from anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, political science and other disciplines. The curriculum emphasizes the forces that shape law and the ways that peoples of different cultures and from different historical periods have used and interpreted the law.
Because Legal Studies is interdisciplinary in nature and offers a variety of courses, each student can design a course of study that addresses their individual needs and interests.
Students may choose to take advantage of internships available in law and government. Legal Studies is an excellent pre-law program. It also prepares students well for other graduate study, as well as for careers in academia, business, politics or social services.
There is no major available in this area. Students interested in undergraduate, pre-professional preparation for the study of law should contact the pre-law adviser in the College of Arts & Sciences, who is available to help plan a course of study and prepare a strategy for applying for admission to law school.
The Minor in Legal Studies
Units required: 18
The minor in legal studies requires six courses (18 graded units), at least three of which must be upper-division (300- or 400-level). Two of the six courses may be drawn from the student's major, but as in all College programs, they can not be double-counted (i.e., applied to both the major and minor). The six courses also must be distributed across three of four thematic subject areas. For details, please visit the Legal Studies website or consult the director of Legal Studies.
The following is a list of courses that have been offered in Legal Studies in recent years. Note that some of these courses are not currently offered, and some new courses may also count toward the minor. For a current list of courses in Legal Studies, please visit the Legal Studies website or contact the director of Legal Studies.
Visit online course listings to view semester offerings for L84 Lw St.
L84 Lw St 105G Logic and Critical Analysis
Introduction to the elementary tools of logic required for constructing and critically evaluating arguments and the claims they support. Topics include: the nature of an argument; argument structure; how arguments can fail both in structure and in content; formal and informal fallacies; propositional logic and predicate calculus; and critical analysis of rhetorical strategies for presenting arguments. Students will be encouraged to develop critical reasoning skills that can be widely applied.
Same as L30 Phil 100G
L84 Lw St 126 First-Year Seminar: Law and Society
This course considers the basic aspects of the American legal system: its foundations, processes, institutions and rights. We will also study some specific substantive areas of the law. The course consists of two 1.5-hour Socratic lectures per week. Upon completion of this course, students should have a basic knowledge of the American legal system, an important part of a general education. Our hope is that such knowledge will enable students to better understand and assess current legal events. We also hope that students, if they have not already done so, develop an interest in those events. Further, this course should enable students to consider law as a future area of study and career. Interested students may continue their study in the spring semester with an optional 1-credit seminar focusing on contemporary Supreme Court cases. Open only to freshmen.
Same as L43 GeSt 126
L84 Lw St 131F Present Moral Problems
An investigation of a range of contemporary moral issues and controversies that draws on philosophical ethics and culturewide moral considerations. Topics may include: racism, world hunger, war and terrorism, the distribution of income and wealth, gender discrimination, pornography, lesbian and gay rights, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. The aim of the course is to present diverse points of view regarding these topics and to provide conceptual and theoretical tools that enable the student to make headway in thinking carefully and critically about the issues.
Same as L30 Phil 131F
L84 Lw St 203C Early Political Thought: Text and Tradition
A selected survey of the political and moral thought of Europe from the rise of Athenian democracy to the Renaissance, with emphasis on analysis and discussion of writers such as Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Castiglione and Machiavelli. The course aims to introduce students to basic texts in the intellectual history of Western Europe, understood both as products of a particular time and place and as self-contained arguments that strive to instruct and persuade. The texts are simultaneously used to chart the careers of such fundamental notions as liberty, virtue and justice. Preference given to Text and Tradition and IPH students.
Same as L93 IPH 203C
L84 Lw St 207C Modern Political Thought: Text and Tradition
What is power? Why are societies divided along lines of race, class, and gender? When did politics become split between the right and the left? Can religion be reconciled with the demands of modern life? Can democracy? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this survey of modern political thought. Thinkers covered will include Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, W.E.B. Du Bois, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.
Same as L93 IPH 207C
L84 Lw St 2110 Social Inequality in America
Americans face different challenges and opportunities that depend on a variety of characteristics, including race, class, gender and sexual orientation. This class examines these intersecting categories from a sociological perspective — not simply as ways to classify people, but as social constructions that help to explain social inequality. We examine these systems in a variety of institutional contexts, such as popular culture, family life, education, the criminal justice system and the labor force. Introductory level, no prerequisites.
Same as L40 SOC 2110
L84 Lw St 2152 The Theory and Practice of Justice: The American Historical Experience
This introductory course uses historical case studies combined with readings in law, literature and philosophy to illuminate key episodes where definitions of justice were contested in 19th- and 20th-century America. Some of the conflicts to be explored include: Cherokee Removal, Civil War era debates over southern secession; whether reparation should be offered to freed people to redress the injustices of racial slavery; the denial of voting rights to women as a case of "taxation without representation"; 20th-century controversies over legal bans on racial intermarriage; free speech versus hate speech in the 1960s and '70s; and recent debates over affirmative action and gay marriage. Attendance required.
Same as L98 AMCS 2152
L84 Lw St 220A Topics in American Culture Studies: American Democracy, from Tocqueville to Trump
This course introduces students to the different approaches and methodologies within the American Culture Studies field, including those represented by literature, history, sociology and political science; at the same time, they learn key concepts within the field that inform their future work. These are presented in a semester-specific topic of focus; please refer to course listings for a description of the current offering. The course is ideal for AMCS majors and minors, but others are welcome. This course fulfills the introductory course requirement for AMCS majors and minors.
Same as L98 AMCS 220
L84 Lw St 225 Religion and Politics in American History
The United States has often been imagined as both a deeply Christian nation and a thoroughly secular republic. These competing visions of the nation have created conflict throughout American history and have made the relationship between religion and politics quite contentious. This course surveys the complex entanglements of religion and public life from the colonial era through the contemporary landscape. Topics covered include: religious liberty and toleration, secularization, the rise of African-American churches, the Civil War, national identity and the Protestant establishment, the religious politics of women's rights, religion and the presidency, the Cold War, the religious left and right, and debates over church-state separation.
Same as L57 RelPol 225
L84 Lw St 233F Biomedical Ethics
A critical examination, in the light of contemporary moral disagreements and traditional ethical theories, of some of the moral issues arising out of medical practice and experimentation in our society. Issues that might be discussed include euthanasia, genetic engineering, organ transplants, medical malpractice, the allocation of medical resources, and the rights of the patient.
Same as L30 Phil 233F
L84 Lw St 235F Introduction to Environmental Ethics
A general survey of current issues in environmental ethics, focusing on problems such as the obligation to future generations, protection of endangered species, animal rights, problems of energy and pollution, wilderness, global justice and business obligations. Students also learn some ethical and political theory.
Same as L30 Phil 235F
L84 Lw St 2443 First-Year Seminar: The Nuremberg Trials and International Justice
This course is an exercise in understanding how professional historians and the general public discover and use the past. The main goals of this course are to understand the many different methods and standards applied to the past; to understand how and why each generation changes the past as it seeks to make it "usable"; and to develop the skills of exposition and argumentation necessary to describe and analyze complex historical issues and to express critical ideas effectively. The subject of this inquiry will be the Nuremberg trials — the innovations and critiques around the law and politics of the trials themselves, as well as the trials' legacies for ideas about international justice in postwar America and the world.
Same as L22 History 2443
L84 Lw St 260 Game Theory in Science and Culture
Introduces the major intellectual insights of game theory in a nontechnical fashion, and examines the influence game theory has had on geopolitics, social philosophy, psychology, art and the humanities. In addition to covering the basic machinery of the theory, the class: participates in numerous illustrative classroom games; examines game theory in film, literature and literary criticism; sees how game theory has contributed to social theory; and learns about the background of game theory and its history and perception as a hoped-for tool in the Cold War. Grades based on problems, short essays, two short-essay exams, and participation.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 260
L84 Lw St 299 Undergraduate Internship in Legal Studies
Students receive credit for a faculty-directed and approved internship. Registration requires completion of the Learning Agreement which the student obtains from the Career Center and which must be filled out and signed by the Career Center and the faculty sponsor prior to beginning internship work. Credit should correspond to actual time spent in work activities, e.g., 8-10 hours a week for 13 or 14 weeks to receive 3 units of credit; 1 or 2 credits for fewer hours. Students may not receive credit for work done for pay but are encouraged to obtain written evaluations about such work for the student's academic adviser and career placement file.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L84 Lw St 3012 Biblical Law and the Origins of Western Justice
This course will explore how law developed from the earliest periods of human history and how religious ideas and social institutions shaped law. The course will also illuminate how biblical law was influenced by earlier cultures and how the ancient Israelites reshaped the law they inherited. It will further analyze the impact of biblical law on Western culture and will investigate how the law dealt with those of different social classes and ethnic groups, and we will probe how women were treated by the law.
Same as L75 JINE 3012
L84 Lw St 312 Argumentation
This advanced writing course examines the strategies of argumentation, exploring such elements of argument as the enthymeme, the three appeals, claim types and fallacies. Prerequisites: Writing 1 (Writing 100) and junior standing. A note for students and advisers: when registering refer to WebSTAC for updated information on section times and available seats.
Same as L13 Writing 312
L84 Lw St 314W Topics in Composition: Writing and the Law
An advanced writing course focusing on selected topics related to writing. Topics chosen by department/instructor. Consult section description for details about specific class emphases. (Note: In some cases, this course may be cross-listed with other programs/departments and may satisfy the writing-intensive requirement.) Prerequisites: CWP 100 College Writing 1 and junior standing.
Same as L13 Writing 314
L84 Lw St 315 Introduction to Social Psychology
Introduction to the scientific study of individual behavior in a social context. Topics: person perception, stereotyping and prejudice, attitudes, memory and political psychology, among other issues. Prerequisite: Psych 100B.
Same as L33 Psych 315
L84 Lw St 3201 Religious Freedom in America
This interdisciplinary course, co-taught by a law school professor and an American historian, concerns the intersection of religion, liberty and law in American culture. It introduces students to the major texts and historical issues concerning religious liberty, using legal history and case law, intellectual and social history, and political philosophy. It will address issues of significant contemporary debate — from the role of religious groups on college campuses to bakers and gay weddings — along with the deep historical background, from English settlement of North America and the making of the Constitution, through the Civil War, to the Cold War and the recent political developments.
Same as I50 InterD 320
L84 Lw St 330C Politics of Black Criminality & Popular Protest
Topics course focusing on instances of identity and culture within the American scope. Varies by semester, consult course listings for description of current semester's offering.
Same as L98 AMCS 330C
L84 Lw St 331 Topics in Politics: Theories of Social Justice
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 331
L84 Lw St 3325 Constitutional Politics in the United States
The principal purpose of this course is to introduce students to the politics of constitutional interpretation. We first discuss the origins of the constitution, the structure operation and work of courts, and judicial decision making. Afterward, we examine various areas of the law relating to institutional powers and constraints (e.g., federalism, presidential powers, Congressional authority). In so doing, we develop an understanding for the legal doctrine in each area of the law and also examine explanations for the legal change we observe.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3325
L84 Lw St 335S Poverty and the New American City
Exploration of structural changes that are transforming the American urban landscape, especially for low-income populations. We begin with a review of classic theories of urban poverty and consider their relevance in the modern context. We then analyze key political, economic, demographic and geographic shifts in how urban poverty is organized and reproduced, including gentrification, immigration, social policy reform and the credit crisis. Special attention will be devoted to exploring the social and political implications of changing urban policy approaches, as well as the "suburbanization" of poverty. We will conclude by discussing how urban poverty interfaces with broader social structures, including law, markets and the state. Prerequisite: An introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
Same as L40 SOC 3350
L84 Lw St 3373 Law and Culture
We live in an age when social policy is increasingly displaced into the realm of law, when justice and equality are matters of courtroom debate rather than public discussion. Legal language has become a key resource in all kinds of struggles over livelihood and ways of life. In this course, we study the cultural dimensions of law and law's changing relationship to state power, the global economy, social movements, and everyday life. We approach law as a system of rules, obligations, and procedures, but also a cultural practice, moral regime, and disciplinary technique. How are relationships between legal, political, and economic realms structured and with what consequences? How does law provide tools for both social struggle and social control? What does anthropology contribute to research on these issues? In exploring these questions, we combine readings from classical legal anthropology with recent ethnographic work from around the globe.
Same as L48 Anthro 3373
L84 Lw St 3431 Constitutional Law
Introduction to constitutional law and practice in the United States. Emphasis on the role of the U.S. Supreme Court as an interpreter of the Constitution.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3431
L84 Lw St 344 Courts and Civil Liberties
This course focuses on constitutional law principles in the Bill of Rights, and examines how Supreme Court decisions influence these principles in everyday life. We explore how the courts, and particularly the Supreme Court, have interpreted these rights in light of changing times and emerging issues. Topics include the First Amendment; free exercise of religion and the establishment clause; freedom of speech, assembly and association; freedom of the press; the Fourth Amendment and the rights of those accused and convicted of crimes; the right to privacy, including reproductive freedom and the right to die; equal protection and civil rights, including race, gender, sexual orientation; immigrants' rights and voting rights; and civil liberties after September 11. Recommended for the Liberal Arts and Business (LAB) Certificate.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 344
L84 Lw St 3441 Defendant's Rights
This course explores the operations of the American criminal justice system. Substantial emphasis on the constitutional rights accorded to the criminally accused. Readings consist primarily, but not exclusively, of Supreme Court cases.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3441
L84 Lw St 346 Philosophy of Law
This course will first focus on the philosophical foundations of law, examining both the relationship between law and rules, as well as the types of legal reasoning. Second, the course will focus on philosophical issues that arise in the key substantive areas of law: contracts, torts, property, criminal law, and constitutional law, as well in specialized areas such as family and employment law. The course will end with a brief discussion of several problems in legal ethics. Prerequisites: one course in Philosophy at the 100 or 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Priority given to majors in philosophy and PNP.
Same as L30 Phil 346
L84 Lw St 3462 The Politics of Privacy in the Digital Age
This course explores the changing nature of privacy in contemporary society.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3462
L84 Lw St 346J Islamic Law
This course presents a general overview of Islamic law and an introduction to the study of religious legal authority which values consensus. It then explores the formation of the major schools of law. Next it debates the notions of "ijtihad" and "taqlid" and discuss how open and independent legal decisions have been in the Islamic world. It also traces the transmission of legal knowledge in religious institutions across time and place by focusing on medieval Muslim societies and by closely examining the education of a modern-day Ayatollah.
Same as L75 JINE 346
L84 Lw St 3501 Political Economy
The course introduces students to the field of political economy. The approach is to apply the economic theory and concepts to political actors and behavior. Students are expected to learn: how economic and political forces may shape the incentives and constraint of political actors (e.g. voters and policy makers); the role of institutions in shaping both political behavior and policy outcomes. Prerequisite: Econ 1011.
Same as L11 Econ 3501
L84 Lw St 3507 Legal Conflict in Modern American Society
Thousands of lawsuits are filed daily in the state and federal courts of the United States. The disputes underlying those lawsuits are as messy and complex as the human, commercial, cultural and political dynamics that trigger them, and the legal processes for resolving those disputes are expensive, time-consuming and, for most citizens, seemingly impenetrable. At the same time, law and legal conflict permeate public discourse in the United States to a degree that is unique in the world, even among the community of long-established democracies. The overarching objective of the course is to prepare our undergraduate students to participate constructively in that discourse by providing them with a conceptual framework for understanding both the conduct and resolution of legal conflict by American legal institutions, and the evolution of — and values underlying — the substantive law American courts apply to those conflicts. This is, at core, a course in the kind of legal or litigation "literacy" that should be expected of the graduates of first-tier American universities. Some of the legal controversies that are used to help develop that "literacy" include those surrounding the permissible use of lethal force in self-defense, the constitutionality of affirmative action in university admissions, contracts that are unconscionably one-sided, sexual harassment in the workplace, the duty of landlords to prevent criminal assaults on their tenants, groundwater pollution alleged to cause pediatric cancers, and warrantless searches of cellphone locator data by police.
Same as L98 AMCS 3507
L84 Lw St 3510 The Supreme Court
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3510
L84 Lw St 3521 Anthropology of Human Rights
This course draws on anthropological scholarship to examine doctrines, practices, and institutions associated with international human rights law. Topics to be covered include: (1) colonialism and the history of international human rights low; (2) the complex theoretical issues raised by attempts to define and apply human rights concepts in different cultural contexts; (3) the role of governments, NGOs, and other international institutions in promoting human rights and humanitarianism; (4) key human rights issues such as freedom of religion, cultural rights, women's rights, and economic rights in different cultural contexts.
Same as L48 Anthro 3521
L84 Lw St 3561 Women and the Law
This course (formerly called "Women and the Law") explores how social constructions of gender, race, class and sexuality have shaped traditional legal reasoning and American legal concepts, including women's legal rights. We will begin by placing our current legal framework, and its gender, race, sexuality, and other societal assumptions, in an historical and Constitutional context. We will then examine many of the questions raised by feminist theory, feminist jurisprudence, and other critical perspectives. For example, is the legal subject gendered male, and, if so, how can advocates (for women and men) use the law to gain greater equality? What paradoxes have emerged in areas such as employment discrimination, family law, or reproductive rights, as women and others have sought liberal equality? What is the equality/difference debate about and why is it important for feminists? How do intersectionality and various schools of feminist thought affect our concepts of discrimination, equality and justice? The course is thematic, but we will spend time on key cases that have influenced law and policy, examining how they affect the everyday lives of women. Over the years, this course has attracted WGSS students and pre-law students. This course is taught by law students under the supervision of a member of the School of Law faculty. Students who have taken L77 3561 Women and the Law can not take this class.
Same as L77 WGSS 3561
L84 Lw St 3562 Introduction to Forensic Psychology
This course is an introduction to the interaction between psychology and the legal system. The contribution of psychology to such legal areas as family law, juvenile delinquency, criminal cases, law enforcement, and correctional psychology are surveyed. Topics covered include domestic violence, child abuse, personal injury, eyewitness testimony, insanity, sex offenders and psychopaths. Legal standards regarding insanity, civil commitment and expert testimony are reviewed. We also focus on the emerging contributions of neuroscience to the field of forensic psychology. Prerequisite: Psych 100B.
Same as L33 Psych 356
L84 Lw St 358 Law, Politics and Society
This course offers an introduction to the functions of law and the legal system in American society. The course material stresses the realities of the operation of the legal system (in contrast to legal mythology), as well as the continuous interaction and feedback between the legal and political systems. There are four specific objectives to the course: (1) to introduce students to legal concepts and legal theories; (2) to analyze the operation of the appellate courts, with particular emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court; (3) to analyze the operation of American trial courts, especially juries and the criminal courts; and (4) to examine the linkages between culture and law.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 358
L84 Lw St 3670 The Long Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement is known as a southern movement, led by church leaders and college students, fought through sit-ins and marches, dealing primarily with non-economic objectives, framed by a black and white paradigm, and limited to a single tumultuous decade. This course seeks to broaden our understanding of the movement geographically, chronologically and thematically. It pays special attention to struggles fought in the North, West and Southwest; it seeks to question binaries constructed around "confrontational" and "accommodationist" leaders; it reveals how Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans impacted and were impacted by the movement; and it seeks to link the public memory of this movement with contemporary racial politics.
Same as L22 History 3670
L84 Lw St 3713 Law in American Life I: English and Colonial Foundations to 1776
Credit 3 units. BU: ETH
L84 Lw St 3866 Interrogating "Crime and Punishment"
Whether read as psychological thriller, spiritual journey, or social polemic, Dostoevsky's 1866 novel Crime and Punishment has inspired diverse artistic responses around the world. From the 19th century to the present day, writers and filmmakers have revisited (and often subverted) questions that Dostoevsky's novel poses: What internal and external forces cause someone to "step over" into crime? What are the implications of a confession? To what extent can the legal system provide a just punishment? Are forgiveness and redemption possible, or even relevant? What role does grace — or luck — play in the entire process? This course begins with our close reading of Dostoevsky's novel and then moves on to short stories, novels, literary essays and movies that engage in dialogue with the Russian predecessor. A central concern of our intertextual approach is to explore the interplay between specific socio-historical contexts and universal questions. All readings are in English. No prerequisites.
Same as L97 IAS 3866
L84 Lw St 389 Power, Justice and the City
This course examines normative theoretical questions of power and justice through the lens of the contemporary city, with a particular focus on American urban life. It explores urban political economic problems, questions of racial hierarchy and racial injustice in the modern metropolis, and the normative and practical dilemmas posed by "privatism" in cities and their suburbs. In addition, the course devotes considerable attention to honing students' writing skills, through class assignments that stress rewriting and revising, and also through four in-class writing workshops devoted to formulating a thesis and making an argument, revising and rewriting, writing with style, and peer consultation.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 389
L84 Lw St 389A Power, Justice and the City
This course examines normative theoretical questions of power and justice through the lens of the contemporary city, with a particular focus on American urban life. It explores urban political economic problems, questions of racial hierarchy and racial injustice in the modern metropolis, and the normative and practical dilemmas posed by "privatism" in cities and their suburbs.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 389A
L84 Lw St 390 Gender Violence
This course explores the issue of violence against women within families, by strangers in the workplace, and within the context of international and domestic political activity. In each area, issues of race, class, culture and sexuality are examined as well as legal, medical and sociological responses. Readings cover current statistical data, research and theory as well as information on the history of the battered women's movement, the rape crisis center movement, violent repression of women's political expressions internationally, and the effect of violence on immigrant and indigenous women in the United States and abroad. Not open to students who have taken U92 (UCollege) WGSS 363.
Same as L77 WGSS 393
L84 Lw St 393 History of Political Thought III: Liberty, Democracy and Revolution
How, if at all, should the political institutions of the modern state express and secure the liberty and equality of citizens? What is the political significance of private property? Is world history to be understood as progress toward one best form of government — capitalist democracy, perhaps, or communism? What forces drive history? We address these and other timeless political questions through close reading and rigorous analysis of classic texts in the history of Western political thought. Authors studied include Kant, Hegel, Marx, Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and Nietzsche. Prerequisite: one previous course in political theory or political philosophy. The course is the third in a three-semester sequence on the history of political thought, and students are encouraged but not required to take the courses in chronological sequence.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 393
L84 Lw St 4002 Directed Fieldwork in Legal Research
A fieldwork project in empirical and/or archival legal research under the direction of a member of the Washington University faculty. The fieldwork may be planned and undertaken individually or as part of a formal project. Permission of supervising faculty member and director of the program is required.
Credit variable, maximum 6 units. EN: H
L84 Lw St 4013 Negotiating Major Legislation in Congress
This course examines the outcomes of the legislative process in the United States. The first third of the course examines key concepts and major determinants of the negotiation process: majority rule instability, agenda control, political parties, the amendment process and the uncovered set. The rest of the course examines the negotiations that led to some of the most significant legislation in the past 100 years, from the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the immigration bill of 2006. Along with other assignments, each student writes several drafts of a major research project on a major piece of legislation. Each research project examines the amendments offered, the strategic intentions of the amendments' sponsors, the agenda process and the role of party. Prerequisite: Pol Sci 101B.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4013
L84 Lw St 4030 Political Theory of Education
This course explores issues of authority, legitimacy, citizenship, freedom and equality through contemporary readings in the political theory of education. What is to be done when parents, citizens, and educational experts make conflicting judgments about the proper education of children? When should the state defer to parental judgments and what are the grounds for legitimately refusing to do so? How should public schools aim to equip their students for the responsibilities of citizenship in a diverse liberal democratic state? What do the concepts of equality and equality of opportunity mean in the context of education, and (how) should governments pursue these values through education policy? We explore these issues through contemporary works of political theory as well as through considering a number of important U.S. court cases, including those dealing with the schooling of children from minority religious and cultural groups, affirmative action in university admissions, and school desegregation plans. Prerequisite: one previous course in political theory or political philosophy.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4030
L84 Lw St 4070 Global Justice
This course examines contemporary debates and controversies regarding global justice. Seminar discussions are arranged around significant issues in the current literature. For example: What (if anything) do we owe to the distantly needy? Do we have special obligations to our compatriots? Do political borders have normative significance? And so on. This course is of interest not only to political theorists, but also students in other fields interested in social justice or international relations generally.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4070
L84 Lw St 425A Law, Religion, and Politics
What is the role of religious argument in politics and law? What kinds of arguments are advanced, and how do they differ from one another? Are some of these arguments more acceptable than others in a liberal democracy? This course will explore these questions through the work of legal scholars, theologians and political theorists. Our topics include the nature of violence and coercion in the law, constraints on public reason, the relationship between religion and government, and the nature of religious practice and tradition.
Same as L57 RelPol 425
L84 Lw St 440 Religion, Politics, and the University
This course explores in depth current issues related to pluralism, difference, and belonging in matters pertaining to religion and other important issues, with a particular focus on how these play out in the university context. The instructors, John Inazu and Eboo Patel, are two of the leading national commentators on these issues. Prerequisite: Students enrolling in this class must submit a brief statement of interest to Professor John Inazu.
Same as L57 RelPol 440
L84 Lw St 4400 Advanced Social and Political Philosophy
A selective investigation of one or two advanced topics in the philosophical understanding of society, government and culture. Readings may include both historical and contemporary materials. Possible topics include: liberalism, socialism, communitarianism, citizenship, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, social contract theory, anarchism, and the rights of cultural minorities. Prerequisites: one course in Philosophy at the 300 level, graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
Same as L30 Phil 4400
L84 Lw St 450A Interdisciplinary Topics in the Humanities: The Intellectual History of Mass Incarceration
Same as L93 IPH 450A
Credit 3 units.
L84 Lw St 460 Taboo: Contesting Race, Sexuality and Violence in American Cinema
Pushing the envelope or going too far? What is the boundary between films that challenge us and films that offend us? This is a course about films that crossed that boundary, most often by presenting images of race, sexuality and violence, images that could attract audiences as much as they offended moral guardians and courted legal sanctions. Because they were denied the First Amendment protection of free speech by a 1915 Supreme Court decision, movies more than any prior art form were repeatedly subject to various attempts at regulating content by government at federal, state and even municipal levels. Trying to stave off government control, Hollywood instituted forms of self-regulation, first in a rigid regime of censorship and subsequently in the ratings system still in use. Because taboo content often means commercial success, Hollywood could nonetheless produce films that pushed the envelope and occasionally crossed over into more transgressive territory. While control of content is a top-down attempt to impose moral norms and standards of behavior on a diverse audience, it also reflects changing standards of acceptable public discourse. That topics once barred from dramatic representation by the Production Code — miscegenation, homosexuality and "lower forms of sexuality," abortion, drug addiction — could eventually find a place in American movies speaks to changes in the culture at large. In trying to understand these cultural changes, this course explores films that challenged taboos, defied censorship and caused outrage, ranging from films in the early 20th century that brought on the first attempts to control film content through to films released under the ratings system, which has exerted subtler forms of control. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 460
L84 Lw St 461 Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy
Survey of the most prominent federal laws designed to control pollution and protect human health and the environment. Examines laws applicable to environmental impact statements, biodiversity, air pollution, water pollution, and hazardous waste. Discusses the role of state law and cooperative federalism, as well as the roles of the courts, the legislature, and the administrative state in protecting the environment.
Same as L82 EnSt 461
L84 Lw St 472 Social Theory and Anthropology
A seminar on social theory and its ethnographic implications. Course combines major works of modern social theory, including Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, with current work by contemporary anthropologists, such as Clifford Geertz, Eric Wolf, Marshall Sahlins, and Fredrik Barth, and ethnographers from related disciplines, such as Pierre Bourdieu and Paul Willis. Prerequisite: previous anthropology course work or permission of instructor.
Same as L48 Anthro 472
L84 Lw St 4851 Advanced Seminar: Prisons, Politics and Activism
Prison reformers argue that de-criminalizing nonviolent offenses will be enough to reduce mass incarceration, while prison abolitionists argue that we need to dismantle the entire carceral state in the U.S., which is maintained by a racially stratified system of public schooling, housing, employment and health care. What is at stake in these debates? Are we seeking to promote basic humanity, racial and gender equality or utopian visions of rehabilitation? This course seeks to historically contextualize prison reform and abolitionism from the 13th Amendment's re-articulation of slavery to current resistance to mass incarceration. Special attention will be paid to the intersections between the prisoner's rights movement and the Black & Brown Power, feminist, queer and disability movements.
Same as L22 History 4851
L84 Lw St 4981 Advanced Seminar: Historical Perspectives on Human Rights
This course offers a historical perspective on the modern international human rights regime, using materials drawn from diplomatic, legal, political, and cultural studies. Successful completion of this seminar involves designing, researching and writing a 25-30 page paper on a historically-oriented, human-rights-related topic of student's choice.
Same as L22 History 4981
PhD, Columbia University
John R. Bowen
Dunbar–Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, University of Chicago
Margaret C. Garb
PhD, Columbia University
William R. Lowry
PhD, Stanford University
Elizabeth K. Borgwardt
JD, Harvard University
PhD, Stanford University
PhD, Harvard University
Andrew R. Rehfield
PhD, University of Chicago
Professor of Practice
JD, Yale Law School
PhD, Harvard University
(History and Law)