Jacques-Louis David, Death of Socrates, 1787. (Image courtesy of WebMuseum
A final paper guide is available for this course. A bibliography of readings
is also included.
This seminar examines a number of famous trials in European and American history. It considers the salient issues (political, social, cultural) of several trials, the ways in which each trial was constructed and covered in public discussions at the time, the ways in which legal reasoning and storytelling interacted in each trial and in the later retellings of the trial, and the ways in which trials serve as both spectacle and a forum for moral and political reasoning. Students have an opportunity to study one trial in depth and present their findings to the class.
*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.