This course aims to create a critical dialogue about the role of law in structuring wealth inequality and its potential role in remedying such inequality. The interdisciplinary course materials will help us engage in critical analysis about the roles of settler colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and ableism in structuring law and poverty, as well as law’s role in structuring those systems of meaning, control and distribution. The course will explore both specific questions and histories concerning public benefits, disaster relief, housing, imprisonment, immigration and other legal issues facing low-income populations as well as broad questions about how we might conceptualize governance and the role of law reform in social movements aimed at redistributing wealth and life chances.
Professor Dean Spade | MW 10:30-11:45 [special registration contact email@example.com]
Law and Social Movements
This course will critically examine the relationship between law and social movements, specifically engaging texts and materials that interrogate law’s role in both criminalizing and coopting social movements. In popular culture we often hear of the relationship between law and social movements primarily in terms of the use of legal strategies such as litigation and policy reform to secure rights and freedoms for oppressed and excluded groups. The materials used in this course will problematize the assumption that the primary role of law with regard to social movements is to support emancipatory progress. We will instead take the opportunity to look broadly at the meanings of key concepts such as discrimination, freedom, liberation, power, governance, and violence as they relate to the stories that lawyers, movement activists, governments, and the media tell about the role of law in movements for social change. Our examination will engage “law” beyond strictly jurisprudence and look at the construction of legality and illegality with regard to dissent
Professor Dean Spade | T 2:00-4:45 [special registration contact firstname.lastname@example.org]