2017-2018 Catalog

CTSJ 357 Law and Empire

This course employs interpretive tactics from critical legal theory and critical race theory in order to examine the use of law to justify and sustain U.S. colonial/imperial projects. We will look at how these projects are connected to the control of domestic populations (especially indigenous and racialized groups) and the expanding desire for territory. We will look at questions about nation, state, and sovereignty; law and hegemony; and relationships between "change" and maintenance of the same in legal discourse. The course will also investigate relationships between globalization, international legal regimes, and new forms of empire. We will consider specific topics that raise questions about ongoing operations of and resistances to imperialism, including: trafficking in persons, sovereignty and indigenous people's rights, the legal status of territories and protectorates and the selective use of the U.S. Constitution in those locations, and issues rising from the "war on terror." Emphasis topic: Critical Race Theory or Postcolonial Theory.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • United States Diversity