Race and the Law (3 credits)

This seminar explores the role of law and the courts in the creation and evolution of the ideologies of racial differences in the United States from the colonial era to the present.  Students will be asked to utilize legal and historical tools to examine various topics, including the institution and operation of slavery and race on the framing of the Constitution, the Civil War Amendments, and Reconstruction; the social ostracism and political disenfranchisement of minorities from the late nineteenth century until the present; the implications of Brown v. Board of Education and various cases and civil rights statutes on minority progress; the constitutionality and limits of affirmative action; the role of race in the criminal justice system as well as other topics. Prerequisites: None