Monday, August 8, 2011

I start teaching when?

Teaching American Legal History

This year’s annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History in Atlanta, which feature a panel on Teaching American Legal History. John Wertheimer, Professor of History at Davidson College, is organizing the session that will take place on Thursday, November 10, 2011, from 4:00-5:30 PM. The panelists include Barry Cushman, Elizabeth Dale, Sally Hadden, Peter Karsten, and me.
I will probably discuss my experiences teaching the undergraduate survey and how participating in teacher institutes (sponsored by either the American Institute for History Education or the Center for Civic Education) now informs my classroom teaching.
Today, however, I wanted to share the first part of my syllabus for my cross-listed graduate/law colloquium on American legal history. This year I wanted to focus on whether Brown mattered.
Here’s how the course unfolds. . .

INTRODUCTION

Week 1 The Constitutional Revolution of the 1930s (August 18th)

T. Law and History
Reading: Michael E. Parrish, “The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the American Liberal Order,” Washington Law Review 59 (1984): 723-750 and John Wertheimer, “A ‘Switch in Time’ Beyond the Nine: Historical Memory and the Constitutional Revolution of the 1930s,” Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 53 (2010): 3-34.


Week 2 War and the Conditions of Freedom (August 23rd – August 25th)

T. The Zeitgeist of 1945
Reading: Mary Dudziak, “Law, War, and the History of Time,” California Law Review 98 (2010): 1669-1710 and Elizabeth Borgwardt, A New Deal for the World, 1-140.

Th. Library Session (Matthew Wright, Head of Collections and Associate
Professor of Law)

PART I: BROWN AND SOCIAL CHANGE

Week 3 Brown as History and as Political Science (August 30th – September 1st)

T. Pivotal Moments in American History
Reading: Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education, xiii-223.

Th. Can Courts Bring About Social Change?
Reading: Rosenberg, The Hollow Hope, xi-36.

Week 4 The Problem of Civil Rights (September 6th – September 8th)

T. Did Brown Matter?
Reading: Rosenberg, The Hollow Hope, 39-169.

Th. Cold War Civil Rights
Reading: Mary L. Dudziak, “Desegregation as a Cold War Imperative,”
Stanford Law Review 41 (November 1988): 61-120.

Week 5 The Problem of Resistance (September 13th – September 15th)

T. The Role of Southern Moderates
Reading: Walker, The Ghosts of Jim Crow, 3-162.

Th. The Problem of Civil Disobedience
Reading: Howard Zinn, “Law, Justice, and Disobedience,” Norte Dame
Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 5 (1991): 899-920.

Week 6 Claiming Brown I (September 20th – September 22nd)

M. UNLV Constitution Day Public Lectureship
Professor David Konig presents “The Paradoxes of Jeffersonian Constitutionalism” at 7:30pm, Barrick Museum Auditorium.

T. Brown and Education
Reading: Minow, In Brown’s Wake, 1-189.

Th. Is Sex Like Race?
Reading: Serena Mayeri, “The Strange Career of Jane Crow,” Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 18 (2006): 187-272.

Week 7 Claiming Brown II (September 27th – September 29th)

T. Brown and Originalism
Reading: Michael McConnell, “Originalism and the Desegregation
Decisions,” 81 Virginia Law Review 947 (1985): 947-1140.

Th. Brown and the Roberts Courts
Reading: Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle 551 U.S. 701 (2007).




3 comments:

  1. David, thanks for posting this ... always interested in how others approach the course. Question: does the Wertheimer reading address Cushman's argument? Been looking for a concise presentation of the Cushman thesis.

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  2. This is an excellent list. I did wonder, given that Brown is the focus, how much background you provide about what happened before the constitutional revolution of the 1930s, and what the reaction is to that background.

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  3. Anders, thanks for your question. The Wertheimer article mentions the Cushman thesis, but focuses on the changing cultural meaning of the Constitution in the 1930s.

    Mike, my course does not do justice to American history before the 1930s. In the past, I've focused on the period from 1865 to 1965.

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