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Law and Other Disciplines

American Legal History

Course Description:

This course explores the history of American law from 1607 to the present.  Among the most important topics examined in depth are: the reception of the English common law in the original thirteen colonies; constitutionalism and the American revolution; the Federalist era; the law’s role during the antebellum period in promoting industrialization and slavery; the …


Anthropology and the Law Seminar

Course Description:

Law is often viewed (and taught) as an autonomous system of abstract concepts and precepts with its own logic, which can precind from other parts of a society.  Anthropologists such as Hoebel, Pospisil, and Nadar and some legal scholars such as Oliver W. Holmes have held that law can be properly understood only as an …


Critical Race Narratives

Course Description:

This team-taught course will focus on the relationship between narrative and law by using critical race theory to examine how race in America is a narrative of property and power. By reading a number of essayists and several novelists, we will explore such questions as: Who owns the narrative of slavery? Who can tell whose …


Law and Economics

Course Description:

Why and when should property be privately owned? How can a legal system minimize the social costs of accidents? Should the state regulate pollution? If so, how? What is the socially appropriate punishment for a crime? Why do we even need the law of contract? What are the purposes of default rules? This course examines …


Law and Genetics

Course Description:

This class provides an opportunity to examine the process by which law responds to rapid changes in scientific knowledge and technology and also the ways in which law affects the course of scientific development. In addition to gaining a perspective on this interaction between the development of law and science, the course aims to give …


Law and Social Science

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the use of social science evidence by legal practitioners and courts at all levels. Such evidence is used, for example, in cases involving issues of trademark infringement, obscenity, discrimination, identification of criminal offenders, potential jury prejudice, eyewitness reliability, sexual assault, self-defense, dangerousness, and the fashioning of remedies.  Despite its now …


Law, History, & Philosophy Seminar

Course Description:

The history of American law and legal institutions, and their relationship to society, from the Reconstruction era through recent past.