October 18, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Spring 2022 | Law, Justice & Culture program offers law-related graduate courses online and on-campus

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture is located in Bentley Hall 001.

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture is located in Bentley Hall 001.

From Ohio University News

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture offers law-related graduate courses for spring 2022, including both on-campus and online courses.

These courses are part of the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture, which can be completed in person on campus or entirely online. The courses focus on the theoretical and methodological traditions of law and society studies, law and society perspectives across disciplines, and training in legal research and writing.

This master’s degree is designed for anyone who deals with law academically or professionally—including individuals in careers that deal with law, as well as those considering law school or Ph.D. programs. 

“Law and society is a vibrant interdisciplinary field,” says Dr. Haley Duschinski, associate professor of anthropology and graduate director of the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture.“ As a law and society degree, the program draws on the analytic, interpretive and imaginative tools of the liberal arts to shed light on the moral and political elements of law and its meaning and significance in our everyday lives. This is important training for anyone who deals with law academically or professionallyincluding people who are in careers that deal with law, as well as those who are considering law school or Ph.D. programs.”

The M.A. program includes core courses focusing on the theoretical traditions of law and society scholarship and the deep integration of theory and methods in this interdisciplinary field—as well as elective courses examining law from different disciplinary perspectives.

Spring 2022 Online Core Courses

In spring 2022, the center offers asynchronous, online core courses that are taken by both online and on-campus students:

LJC 6000: Proseminar in Law, Justice & Culture—The proseminar exposes students to law and society studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students learn the theoretical traditions of law and society scholarship through readings from different disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. The wide range of readings provides students with knowledge of varied approaches to the study of law while demonstrating a common appreciation of the mutually constitutive relation of law and society. (4 credits) Taught by Duschinski.

LJC 6800: Capstone in Law, Justice & Culture—This course systematically leads students through the process of independent empirical research. LJC 6800 culminates in a master’s research essay to be evaluated by the faculty instructor in accordance with the program’s established evaluation rubric for major papers. (4 credits) – Taught by Duschinski.

Spring 2022 Online Elective Courses

Elective courses also are offered online for spring 2022 and can be taken by both online and on-campus students.

LJC 6600x: Surveillance, Privacy & the Law—(This course is available only to students enrolled in the online program.) This course explores the political, social and legal dynamics of surveillance by studying surveillance associated with technologies and locations such as cell phones, social networking sites, electioneering, shopping, and the banking industry. The rapid expansion of surveillance technologies and capacities has not been without controversy, so students also will study the array of political, legal and extra-legal areas of conflict over surveillance policy. The course mobilizes an interdisciplinary toolkit that includes materials from such areas as law, sociology, political science, technology studies, and a new field called surveillance studies. The subject matter also explores broad questions about new and unprecedented phenomena. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. John Gilliom, professor of political science.

POLS 5225: Law and Colonialism—This course focuses on how law was a central instrument of European and American colonial projects during the 19th and 20th centuries. Students explore how the imposition of colonial law affected colonized societies and their preexisting legal systems; they also examine how western fears and apprehensions vis-à-vis “native” societies affected western law and society in turn. Academic texts as well as a sampling of novels, poetry, plays, and movies provide students points of entry for tracing how law helped establish and manage colonial projects and ideology. This course has an experiential component: students engage in archival research to increase their knowledge about colonialism; they also complete a research paper on a primary source to hone their skills in assessing who a primary source was written by, for whom, and to what end. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Jennifer Fredette, associate professor of political science.

POLS 5550: International Law—This course studies the contribution of international law to order, power and justice in international politics. It explores historical origins and current problems in the field, with attention to classic debates over the sources, purposes and interests associated with international law. It places formal aspects of law (centered on the United Nations and the International Court of Justice) within the wider context of global governance, including the influence of customary international law and the work of non-governmental organizations. Discussions and readings include critical perspectives on international law as a vehicle of power in a world of inequality. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Andrew Ross, associate professor of political science.

POLS 5751: Critical Race Theory—This course examines, analyzes and theorizes race and racism from a critical and politicized perspective. This rich theoretical perspective points out that racism is still a pervasive part of contemporary societies and seeks out effective ways to challenge racism’s existence and impact on various groups and societies. Critical Race Theory critiques perspectives that claim far-reaching progress has been made combating racism. The course examines Critical Race Theory as a theoretical and political alternative for understanding and criticizing racism in contemporary settings. It challenges students to think in new ways about contemporary manifestations of racism, and it explores innovative ways to challenge the widespread prevalence of racism. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Vince Jungkunz, associate professor of political science.

HIST 5900 – Special Topics in History: U.S. Immigration History—(This course is available only to students enrolled in the online program.) Which immigrant groups have come to the United States? When and why have they come? And what have their lives been like once they got here? How has the federal governmentand Americans more generallyresponded to immigrants and immigration? Why have some immigrant newcomers been welcomed as good future Americans and others scorned as “forever foreigners” or “illegal aliens?” This class explores both contemporary issues and transnational historical perspectives, from the colonial period to the present day. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. John O’Keefe, associate professor of history.

Spring 2022 On-Campus Elective Courses

The following elective courses are offered in face-to-face format on the Athens campus in spring 2022:

GEOG 6500: Seminar in Environmental Justice—Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:15 p.m.In this seminar, environmental justice is examined in both theory and praxis. Discussions range from contested ideas and discourses about environmental justice to more grounded examples of political movements that seek to contest (in)justice in both urban and rural environments. Specific topics will likely include the conceptual genesis of environmental and social justice movements, distributional inequity of toxics proximity in poor and minority communities, overcoming procedural inequities of white privilege, negotiating urban amenities like forests and parks, overcoming urban food deserts through enhanced food security, the rights of nonhuman species to the city, among other topics. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Harold Perkins, associate professor of geography.

HIST 5521: Medieval Law & Society: Byzantine, Sharia, and Germanic Law, 500-1000—Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12:55 to 1:50 p.m.Beginning with the end of the western Roman Empire in 476, this course surveys major legal systems emerging around the Mediterranean and western Europe over the next 500 years. The legacy of imperial Roman law affected all these systems, whose own legacies would endure for centuries. Featured in the survey are the reforms of Justinian and the Corpus Iuris Civilis, early Frankish law, the Visigothic Code, the formation of Islamic jurisprudence, Carolingian legal reforms, and Anglo-Saxon law before the Norman Conquest. Focal topics allow comparison between different legal systems and the societies they affected, e.g. sources of legal authority (human and divine, oral and written); status and rights of women; slavery and minority groups; vengeance and restitution. Students analyze these topics through case studies, based on primary sources in translation. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Kevin Uhalde,  associate professor of history.

POLS 5040: Civil Liberties—Tuesdays, 3:05 to 5:45 p.m.This course is a problem-based approach to U.S. civil liberties law. (4 credits) – Taught by Fredette.

POLS 5565: International Human Rights—Wednesdays, 3:05 to 5:45 p.m.This course examines human rights as a vehicle for moral and legal change in international politics and considers various ways of thinking about what human rights are and how they work at the international level. With a focus on the United Nations system, the course assesses problems and debates concerning the implementation and enforcement of human rights. It Addresses difficult questions such as: How well do treaties work in promoting human rights? How can human rights be enforced in the absence of higher authority? And what role do non-state actors play? Case studies are examined in a variety of issue-areas, such as: the use of torture, war crimes, indigenous rights, women’s rights, and the right to development. (4 credits) – Taught by Ross.

POLS 5754: Black Political Thought—Mondays, 4:35 to 7:15 p.m.This course surveys various ideological traditions that have inspired the political visions and agendas of Black Americans. Though white supremacy has negatively affected the lives of Black Americans for centuries, the response to racial oppression has been far from monolithic. In challenging white hegemony and racial oppression, Black thinkers have addressed the contradictions inherent in the joint projects of egalitarianism and racial hierarchy. Some of the greatest contributions to American political thought emerged from competing ideological frameworks, such as the debate over accommodation versus full and immediate racial integration, nonviolence versus self-defense, and socialism versus capitalist entrepreneurship, just to name a handful of contests. In envisioning an optimal racial environment, generations of activists have inserted their concerns over other related social arrangements such as sexism, classism and heterosexism, and have consequently pushed Black and non-Black Americans alike to imagine their ideal political conditions. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Kirstine Taylor, assistant professor of political science.

SOC 6030: Seminar in Crime & Deviance—Wednesdays, 5:15 to 7:55 p.m.This course is an advanced survey covering the history and development of theories of crime and deviance. Additional attention is focused on the methodological approaches and data sources used to estimate the distribution of crime and deviance in the United States and how to use and evaluate these different sources. (4 credits) – Taught by Dr. Amanda Cox, assistant professor of instruction in sociology.

How to Apply for the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture

The program is currently accepting applications. Students may complete the program on-campus across two semesters of coursework on the Athens campus or online at their own pace.

  • The priority application deadline to apply for the Athens on-campus program in fall 2022 is March 15. After that, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, as space permits.
  • The next deadline to apply for the eCampus program in spring 2022 is Dec. 1. 

Applicants need to have earned a bachelor’s degree, but no GRE is required.

The M.A. program emphasizes research-driven teaching and learning. All students must carry out graduate-level independent research by completing either a master’s thesis or a master’s research essay, with the option of a capstone research course.

The program also provides professional training in academic presentation and communication through its curricular and extra-curricular components.

The degree is housed within Ohio University’s Center for Law, Justice & Culture, an interdisciplinary teaching and research center focusing on law in relation to the social and political challenges of the 21st century.

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