American Studies | Colloquium in American Studies / Topic: Perspectives in American Legal History
G620 | 22208 | Stephen Conrad


(4 cr. hrs.)
Jointly offered with LAW-B659
Rather than any sort of survey or general overview, a sampling of
scholarship in American legal history is what this course offers.
The sampling will, however, touch on all four centuries of American
legal history, and will attend to a wide range of areas of
substantive law: property, contracts, torts; and administrative,
criminal, family, and corporate law.  The writing assignments will
require analysis and evaluation of our authors’ strategies of
argumentation.  More generally, the course will consider how law
itself changes, and how law has mattered–- or not–- in social and
political change.  Many questions addressed should ring familiar,
from reading that students have done in the notes and other
supplementary materials found in standard casebooks that seek to
give historical perspectives on doctrinal change.  But in this
course, without any need to “cover doctrine,” there is an
opportunity to pursue historical perspectives at length, and
wherever the students’ interests lead.  Roundtable discussion is
very important in the weekly proceedings and the final grading in
this course.