HIS 381 • Seminar: Colloquium on Law, History, and the Humanities: Transnational Legal Histories
3:30 PM-5:30 PM
This will be a genuinely interdisciplinary course, open to second- and third-year law students and to graduate students in the humanities and social sciences. It will be co-taught by Professor William Forbath of the School of Law and Professor Evan Carton of the English Department and the Humanities Institute. The broad organizing rubric of the 2007 colloquium is "Transnational Legal Histories: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Legal History Beyond the National Framework." Substantive themes and topics of inquiry will include: the legal history of empires, the role of law in colonial rule, and the imperial legal legacies of post-colonial eras; the emergence and development of international law and international human rights; and the history of transnational legal contests, conversations and exchanges.
During the semester, six leading scholars will present papers, which will provide the principal texts of the course. Students will spend two weeks with each paper. In the first week, students will meet with Professors Carton and Forbath in a traditional seminar format to discuss the paper and its background. In the second week, the scholar who wrote the paper will be present, and the students will be joined by law, history and other humanities and social science faculty members. Students will thus have the opportunity both to engage in their own critical discussion, and to observe and participate in an interdisciplinary conversation with faculty members. Written coursework will consist of short, critical responses or commentaries on each of the six papers that will be presented. Students also will expand one of these short papers into a longer essay to be submitted at the end of the term. The current line-up of visiting presenters includes: Daniel Hulsebosch, NYU School of Law; Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan, Department of History & Law School; Jane R. Burbank and Frederick Cooper, NYU Department of History; Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University Department of English; and A. W. Brian Simpson, University of Michigan Law School.