& Social Thought (LJST) as its 29th academic department offering an autonomous undergraduate major. Faculty in the Department of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought offer courses and a program of study that attend to the distinctive way law combines moral argument, rhetorical practices and force in regulating social life. Expanding upon intellectual categories established by traditional legal education and the social sciences and humanities, those courses and that program of study advance the goals of liberal education.
LJST is consistently one of Amherst's most popular majors, and our courses draw students from across the college. In addition, LJST has undertaken a variety of activities to advance the study of law in the liberal arts and to foster interdisciplinary legal scholarship. We have sponsored an annual lecture series on an important theme in legal studies, and have been privileged to host significant scholars from a wide variety of fields. LJST also regularly sponsors scholarly conferences. Past conferences have included The Paradoxes of Rights, Brown v. Board of Education at Forty, Capital Punishment in Law, Politics, and Culture, and Law 2000.
The department also puts out a series of books published by major presses. Each volume in this series is based on the lectures and conferences sponsored by LJST, and each includes an essay by a member of our faculty. The first volume, The Fate of Law, was published in 1991; subsequent volumes include Law's Violence (1992), Law in Everyday Life (1993), The Rhetoric of Law (1994), Identities, Politics & Rights (1995); Legal Rights: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives (1996), Justice and Injustice in Law and Legal Theory (1996), Law in the Domains of Culture (1998), History, Memory, and the Law (1999), Cultural Pluralism,