Please Note: Since Barbara McManus has retired and is no longer teaching this course, it will remain on the web solely for archival purposes. External links on the syllabus and assignment pages will not be updated.
An examination of legal theory and the contemporary American legal system from a feminist perspective; a consideration of the effects of the law on women's lives. Topics include women's participation in the legal profession and their varied roles in relation to the legal system, as well as feminist challenges to mainstream legal thought and processes. The course will examine in detail several controversial issues to exemplify and clarify the nature of these challenges in more depth.
Weisberg, D. Kelly, ed. Applications of Feminist Legal Theory to Women's Lives: Sex, Violence, Work, and Reproduction. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.
Additional readings from primary and secondary sources (see schedule of topics and assignments).
Class Participation: As an Honors Seminar, this course is both interdisciplinary and discussion based, requiring no prior knowledge of legal theories and practices or of feminist theory. In order for this course to succeed, it is essential that students complete all readings in a timely fashion, attend class regularly, and participate fully in class discussions. Therefore, any student who misses more than 2 classes without an approved excuse will lose 3 points on the class participation portion of the grade for every class missed. [all course objectives]
Weekly Written Assignments: After the first week, there will be one written assignment per week (e.g., written responses to several questions relating to the readings; analysis of a case from the perspective of the readings; comparison of two theoretical perspectives on a given topic; etc.). Every student may omit two of these assignments in the course of the semester; she may choose which two assignments to omit based on her own priorities and time constraints, but she must turn in a statement that she wishes to omit a particular assignment when that assignment is due. [objectives 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Debates: Each student will participate in a formal debate centered upon one of the specific issues covered in class; click here for detailed instructions). [objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
Critical Paper: Every student will write one critical research paper that will be due on April 28; click here for detailed instructions). [objectives 2, 3, 4]
Panel: In conjunction with the course unit on women in the legal profession, on April 28 at 7:00 pm students will be required to attend a panel of CNR alumnae who are currently in law school or practicing law in the metropolitan area; the weekly written assignment for that week will be related to this panel. [objectives 2, 3, 6]
Final Examination: During finals week, all students will complete a take-home examination. [all course objectives]
|Daniel McCarthy||Tuesdays: 3:30-4:30 pm|
|Castle 217NW||Thursdays: 3:30-4:30 pm|
|extension 5582||Fridays: 11:00-12:00 noon|
|Barbara McManus||Tuesdays: 11:00-11:45 am|
|Castle 315N||Thursdays: 11:00-12:00 noon|
|extension 5399||other times by appointment|
Legal Super Sites
Legal Sites for Non-specialists
Feminist Legal Sites
revised April 1998