JLST 377
Race and American Law Fall 2013
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed JLST 377 / AFR 377 / AMST 377 / HIST 377 / LEAD 377 / LATS 377
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American race history has its deepest and most troubled roots in racial slavery – a system protected by the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes and state laws. This course will first examine the core theme of Black and White race relations, beginning with the slavery clauses of the Constitution and continuing through the color-blind affirmative action decisions of the Supreme Court. This examination of Black and White racial construction will study the implicit definitions of race, racism and the power relations of racial subordinations. The class will next examine groups recognized in the law – American Indians, Asian Americans, and Latinos/as, with a focus upon their emergence as legal and historical actors. Each group will be examined as case studies in multiple forms of racial subordination. For American Indians, the theme is sovereignty and forced Americanization. For Asian Americans, we examine the creation of the racial themes of foreignness, model-minority and the post- 9-11 Islamic/Jihadist Terrorist. For Latinos, we will focus upon imperial conquest, immigration and “Latin” racial classifications. The course will use primary legal materials – edited Supreme Court opinions, federal and state statutes – as well as other legal commentaries.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 15-20
Class#: 1453
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a 3-page reflection/racial narrative; a 3-page reflection on Black-White race; an annotated bibliography and final research paper of 15-20 pages
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
JLST 377 Division II AFR 377 Division II AMST 377 Division II HIST 377 Division II LEAD 377 Division II LATS 377 Division II
Attributes: ASAM Related Courses
LATS Comparative Race + Ethnic Studies Electives

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