History 15H: Trials of the Century

Smittcamp Family Honors College, CSU Fresno, Fall 2004

Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30-10:45 a.m. & 11-12:15 p.m.

Professor Jill Fields, Department of History -- Social Sciences 216; 559-278-5414



        “Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved,

 sooner or later, into a judicial question”

                                                --Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

Course Description:

Celebrated legal battles become so for a reason: they establish or overturn critical legal precedents, their verdicts affect an important arena of public or private life, or trial participants are well-known. Such trials provide windows through which to consider the larger political, social and cultural context in which they take place. The cases examined closely by the class through required texts, discussions, lectures, films and student presentations address a range of issues, including race and gender discrimination, civil disobedience, the separation of church and state, obscenity and censorship, treason, war crimes, sexual assault, reproductive rights, the nature of citizenship, corporate liability, and capital punishment. By analyzing trials that raise these issues we can consider changes and continuities over the last century in how our justice system finds legal remedies for conflicts, crimes, and inequities.

Schedule           Requirements         Announcements



Library Research Workshop 9/14: Meet in Electronic Classroom 2204 in Henry Madden Library, 2nd Floor