Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

267.31 sec. 001 - Civil Rights in American History (Fall 2020)

Instructor: Dylan Penningroth  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded

Due to COVID-19, this class is remote for Fall 2020.
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


Th 2:10 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From August 20, 2020
To November 20, 2020

Course Start: August 20, 2020
Course End: November 20, 2020
Class Number: 32681

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 5
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 10
As of: 12/07 09:41 AM

This course explores the roots and meanings of civil rights in the United States since the mid-1800s. Civil rights has meant different things at different times. It has been intimately related to questions of gender, race, class, and sexuality; it has catalyzed key shifts in the legal profession, such as the rise of cause lawyering; it has pulled legal professionals into conversation and confrontation with popular social movements; and it has drawn from a range of doctrinal and cultural principles rooted in federalism, personal status, non-discrimination, labor rights, and property rights. In exploring these histories, we will seek to discuss what debates about civil rights reveal about Americans’ changing conceptions of legal and Constitutional authority, and of who was ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the community of citizens. There is a dominant emphasis on African Americans. That will probably change in future versions of the course.

Students will gain from this course the ability to take apart legal arguments, to situate them in historical contexts, and to become familiar with important recent trends in legal history scholarship. For law students, the course offers a chance to step back from case law for a wide-angle perspective on the social dynamics that lie behind exemplary legal cases, how context shapes legal institutions and arguments, and how previous generations have conceptualized what it means to be a “civil rights lawyer.” For doctoral students, it offers the chance to look at how legal ideas shape social processes, to become familiar with a range of research methods and concepts, and to formulate and advance their own research interests.

Readings will consist of a selection of scholarship, as well as a few key statutes and cases. The final paper will be a critical review essay.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP)
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Race and Law
Social Justice and Public Interest

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Required Books are in blue

  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
    James Forman, Jr.
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    ISBN: 9780374712907
    e-Book Available: Yes
    e-Book procurement note:
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $26.13
    Price Source: user provided

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