HIST 392
Race Law Compared: Twentieth-Century Central Europe and the United States Spring 2013
Division II
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This course explores the politics of law over the last century through case studies of “race law” in Central Europe and the United States. We begin with “Jim Crow,” or “separate but equal,” the American system of white supremacy which lasted until the 1960s. Next we study Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, which in less than ten years established a revolutionary system of German supremacy over Poles, Czechs, and others, including Jews–who were denied even the right to exist. In the second half of the course, we turn to liberal race law, to efforts at making races or peoples not less equal but more so. Here our cases are American Affirmative Action over the last forty years, and an experiment in imperial Austria with equality of rights between Czechs and Germans shortly before the First World War. Throughout the semester, we seek answers to basic questions. What is equality? What is racial difference? How has law been used to manage tensions between them?
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 15-20
Class#: 3543
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, a short research paper (5-7pp), and midterm (5-7pp) and final (8-10pp) exams
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: History majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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