2015 Fall Syllabus -History 397DV History of DV Law -...

This preview shows page 1 out of 16 pages.

Unformatted text preview: University of Massachusetts at Amherst Department of History History 397DV: History of Domestic Violence Law Fall 2015 Professor: Jennifer L. Nye, J.D. Phone: 413-­‐545-­‐4337 E-­‐mail: [email protected] Office: Herter Hall, Room 609 Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:30am-­‐12:30pm and by appointment Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-­‐11:15am Herter Hall Room 212 Texts: 1. Elizabeth M. Schneider et. al, Domestic Violence and the Law: Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition (2008). [Casebook] 2. Leigh Goodmark, A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System (2012). [A Troubled Marriage] 3. Additional readings are available digitally on Moodle. Recommended Texts: 1. Natalie J. Sokoloff, Ed., Domestic Violence at the Margins: Readings on Race, Class, Gender, and Culture (2013). 2. Kristin Bumiller, In an Abusive State: How Neoliberalism Appropriated the Feminist Movement Against Sexual Violence (2008). Course Description [The legal system] does not blame all battered women for their plight, only those who do not immediately sever their relationships and leave their batterers. Christine Littleton, Law Professor (1989) This course will examine the evolution of the legal treatment of violence in intimate relationships, focusing specifically on the post-­‐war United States and paying particular attention to the rise of the movement against domestic violence in the 1970s and 1980s. Through an analysis of court cases and legislation, we will look at how and why such violence came to be seen as a crime and the criminal and civil legal responses to it. We will explore issues such as: the evolution from a feminist activist domestic violence movement to the professionalization of domestic violence services; civil orders of protection and the shelter movement; women as defendants and Battered Women’s Syndrome; domestic violence in the context of employment and child custody; the Violence Against Women Act; and how domestic violence—and the legal responses to it—might impact victims/survivors differently depending on factors such as, race/ethnicity, income level, immigration status, sexual orientation/gender identity, age, and marital status. 1 Learning Goals 1. 2. To understand the structure of the U.S. legal system and how laws are made; to develop an understanding of legal reasoning; and to evaluate legal arguments. To develop an understanding of domestic violence, including how it is defined/theorized, its prevalence and distribution within the United States, and how it impacts survivors. 3. To be able to articulate how U.S. law has historically treated domestic violence and how this legal treatment has changed over time. 4. To understand how and why feminists and battered women turned to the legal system (i.e. the state) to address domestic violence and to articulate available legal remedies (i.e. civil vs. criminal, federal vs. state, international law). 5. To be able to articulate the arguments for and against various civil and criminal legal remedies for domestic violence. 6. To be able to identify, evaluate, think and write critically about legal issues involving domestic violence that are reported in the popular media. Course Requirements and Grading Policy This class is run as a seminar. Therefore, reading the material before each class is imperative in order for you to be able to understand, interpret and analyze the issues we will discuss. My hope is that you will think critically about the readings and about the issues and questions they raise for you. Ideally, the course will enable you to share these questions and insights with your classmates. The requirements of the course are as follows: Attendance, Class Participation, and Readings (20%): As this course is run as a seminar, class attendance, participation, and completion of the readings is vital to a complete learning experience. It is my hope and expectation that students will reflect on the readings and share their thoughts, ideas, and questions with the class. To facilitate class discussion, you are required to turn in 3 printed out questions, thoughts, or ideas raised for you by the readings at each class. Your completion of this assignment will count toward your participation grade and will be used to confirm class attendance. Bring the book/readings to class! The law is textual and not having the readings with you will seriously compromise your ability to meaningfully engage in class discussions. We will discuss and collectively agree upon “Community Guidelines for Class Discussion,” that will aim to provide and create a framework for a safe and respectful discussion space. 2 Court Watch (25%): A court watch is a way to observe the way a court handles a case involving domestic violence, either a civil Abuse Protection Order (209A order) or a criminal hearing. You will observe a case involving domestic violence and write a short five page paper on your experience, drawing on the course readings. More information will be provided in class about what court to attend and the requirements of the written assignment. Due: Tuesday, November 24th. Reflection Essays (30%): You will write three short (2-­‐3 pages) reflection essays during the course. A reflection essay is a chance to write out some of your thoughts about and reactions to the readings and class discussions. These essays ask you to think critically about what you have been reading and hearing. Has your thinking on any topic been challenged or changed by the readings or class discussion? What are the underlying assumptions and explicit arguments of the readings and do you agree or disagree with these and why? What questions have not been asked? How do the observations and arguments of the reading relate to your personal experiences? These are only suggestions—write about what you have been pondering the most. Don’t regurgitate or summarize the readings—tell me what you think and why. My hope is that you will integrate the material and make it your own. Due: Sept. 22nd, Oct. 15th, and Nov. 17th. Final Paper and Presentation (25%): Each student will conduct a semester-­‐long research project and write a final paper (7-­‐10 pages) on an issue related to domestic violence and the law. Students will select a research topic and hand in a one to three paragraph description of the topic on Tuesday, October 6th and an annotated bibliography on Thursday, November 5th. The final paper is due on the last day of class, Thursday, December 10th. The topic description and bibliography will not be graded, however, students will be graded on completion of these assignments as part of their participation grade. Each student will also give a short presentation about her/his final paper topic. Presentations will be given on Tuesday, December 8th and Thursday, December 10th. More information about the final paper, potential research topics, and presentations will be provided in class. Grade Breakdown Class Participation 20% Attendance, Class Participation, Discussion Questions, Paper Topic & Bibliography Court Watch 25% Reflection Essays (2-­‐3 pgs) (3 essays) 30% Final Paper (20%) and Presentation (5%) 25% Total: 100% 3 General Instructions Regarding Written Assignments The deadlines for written assignments are on the syllabus and you are responsible for knowing them. All written assignments must be handed in on the due date, printed out, page numbered, dated, titled with the assignment name, stapled, and double-­‐spaced with one-­‐inch margins. If you encounter extenuating circumstances in your life during the semester that make class attendance and/or on-­‐time completion of assignments difficult, please see me so that we can make alternative arrangements. In extenuating circumstances, we can negotiate an extended due date. However, you will not receive indefinite time to complete assignments. I will be as flexible and as helpful as possible, but will not tolerate lateness as a general rule. Your written work will be assessed based on its persuasiveness, clarity (including grammar), and development of ideas. I will be looking for the degree to which you have been able to synthesize and incorporate the assigned reading materials (where appropriate), present your argument in a thoughtful and cohesive manner supported by evidence, and articulate your own critical assessment of the topics. Late Assignment Policy If you are unable to turn in an assignment on the due date during class, please do the following: 1. let me know via email ([email protected]) AND 2. turn in your assignment via email as a Word or PDF attachment as soon as you can Assignments received after the due date (without working out an approved extension with me) will be docked 1/3 of a letter grade for each day they are late, including weekends. For example, if an assignment is due on a Thursday, and you don’t turn it in until Monday (4 days late), you will be docked 1 1/3 letter grades, so an A becomes a B-­‐. Extra Credit I strongly believe that learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to further explore the ideas we have discussed in class by attending an outside event and writing a short reaction paper. This event might be a lecture, theater event, art presentation, film, or some other event related to law and social justice. In addition to suggestions made in class, I welcome your ideas for extra credit. However, I must approve all extra credit topics. These extra credit assignments will be worth up to 2 points added to your final grade and will require a 2 page thoughtful reflection paper utilizing the concepts we have discussed in class. You may complete a maximum of 2 extra credit assignments, for a maximum of 4 points added to your final grade. 4 Accommodations for Students with Disabilities UMass Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. If you have a documented disability and need accommodations in this course, please contact Disability Services ( ) as soon as possible to ensure that we can implement any accommodations in a timely manner and in advance of any assignment deadlines. It is my goal and that of the Disability Services to ensure that you have reasonable accommodations that help you succeed in this course by minimizing the impact of your disability on your learning and/or your ability to demonstrate what you have learned in the context of assignments. It is your choice whether to disclose your disability to me; you can also simply ask me to work with Disability Services to provide appropriate accommodations. If we agree on a modified timeline for the completion of assignments or alternative formats, you will still be responsible for completing assignments and attending class per our agreement. Attendance Policy Class attendance is critical to your learning experience. While promptness and preparedness will positively impact your final grade, tardiness and general absence will negatively impact it. You are expected to attend class unless there is a compelling reason for your absence. Multiple absences from class will significantly affect your grade. If you miss more than two class meetings without a medical, athletic, religious, or academic excuse, you will be subject to having points deducted from your participation grade. If you encounter extenuating circumstances in your life during the semester that makes attendance difficult, please make an appointment to speak with me. Please also inform me of any excused absences in advance. Finally, if you miss a class, regardless of the reason, you are fully responsible for the material covered during class. Academic Integrity and Honesty Students are expected to read, be familiar with, and adhere to the requirements in the UMass Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures. This includes familiarity with the definition of academic dishonesty and how to prevent it. The Policy will be strictly enforced in this class. All forms of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism, are prohibited in this class. Academic dishonesty destroys trust and the good-­‐faith work of a course. Students who get stressed about their grades or having enough time to complete an assignment are sometimes tempted to cheat—to download sections of a paper from the Internet, to borrow quotes or ideas from other students or published sources. Don’t. It’s not worth it. Chances are good you will be caught and will fail the assignment or the course. Cite all your sources, all the time. Make sure to give yourself enough time to complete assignments. Ask for help if you’re struggling. Helping someone else cheat is an offense as serious as cheating yourself. Although it is always appropriate to discuss the course material and assignments with each other, inside and outside class, it is not appropriate to write sentences for someone else. 5 Please see the following websites for more information: Academic Honesty Policy & Procedures: and Resources for Preventing Plagiarism: Course Communication & Changes to the Syllabus All students are required to have a UMass email account or the equivalent at another college, which will be used for all correspondence for this course. That and registration for this course will also provide access to Moodle, which we will use for supplementary course materials, e-­‐reserves, and extra credit opportunities. All attempts will be made to follow the course syllabus. However, the information contained in the course syllabus—other than the grade and absence policies—may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor. Notice will be provided prior to the change either in class and/or via email or Moodle. Therefore, students are expected to be familiar with the requirements of and any changes to the course syllabus by coming to class and regularly checking their email. Teaching Approach I believe that students learn best when they have a voice in the content and process of learning. Therefore, I will encourage an active learning environment where we discuss the course material. My aim is not to simply deposit information in your brain "banks." The purpose of this course is not to learn a set of “right” answers, but to help you develop skills to think critically about how the law has, has not, or should provide justice for victim./survivors of domestic violence. You are encouraged to have opinions, to think, to change your mind, to agree or disagree with the readings, the instructor and your classmates. This teaching style requires a collective responsibility for our learning. Therefore, being prepared for class and willing to participate in discussions is essential to facilitate our learning community. This also means that we will treat each other with mutual respect and that we respectfully disagree with each other. Finally, one of my goals as a teacher is to attend to a variety of learning styles. Therefore, we may utilize limited lectures, small and large group discussions, videos, experiential activities, and other forms of learning. Please do not hesitate to speak with me if you have difficulties with particular forms of learning. Again, if you have a documented learning disability, please let me know how I can best accommodate your needs (see above). 6 Course Schedule Note: Where readings in the casebook are noted, please read all the pages listed, including articles, cases, notes and questions. I. Introduction: What is Domestic Violence? Sept. 8 (Tu) Course Overview and Introductions What is domestic violence/intimate partner violence? Why kinds of relationships does domestic violence take place in? Why does she stay? What are barriers to leaving? Is separation the answer? Moodle/Class Handouts: Current domestic violence statistics Sept. 10 (Th) History of Legal Treatment of Domestic Violence and Overview of the Legal System A Troubled Marriage, pgs. 1-­‐28 and 96-­‐101, Intro, Ch. 1, Developing a Legal Response and Ch. 4, The Women who Stay Casebook, Ch. 1., pgs. 4-­‐23, Domestic Violence in Historical & Social Context • Experiences with Domestic Violence • Pervasiveness of Domestic Violence • Domestic Violence: Historical Perspective o Bradley v. State, 1 Miss. 156 (1824) o Reva B. Siegal, “The Rule of Love: Wife Beating as Prerogative and Privacy,” 105 Yale L.J. 2117 (1996). • History of the Current Domestic Violence Movement o Susan Schechter, Women & Male Violence: The Visions & Struggles of the Battered Women’s Movement (1982). o Elizabeth Schneider, Battered Women & Feminist Lawmaking (2000). Moodle: • The White House, “Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act” • National Network to End Domestic Violence, “The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Safely and Effectively Meeting the Needs of More Victims” • Gender & Sexuality Law Blog, “VAWA is not Enough: Academics Speak Out about VAWA” (February 28, 2012). • Film: Power & Control: Domestic Violence in America • Video: “The Advocates,” from website Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America 7 Sept 15 (Tu) Sept. 17 (Th) Defining Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Abuse A Troubled Marriage, pgs. 29-­‐53, Ch. 2, Defining Domestic Violence Casebook, Ch. 2, pgs. 38-­‐71, The Dynamics of Abusive Relationships • Women’s Experiences of Abusive Relationships o Angela Brown, When Battered Women Kill (1987) o Karla Fischer, et al, “The Culture of Battering & the Role of Mediation in Domestic Violence Cases” (1993). o Lenore Walker, Terrifying Love: Why Battered Women Kill & How Society Responds (1989). o Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Deluth, MN: Power and Control & Equality Wheels o Sarah Buel, “50 Obstacles to Leaving, a.k.a., Why Abuse Victims Stay” (1999). o Edward Gondolf with Ellen Fisher, Battered Women as Survivors: An Alternative to Treating Learned Helplessness (1988). Moodle: • Power and Control Wheel • Equality Wheel • Video: Leslie Morgan Steiner, “Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave,” TEDx Talk (Nov. 2012). • Video from website Power & Control: Domestic Violence in America o Domestic Violence Survivors o The Academics: Causes & Prevention of Domestic Violence Recommended: • Casebook, pgs. 72-­‐84, Men’s Experiences as Abusers Domestic Violence in Marginalized Communities A Troubled Marriage, pgs. 54-­‐79, Ch. 3, Deconstructing the Victim Casebook, Ch. 3, pgs. 85-­‐120, Dimensions of the Battering Relationship • Battering in Same Sex Relationships o David Island & Patrick Letellier, Men who Beat the Men who Love Them (1991). o State v. Linner, 665 N.E. 2d 1180 (1996). • Domestic Violence & Racism o Beth Richie, Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Black Women (1996). 8 Sept. 22 (Tu) o Karin Wang, “Battered Asian Women: Community Responses from the Battered Women’s Movement & the Asian American Community” (1996). o Michelle Fine et. Al, “Puerto Rican Battered Women Redefining Gender Culture, Violence & Resistance,” in Domestic Violence at the Margins (2005). o Michelle Decasas, “Protecting Hispanic Women: The Inadequacy of Domestic Violence Policy” (2003). o Minnesota v. Vue, 606 N.W.2d 719 (2000). o Kimberle Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics & Violence Against Women” (1991). Domestic Violence in Marginalized Communities Due: Reflection Essay #1 Casebook, Ch. 3, pgs. 127-­‐132 and 136-­‐151, Dimensions of the Battering Relationship • Teen Dating Violence o Cheryl Hanna, “Sex Before Violence: Girls, Dating, Violence & (Perceived) Sexual Autonomy” (2006) o Cynthia Rodriguez, “Cynthia’s Story” (2003) • Women with Disabilities o Karen Nutter, “Domestic Violence in the Lives of Women with Disabilities: No (Accessible) Shelter from the Storm” (2004) • Battered Women & Poverty o Shelby Moore, “How Welfare Reform may Keep Battered Women from Leaving Abusive Relationships,” (2003) o Bouley v. Young-­‐Sabourin, 394 F....
View Full Document

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture