July 18 - August 11, 2016
Law students earn five (5) ABA-approved credit hours in the following social justice courses:
Intersectionality and Human Rights (2 credits)
The course will examine structural disadvantage and social injustices faced by intersectional subjects. In order to do this, students will study intersectionality theory as it has developed in the United States and trace how well it has “traveled” to Europe across the Atlantic. Students will apply classroom theory to social justice practice by considering specific asylum-based problems faced by constituents of our partner NGOs. Previously, students worked with Les MigraS, a Berlin-based community advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives of lesbian, bisexual women and trans*people across races, religions, and cultures. Students contemplated how transnational lawyering might assist ReachOut Berlin victims of police and state violence, by researching and curating some of the most innovative strategies that communities of color in the U.S. have developed to confront police brutality and racial profiling. A major focal point involves the deployment of national and international norms of “rights” to address particular identity-based inclusions/exclusions.
History, Memory and Law (3 credits)
Using experiential learning, students will consider how lessons from historical traumas can inform contemporary strategies of inclusion and anti-subordination of minorities in Europe, the United States, or other parts of the world today. This course will showcase Berlin as part of the “living classroom” through which we will examine major 20th century world events to see how history and the social construction of remembering map onto a region’s laws, legal culture and understanding of human rights. Students will analyze discrete topics, such as genocide, forced labor, colonialism and immigration, from both German/European and U.S. perspectives and then visit relevant sites in Berlin related to these topics. Class members will contemplate the role that public history and the process of remembering and forgetting historical traumas play in influencing a country’s legal regime and system.
All classes and lectures are conducted in English.
High quality field trips with private guides to some of Berlin’s most historically significant sites are incorporated into the curriculum of the Law & Critical Social Justice program, including the following excursions:
Guided Tour, Germany and Its Colonial Past, Tour of Afrikanisches Viertel (African Quarter) by Association Berlin Postkolonial
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under the National Socialist Regime; Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted under Nazism, Memorial to the Victims of Nazi Euthanasia
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and Guided Tour of Ravensbruck, the only Nazi concentration camp built for women an hour outside of Berlin
Site visit to leading NGOs working on refugee/asylum issues and hate crimes against refugees and members confronting multiple sources of vulnerability.
Students: To facilitate interaction between U.S. and German law students, a number of Humboldt University of Berlin students who are fluent in English participate in classes and extracurricular activities. U.S. students recognize this interaction with HU-Berlin students as a distinguishing and beneficial aspect of the Law & Critical Social Justice program.