Curriculum Guide · Courses
National and Cultural Identity Seminar
J.D. Seminar 331 (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
Behind the mainly domestic distributions of legal rights and duties that we study during the course of law school is the more fundamental distribution of membership in a national community performed by our immigration and citizenship laws, language and labor requirements, political discourse, census categories, and countless cultural and governmental acts of recognition, inclusion and exclusion. In a world in which almost all states are multicultural, how do law and culture divide and unify diverse populations? Can law help people of different races, languages, religions and politics find common purpose? This seminar will address, from interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives, the phenomena of national and cultural identity formation, the calls for more cosmopolitan forms of belonging, and how national and cultural groups are imagined and invented though both law and popular culture. We will also consider alternative forms of belonging and banishment, such as cosmopolitanism, statelessness, diaspora, and global forms of citizenship.
Students must register for the three-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Writing Requirement. Students in the two-credit section will write a paper.