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Critical Theory

This course will review the most important developments in critical theory as it relates to law and jurisprudence. It will begin with a brief review of the critical tradition in Western philosophy including thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Jean Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault. We will then look at the influence of this critical tradition in American legal theory, tracing the critical turn through the American legal realists, Critical Legal Studies and the emergence of identity based critical movements such as Critical Race Theory, Critical Feminist Theory and Critical Approaches to Sexual Orientation. The class will conclude by examining the theories of Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Rancière, and Niklas Luhmann and considering their possible legal implications. Special Instructions: Students have the option to write an independent research paper for Research credit. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Class participation and final paper.


Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Richard Thompson Ford
Bernadette Meyler