Fall 2022

Law's Classifications

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-346


Michaela J. Brangan (Section 01)


(Research Seminar)  When courts decide cases, they engage in knowledge production, and so must use logical, enforceable classifications to distinguish among persons, things, and rights. Legal doctrines that enshrine these classifications may conflict with broader commitments to equality or tradition, even as they help remedy past injuries, protect existing rights, or create durable guidelines for the future. Such conflicts come into full view when these doctrines leave the courtroom and collide with other social forces and frameworks, like market rationality, medical science, political movements, or religious beliefs. How does law create its classifications? How do race, gender, class and other social identities intersect with them? What external taxonomies are invoked in their making, and to what ends? By attending to the ways law’s classifications are developed, used, resisted or changed, we will come to see the law’s internal tensions, its civic limits, and its social power.

Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Brangan.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority given to LJST Majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Class interaction (large/small groups) and peer editing; writing (formal/informal); sustained research; presentation; study course materials

LJST 346 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM SCCE A013

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
Colonel Chabert trans. Andrew Brown, Alma ed. 2018 Honoré de Balzac Amherst Books TBD
Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump Asad Haider Amherst Books TBD
Temporary Hilary Leichter Amherst Books TBD
Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023