Law, History, and Society
As a human institution self-consciously aware of its past, "The Law" raises a complex set of issues that can be addressed historically. Legislation and jurisprudence, for example, allow historians a privileged perspective into how societies sought to define themselves, their values, and their membership. Constitutions provide maps of political power, and serve as sites of struggle over goods both real and symbolic. Records of legal practice are often well preserved, allowing access to the voices and actions of people who are usually left out of systems of political organization.
This major approaches law from both a historical and an interdisciplinary perspective. Emphasis will be placed on close reading of legal documents, research in legal archives, and analytical writing. Students will be encouraged to develop reading programs and research topics that stretch across national and chronological boundaries, and to think comparatively. Students may not major both in history and in law, history, and society. Students majoring in law, history, and society may apply to receive honors through the History Honors Program.
The major program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in history; no more than 3 credit hours of AP or IB credit may count toward this total. Note: AP and IB credit will not count toward the 15 credit hours for the concentration. No more than 6 credit hours may be from courses outside the Department of History.
updated August, 2020