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Wed, Mar. 29th, 2006, 11:00 am

WOMEN STUDIES 310 - WOMEN AND THE LAW

Spring 2006 - COURSE SYLLABUS



Course Instructor: Patricia Novotny
Office: Padelford B110S
Office Hours: Thursday 11:30-12:30 and By Appointment
Phone Number: 206-525-0711 (PLEASE USE THIS PHONE # OR EMAIL)
e-mail: novotny@u.washington.edu
website: http://faculty.washington.edu/novotny/

Course Description:

This course will examine the interplay between women and the United States legal system with particular attention to: historical antecedents, cultural location, intersection of gender with race, class, and sexuality. Students should complete the course with:
(1) some understanding of how the U.S. legal system orders social and economic relations;
(2) an acquaintance with the principal laws and legal doctrines relevant to women’s lives (e.g., Constitution, Civil Rights Act, rape law, reproductive rights, etc.);
(3) a critical awareness of the law’s historical and current gender partiality;
(4) an appreciation for the intersection between gender, race, economic class and sexual orientation;
(5) an acquaintance with the historical women’s movement and some important feminist theorists; and
(6) an ongoing curiosity about the law and its impact on women’s lives in the United States and internationally.

Required Texts: Bartlett, Gender and Law (Little Brown & Co.), 3d Ed. 2002
(available at Univ. Bookstore)
YOU MUST HAVE THE THIRD EDITION
OTHER ASSIGNMENTS BY EMAIL/WEBSITE

Course Requirements:

• Assigned Reading
• Two Hours of Written Examination
• Two Response Papers (Assigned & Graded by Teaching Assistant)
• One 5-7 Page Paper
• Class Participation

E-Mail Communication: In general, I will provide handouts to you via email or via a website. In the schedule, these assignments will be denoted “web.”

Notes on Course Requirements:

You are responsible for keeping apprised of events as they unfold throughout the quarter. If you miss class, you are responsible for contacting a classmate or me or the TA to ascertain what you may have missed (e.g., announcements, handouts, etc.).

The exams will be distributed and taken in class. They will require essay-type written answers and completion of a multiple choice section, which will have as one goal verification that class assignments are being read. No books or notes may be used.

You will choose a paper topic from a list of topics I provide. You may not write on another topic without submitting a written proposal, which I then approve. The paper must address a legal aspect of the topic, meaning, for example, that you cannot just write about rape as a problem generally. You must analyze the topic as a problem involving women and the law. (And, by analysis, I mean you must do more than describe the problem; you must grapple with it.) Students are encouraged to write precisely and to emphasize clarity as well as substance. You will be graded not only on the research performed and the quality of your analysis, but on the quality of your expression. I strongly urge you to begin this project early and to allow yourself time for revision and editing. Unexcused late papers will be penalized.

Class attendance is strongly recommended. Be warned that it is extremely difficult to do well in this course without attending class.

Readings will be assigned from the casebook, perhaps supplemented by handouts or internet-based materials. All the assigned reading is necessary to an understanding of the topics we will discuss, although we will not be able to discuss everything you read.

Grades: Grades are determined on the prevailing 4.0 scale. Each exam will count for 25% of your grade; the response papers combined will count for 25%; and the paper will count for 25%. For each, you will receive a raw score on a scale of 0-100; the decile grade will be determined at the completion of all class work based on these raw scores.

Add Policy: In the event the class is filled to capacity, the following policy shall apply. Interested students should attend class during the first week, signing in on a form provided. On the last class of the week, we will determine the status of the class size. If necessary and appropriate, I will at that time and in special cases give entry codes for overloading.


Schedule of Events; THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE


WEEK 1 Historical Background: Formal Equality Becker, 2-6; 12-16 (through Basch); 30-42; 44-49; 51-58; 95-97 (Stanton); 117-119; 121-125; 432-437 (Saff) & Hussey (web)
WEEK 2 Formal Equality; Constitutional Equality (EPC); Civil Rights Act (Title VII) 129-134; Romer v. Evans (web); 140-147; 167-174; 181-186; 212-227
April 4 Distribute Paper Topics
April 11 PAPER TOPIC DUE
Response Paper One Assigned identify chosen topic (by email)
WEEK 3 Substantive Equality (Affirmative Action; Pregnancy) 265-284; 236-245; 320-342;
WEEK 4 Substantive Equality (School Athletics Education) 374-382; 410-432; NYT Article: “Benched” (web); 382-409
April 18 Response Paper One Due in Class
WEEK 5 Nonsubordination (Sexual Orientation) 731(E)-757; 771-781
APRIL 27 EXAMINATION IN CLASS
WEEK 6 Nonsubordination (Sexual Harassment; Pornography) 540-568; 579-581; 597-605; 700-724
WEEK 7 Rape 936-949; 955-962; 984-988; Revised Code of Washington; State v. Young (web)
WEEK 8 Reproduction (Abortion; Birth Control) 1031-1079; 1092-1107;
May 2 Response Paper Two Assigned
WEEK 9 Reproduction (Drugs; Technology) 1117-1137; 1138-1158; State v. Dunn (web)
May 9 Response Paper Two Due in Class IN CLASS
WEEK 10 Poverty; Families 1161-1187; 432-463; 464-496; 508-532
May 25 PAPER DUE – TURN IN AT CLASS
June 7 EXAMINATION AT 10:30 AM IN CLASS