Historical Injustice and Reparation

This three credit course, open to law and graduate students and selected upper level undergraduates, examines developments in the fields of historical injustice and reparation with a focus on the Afro-diasporic experience. It explores the genealogy of reparation as a tool of law and politics and the debates over the concepts and practices in the arenas of law, political theory, ethics and history. The course explores key concepts and themes such as the effect of the passage of time on claims, determining who owes and who is owed, the responsibility of state and non-state actors, collectives, the mechanics of reparation schemes, and the role of state apologies, truth projects, and memory sites. We examine juridical approaches to reparation, the global movement to address the legacy of slavery, gendered practices, land redistribution claims, and design and implementation problems.

Through case studies, we deepen discussion of the foregoing issues and examine the current political movements for redress and reparation. The units here include colonialism and African and Caribbean claim. We compare successful claims in a narrow set of cases with reparations for slavery and explore Japanese American internment and claims of indigenous peoples in the American continent.

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