Lawrence J Cushnie
Focused, comparative examination of legal institutions.
This course explores the law through the activism and the protest which contests the meaning of law and help to shape its future. Law, as a construction of society, faces constant opposition and periods of elevated resistance in specific subject areas. These areas include: abolitionism, workers’ rights, women’s suffrage and liberation, civil rights, the student and anti-war movement, the American Indian movement, environmentalism, and animal rights. Each of these important socio-legal movements creates the subject for our discussions. We focus upon the legal and political theorists and activists who challenged these laws, as well as the text of the court cases that became precedent for the United States legal system.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
As a seminar class, the impetus will be put upon students to engage in the discussion. Lecture will be a very small portion of the daily class, with most of the time devoted to student presentations of the materials and group discussion of the readings. Thus, students will be directly involved in their own learning and understanding of these materials through their interactions with other classmates.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will include participation, in-class presentations, response papers, and a seminar paper.