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Cornell University    
  Feb 25, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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AMST 1147 - FWS: The Legal Life of American Racism

Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

First-Year Writing Seminar.

J. Goldberg.

We know that racism isn’t just about feelings, but rather it is institutional. What about the legal life of racism? That is, what if racism wasn’t just a result of how the legal system (courts, police, prisons, etc.) applies laws, but what if racism had a life within U.S. law itself? In this course we will explore the ways in which American law worked in concert with custom to attempt to encode definitions of race into U.S. society. Topics will include slavery, Jim Crow, immigration (both contemporary and historical), Japanese internment, and Indian Law, among others. Students will practice writing skills while exploring the possibilities practicing a radical form of revision to intervene in the legal life of racism.

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