Global Legal History
This course considers European legal regimes as they moved around the globe. It examines those regimes’ interactions with one another and with non-European legal cultures from roughly 1500 to the twentieth century. Themes include: empire formation; conflicting ideas of property; interaction of settler and indigenous peoples; the law of nations and the law of war; and piracy and the law of the sea. Readings may include works by early modern legal thinkers such as Vitoria, Grotius, and Vattel. We will also discuss modern scholarship: e.g. Stuart Banner, Possessing the Pacific; Lauren Benton, A Search for Sovereignty; and Lisa Ford, Settler Sovereignty. We will also read some shorter works concerned with legal history methods. The course will have multiple short writing assignments and a take-home exam. Undergraduates may take this course only by instructor permission.