Skip to content

254A Law and Rural Livelihoods (3)

Seminar - 3 hours. This seminar considers rural manifestations of various legal, social and economic issues.   We will survey various subfields of legal study, e.g., criminal justice, poverty, environment and land use, local government, family, constitutional, agricultural, access to justice, as they relate to the rural-urban continuum.  We will debate rurality as an aspect of identity and consider its intersections with race, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability and other identity variables. 
Our multi-disciplinary approach will feature scholarly literature in law, rural sociology, geography, and other fields.  Readings will also include reports from reputable media sources, and we will view and discuss excerpts from movie and television programs depicting rural people and places.  We will consider various aspects of rural-urban difference, along with the challenges of getting law-makers and policy-makers to attend to these differences.  All of these tools will be used to debate current events that have particular implications for rural people and places, e.g., femicide of Native American women, deaths of despair, abortion regulation, work requirements for public benefits, and agricultural trade policy.        

Please note: students who have already taken the White Working Class and the Law Seminar are not eligible to take this course.
Final Assessment:  Students have the option to write a paper that satisfies the Advanced Writing Requirement or a series of blog posts for the Legal Ruralism Blog.  Students are also expected to co-lead class discussion once or twice during the semester, and students are assessed based on class participation, including attendance.  
Graduation Requirements: May meet Advanced Writing Requirement with the instructor's permission.
Classroom Policies: This course has a no-laptop policy.
Grading Mode:  Letter grading.