Class Schedules

Legal Studies

Erik Larson, Co-Director

Patrick Schmidt, Co-Director

Fall 2014 »      Spring 2015 »     

Fall 2014 Class Schedule - updated July 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
AMST 300-01  Jr Civic Engagement Seminar
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 111 Duchess Harris
*Permission of instructor required; first day attendance required* This course examines the backlash against affirmative action in the late 1980s and early 1990s—just as courts, universities, and other institutions began to end affirmative action programs. We will learn how law professors of color created Critical Race Theory to resist a cautious approach to social transformation. These scholars favor a race conscious approach to transformation rather than liberalism's embrace of color blindness, and favor an approach that relies more on political organizing, in contrast to liberalism's reliance on rights-based remedies. We will read about Critical White Studies as the next step in Critical Race Theory. In focusing on whiteness, not only do theorists ask nonwhites to investigate more closely for what it means for others to be white, but also they invite whites to examine themselves more searchingly and to "look behind the mirror." To balance out the course, we will end by reviewing Dan Subnotik’s text, “Toxic Diversity.” He analyzes the work of preeminent legal scholars such as Patricia Williams, Derrick Bell, Lani Guinier, and Richard Delgado, and argues that race and gender theorists divert the implementation of America's social justice agenda. In the elusive quest for racial justice, is equality enough, and if not, in the words of Toni Morrison, how can we race justice and engender power?

PHIL 121-01  Ethics
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 204 William Wilcox
*First Year Course only* Ethics addresses three sorts of questions. The first sort asks about the status of moral judgments, e.g. judgments about right and wrong, or good and bad. Is it possible for moral judgments to be true? Can they be objective? Can they be universal? The second branch of ethics, normative moral theory, aims to discover and develop the most general and basic elements of moral thought. For example, two quite different approaches to normative moral theory differ over the old issue about ends justifying means. Consequentialism maintains the right thing to do is whatever will bring about the best consequences. In other words, the ends justify the means. Kantian ethical theory denies this, maintaining that morality is not just about trying to bring about the best consequences. The final area of ethics, practical or applied ethics, is less abstract than the other two, focusing on particular practices or moral problems and trying to figure out what moral judgments it is reasonable to make about those practices or problems. Examples would include debates about abortion, euthanasia, and just wars. All three areas of ethics will be considered during the semester, but much of our focus, especially in the second half of the semester, will be on distinctive political values such as justice and equality.

PHIL 224-01  Philosophy of Law
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 111 William Wilcox
POLI 316-01  Info Policy/Politics/Law
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 204 Patrick Schmidt
*First Year Course only* It is easy to be amazed by changes in information technology, that is, the ways that information is produced, distributed, and consumed. If you love your cellphone, share music with your friends, are addicted to social media, enjoy digital books, or worry about your privacy, you might be familiar with some of the issues. In this course, we go much deeper: how do governments and institutions (such as corporations) shape the flow of information? What's at stake in the design of the policies and law governing information? We explore those questions across a range of topics, including surveillance and searches, privacy, transparency, copyrights, patents, and the regulation of the internet.

Students can come to this course from many different starting points. Some students are interested in policy-making and politics but haven't thought much about information policy, which is simply one area, like environmental policy, health policy or anything else. Other students follow technology closely, but haven't given much thought to government, politics and regulation. Still others are interested in the broadest historical and sociological questions: is the world different today because of how information technology has changed? If so, how? And, isn't my iPhone the most amazing invention in human history...or not? However often the class discusses the latest technological developments, we will never be far from the questions, "so what?" and "what does it all mean?".

This course will offer a variety of learning experiences. Class time will include introductory lectures, guest speakers, and "seminar style" discussions. On occasion we will join forces with another First Year Course: Ethics and the Internet, taught by Philosophy professor Diane Michelfelder. Other weeks, students will write essays for discussion in tutorials (small group meetings in my office). The class also will work on a project assisting Macalester College in the development of its own information policies.

SOCI 190-01  Criminal Behavior/Social Control
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 208 Erik Larson
*First day attendance required*

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated July 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
AMST 265-01  The Schools-to-Prison Pipeline
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 217 Karin Aguilar-San Juan
*First day attendance required*

PHIL 121-01  Ethics
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 305 Martin Gunderson
PHIL 121-02  Ethics
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 204 Martin Gunderson
PHIL 121-03  Ethics
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am NEILL 212 Diane Michelfelder
POLI 316-01  Info Policy/Politics/Law
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 208 Patrick Schmidt

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