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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Lang College
Course Number: LNGC 1510
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
Trials have long been used to determine the “truth.” Throughout history, a few trials have not only captured the interest of their contemporary public but have remained embedded in our collective, historical memory. What is it that makes the stories and lessons from these trials remain of interest long after the actual events have passed? Perhaps their lasting importance comes not from the event itself, but from the fact that the trial provided an important view of the condition of the time in which it took place. The trial is memorable because it captures critical events and debates in important moments of change. In this course we will examine some of these famous trials. We will consider the relevant historical, cultural and political context in which the trial took place. Our goal is to understand the trial itself as well as the larger context that made the trial memorable and important. The trials will be used as a lens to examine major historical transitions. Among the trials we will be studying are: the Trial of Socrates, the Trial of Galileo, the Trial of Anne Hutchinson, the Salem Witchcraft Trials, the Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy Trial, the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, the Trials of the “Scottsboro Boys”, the Nuremberg Trials, and the Chicago 7 Trial. In additional to traditional sources, we will use documents and transcripts as well as contemporary adaptations, including films and plays, to inform our understanding of these interesting historical events.
Open to Undergraduate students.
Open to Freshman students.