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Annie Hill


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of California, Berkeley

Assistant Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing
Annie Hill

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Courses


RHE 330E • Rhetoric And The Law

43485 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM FAC 7

The image of Justice, represented as a blindfolded woman holding a scale and double-edged sword, is ubiquitous. How does this figure function rhetorically and what relation does it have to the actual creation and practice of law? We often hear about law doing justice, but how is justice done, seen, and understood? And what happens when we view law as neither blind nor balanced, especially in relation to social differences, such as gender, race, class, ability, and nationality? To address these questions, the course specifically examines the historical and enduring relationship between women, as gendered subjects (and objects), and law, as a man-made system. Drawing on court cases, social movements, awareness campaigns, film, and legal theory and history, we will analyze the multiple connections linking representations of justice, claims of democracy, and ongoing tensions within the law. In other words, throughout the semester, we will study legal rhetoric and practice as well as gender, race, class, ability, and nationality, in constituting the law and subjects before the law.

The course is also designed to enhance your reading and writing skills. Reading might appear to be a straightforward activity requiring no special training, but the analytical reading expected in academic contexts is a skill that must be learned and cultivated. Likewise, writing analytically is an advanced skill that requires instruction and exercise. These scholarly activities – close reading and analytical writing – are interconnected: to write well, students must be able to analyze the substance and structure of other people’s arguments. This course will develop and test skills in these two vital academic areas.

This course will expand students’ knowledge of law, rhetoric, and American history by:

  • Providing multiple theoretical approaches for thinking about the law
  • Probing the social foundations and effects of legal decision-making
  • Analyzing the nature, form, and content of American jurisprudence
  • Enhancing students’ understanding of diversity, differential treatment of social groups, and the response to subsequent social inequities by these groups
  • Exploring diversity through the multi-layered operation of power, prestige, and privilege
  • Developing students’ critical thinking, close reading, and analytical writing skills

Assignments and Grading

  • Two researched, peer reviewed, and substantially revised papers (60%)

  • Short writing assignments (20%)
  • Participation (15%)
  • Attendance (policy detailed at the beginning of the semester) (5%)

 

Required Texts and Course Readings 

The course reader will include:

  • Selections from Martha Chamallas,Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory; Lawrence Friedman, Crime and Punishment in American History; Margot Canaday, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America;Amy Brandzel, Against Citizenship; and Isaac West, Transforming Citizenships: Transgender Articulations of the Law
  • Articles/Chapters such as Austin Sarat and Thomas Kearns, “Introduction: Rhetoric of Law”; Marouf Hasian Jr. and Geoffrey Klinger, “Sarah Roberts and the Early History of the ‘Separate but Equal’ Doctrine: A Study in Rhetoric, Law, and Social Change”; James Boyd White, “Law as Rhetoric, Rhetoric as Law: The Arts of Cultural and Communal Life”; Gerald Wetlaufer, “Rhetoric and its Denial in Legal Discourse”; Robert Cover, “Violence and the Word”; Sharmila Rudrappa, “Madness, Diasporic Difference, and State Violence: Explaining Filicide in American Courts”; and Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics”  

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And The Law

43803 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM FAC 7

The image of Justice, represented as a blindfolded woman holding a scale and double-edged sword, is ubiquitous. How does this figure function rhetorically and what relation does it have to the actual creation and practice of law? We often hear about law doing justice, but how is justice done, seen, and understood? And what happens when we view law as neither blind nor balanced, especially in relation to social differences, such as gender, race, class, ability, and nationality? To address these questions, the course specifically examines the historical and enduring relationship between women, as gendered subjects (and objects), and law, as a man-made system. Drawing on court cases, social movements, awareness campaigns, film, and legal theory and history, we will analyze the multiple connections linking representations of justice, claims of democracy, and ongoing tensions within the law. In other words, throughout the semester, we will study legal rhetoric and practice as well as gender, race, class, ability, and nationality, in constituting the law and subjects before the law.

The course is also designed to enhance your reading and writing skills. Reading might appear to be a straightforward activity requiring no special training, but the analytical reading expected in academic contexts is a skill that must be learned and cultivated. Likewise, writing analytically is an advanced skill that requires instruction and exercise. These scholarly activities – close reading and analytical writing – are interconnected: to write well, students must be able to analyze the substance and structure of other people’s arguments. This course will develop and test skills in these two vital academic areas.

This course will expand students’ knowledge of law, rhetoric, and American history by:

  • Providing multiple theoretical approaches for thinking about the law
  • Probing the social foundations and effects of legal decision-making
  • Analyzing the nature, form, and content of American jurisprudence
  • Enhancing students’ understanding of diversity, differential treatment of social groups, and the response to subsequent social inequities by these groups
  • Exploring diversity through the multi-layered operation of power, prestige, and privilege
  • Developing students’ critical thinking, close reading, and analytical writing skills

Assignments and Grading

  • Two researched, peer reviewed, and substantially revised papers (60%)

  • Short writing assignments (20%)
  • Participation (15%)
  • Attendance (policy detailed at the beginning of the semester) (5%)

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

The course reader will include:

  • Selections from Martha Chamallas,Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory; Lawrence Friedman, Crime and Punishment in American History; Margot Canaday, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America;Amy Brandzel, Against Citizenship; and Isaac West, Transforming Citizenships: Transgender Articulations of the Law
  • Articles/Chapters such as Austin Sarat and Thomas Kearns, “Introduction: Rhetoric of Law”; Marouf Hasian Jr. and Geoffrey Klinger, “Sarah Roberts and the Early History of the ‘Separate but Equal’ Doctrine: A Study in Rhetoric, Law, and Social Change”; James Boyd White, “Law as Rhetoric, Rhetoric as Law: The Arts of Cultural and Communal Life”; Gerald Wetlaufer, “Rhetoric and its Denial in Legal Discourse”; Robert Cover, “Violence and the Word”; Sharmila Rudrappa, “Madness, Diasporic Difference, and State Violence: Explaining Filicide in American Courts”; and Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics”  

Curriculum Vitae


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