Spring 2022


Listed in: , as EDST-374  |  Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-374  |  Political Science, as POSC-374

Formerly listed as: LJST-39  |  POSC-74


Kristin Bumiller (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 374, LJST 374, and EDST 374) This seminar explores the role of rights in addressing inequality, discrimination, and violence. This course will trace the evolution of rights focused legal strategies aimed at addressing injustice coupled with race, gender, disability, and citizenship status. We will evaluate how rights-based activism often creates a gap between expectation and realization. This evaluation will consider when and how rights are most efficacious in producing social change and the possibility of unintended consequences.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Requisite: One introductory POSC course or its equivalent. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Bumiller.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Independent research project, group work, readings, written work, oral presentations. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Up Against a Wall: Rape reform and the Failure of Success NYU Press Rose Corrigan Amherst Books TBD
Silent Covenants: Brown V. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform Oxford University Press Derrick Bell Amherst Books TBD
The Lives of Animals Princeton University Press J. M. Coetzee Amherst Books TBD
Making Rights Real: Activists, Bureaucrats, and the Creation of the Legalistic State University of Chicago press Charles R. Epp Amherst Books TBD
The Neutered Mother, the Sexual Family and Other Twentieth Century Tragedies Routledge Martha Albertson Fineman Amherst Books TBD
Appealing to Justice: Prisoner grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic University of California Press Kitty Calavita and Valerie Jenness Amherst Books TBD
Mutual aid : building solidarity during this crisis (and the next)  Norton Dean Spade Amherst Books TBD
Decarcerating disability : deinstitutionalization and prison abolition University of Michigan Press Liat Ben-Moshe Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2022