Anthropology of Law Course & Readings

Al Patenaude (patenaud@SFU.CA)
Thu, 26 Jan 1995 01:43:42 -0800

Hi gang. I'm currently seeking ideas and suggested readings for an
anthropology of law course that I proposing to my department as a selected
topics course. Before I continue, I should state I'm a Ph.D candidate in
criminology but have a B.A.(hons) degree in legal anthropology and that
the course would be targeted at senior criminology undergraduates whose
exposure to anthropology is likely to be non-existent but may have some
understanding of minorities and the criminal justice system from having
taken two sociology-oriented course dealing with minorities and the
criminal justice system. We operate on the trimester system and offer
seniors a single 3-hour lecture/seminar coupled with at least 2 office
hours per course during the 13-week semester. greatly appreciated. I'm
leaning towards the following:

Weeks 1-3: - general introduction to anthropology as a discipline and
general concepts employed within it.

Weeks 4-6: - introduction to legal anthropology and the ideas of
Falk-Moore (law as process), Hoebel (use of legal
postulates/correlates), and Pospisil (elements of
law and legal culture)

Week 7: - exaination of a specific culture group, its laws and legal

Weeks 8 & 9: - presentation of student research proposals and any
preliminary findings.

Weeks 10-11: - examination of 2 additional culture groups and their
respective laws and legal structures

Week 12: - Contact and conflicts between legal systems/cultures

Week 13: - Course summary

Suggested course texts would include: Sally Falk-Moore's (1978) _Law as
Process_ and Leopold Pospisil's (1978) _The Anthropology of Law_ (Second

Any suggestions for improving this syllabus and any readings or texts
would be greatly appreciated.

Al Patenaude
School of Criminology
Simon Fraser University