Bodies, Boundaries, and Belonging: Law in Historical Perspective

History 280D.006

Fall 2016
Karen Tani
12 Boalt
Day & Time: 
Tu 335-525P

In this joint History-Berkeley Law seminar, students will engage with some of the most exciting new research by scholars working at the intersection of Law and History. Attentive to both the material and symbolic power of law, we will explore law’s historical role in the constitution of space, place, the body, and various modalities of belonging. We’ll trace law and its effects beyond the institutions, discourses, and people with which it is conventionally associated (courts, legislatures, statutes) to law’s unofficial makers, interpreters, enforcers, messengers, claimants, subjects, spaces, and objects. Our geographic focus will be largely North American, though we will situate the continent’s legal history in the broader flow of the ideas, empires, peoples, commodities, and vital matter that have unmade and remade law as we know it. We will also have the chance to engage face-to-face with several prominent scholars in a workshop format. Requirements for this 280 include active participation in all discussions, reading one to two books (or equivalent) per week, and writing a final review paper (15-20 pages). 

Course Books

City of Courts: Socializing Justice in progressive Era Chicago by Michael Willrich Cambridge U. P. . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0521794039 Required
Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America by Kara Swanson Harvard U. P. . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0674281431 Required
Katrina Jagodinsky, by Katrina Jagodinsky, Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women’s Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946 . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0300211689 Required
Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation by Karl Jacoby U. California Press. ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0520282292 Required
What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America by Peggy Pascoe Oxford U. P. . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0199772353 Required
Uncle Sam’s Policemen: The Pursuit of Fugitives Across Borders by Katherine Unterman Harvard U. P. . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0674736924 Required
Double Character: Slavery and Mastery in the Antebellum Southern Courtroom by Ariela J. Gross Princeton U. P. . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0820328607 Required
A Search for Sovereignty by Lauren Benton Cambridge U. P. . ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0521707435 Required