300-Level Transfer Seminars

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Transfer Seminars are special sections of the 300-level Justice Core courses that all transfer students are required to take. They are taught by experienced faculty who are experts in their fields and will be able to connect you to academic and professional resources. Each seminar is assigned a peer success coach, who provides ongoing support and serves as a connection to the campus. For the Fall 2024 semester students should select ONE course from the following subject areas:

  • History (HIS)
  • Humanities and Justice (HJS)
  • Landmark US Supreme Court Cases (HUM 300)
  • English Literature (LIT)
  • Latinx Studies (LLS)
  • Philosophy (PHI)


History

Prisons, People, and Punishment in the United States

  • HIS 320-04, T 4:30 PM−5:45 PM
  • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
  • Registration Code 36612
  • Professor Anissa Helie-Lucas

This course examines the ways in which Americans have defined crime, explained its causes, and punished and rehabilitated criminals. It also explores the relationships among crime, social values, and social structure and questions of (in)justice from the late 18th century to the present. Areas of emphasis include the evolution of prison: theories, policies and reforms; the politics of incarceration: who is jailed, how, and why; the prison economy and privatization; and re-entry options: The Prison-to-College-Pipeline at John Jay College.

The History of Crime and Punishment in the United States

  • HIS 320-02, M/W 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 36607
  • Professor Jonathan Epstein

This course will examine the history of crime and punishment in the United States by focusing on infamous crimes throughout the history of the republic, and the relationships among crime, social values, and social structure. Among the crimes are the Salem Witch Trials, the Donner Party, the “Black Sox Scandal,” the “Leopold and Loeb Case,” the “My Lai Massacre,” and Jeffrey Dahmer. Please note that this is a history course, not a current events course. 


Humanities and Justice

Comparative Perspectives on Justice

  • HJS 310-04, T 3:05 PM−4:20 PM
  • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
  • Registration Code 34957
  • Professor Hyunhee Park

Justice has been an important issue to people since ancient times, yet its concepts and practices have differed in various cultures. This course studies justice in the non-Western world as it is variously represented in historical, literary and philosophical texts. The course builds analytical skills and extends its coverage across geographical boundaries to the Mideast, Asia, Africa and the Americas. By studying how social, political, and religious institutions shape understandings of justice and injustice, and how these concepts define race, gender, ethnicity and class, the course focuses on articulations and practices of justice that are different from the Western constructs. Through comparative investigations of encounters between societies resulting from conquest, trade and social exchange, the course explores justice as culturally inflected, the product at once of a particular regional or national identity and history, and of intercultural contact.


Landmark Us Supreme Court Cases

Black Experience from Plessy v Ferguson to Brown v Board of Education

  • HUM 300-01, T/TH 10:50 AM – 12:05 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 35308
  • Professor Gail Garfield

This course foregrounds the Black struggle for justice by closely analyzing the landmark cases Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which found that racial segregation did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which found that it did. They will examine the legal logic of these decision and the political, social, and cultural contexts in which they emerged. To contextualize the importance of the role law in society, students will retrace the ways in which African Americans struggled within and against social practices denying their human worth, while also creating cultural spaces that allowed for resistance and independence. In addition to the court cases of Plessy and Brown, readings and other source materials will include the critical theoretical and pragmatic debates occurring among African Americans as they figure out how to move forward in “up-lifting” the race during the era of Jim Crow segregation as well as artistic works developed within Black communities during this period of segregation. Students will critically analyze the sociopolitical and cultural contexts of what it means to be “separate but equal” by contextualizing the African American experience through texts, films, and music: the pain, anger, and pleasure as spoken through their poetry and fiction; their determination as expressed in popular and documentary films of the period; and their creativity as articulated through gospel, blues, and jazz music—all of which reveal their protests against and yearnings beyond the era of Jim Crow segregation. 

Stop, Question, Frisk & the Law: Terry v. Ohio in Cultural and Historical Perspectives

  • HUM 300-03, M 9:25 AM – 10:40 AM
  • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
  • Registration Code 36325
  • Professor Nora Cronin

This course explores through historical and cultural perspectives the landmark Supreme Court case Terry V. Ohio, which confirmed that it is not unconstitutional for police to "stop and frisk" a person they reasonably suspect to be involved in a crime. The class will pay particular attention to the decision’s shifting consequences for America’s criminal justice system across six decades. The course will culminate in a close examination of the competing statistical claims made in recent challenges to the NYPD’s use of stop-question-frisk in New York City. Along the way, students will refine their legal research and workplace writing skills. This class prepares students, as future criminal justice professionals, to analyze and contextualize struggles for justice through legal studies and the humanities.

“Yellow Peril” and Yellow Exclusion: Korematsu v. United States

  • HUM 300-04, M 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
  • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
  • Registration Code 36324
  • Professor Toy Fung Tung

Starting with the landmark Supreme Court case, Korematsu v. United States (1944), this course will explore the long history of legalized racism against those of Asian ancestry, starting in the 19th Century and culminating in Executive Order 9066 (1942), allowing U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry to be put in internment camps, which was upheld by Korematsu. We will explore the history, significance, and aftermath of the Korematsu decision from legal, social, and cultural perspectives. We will study the Korematsu case itself and learn about how the Supreme Court functions to “make law.” We will examine the human cost of the Korematsu decision by investigating archives relating to the camps, including diaries, pictures, maps, interviews and stories. We will look at films and other sources documenting racist attitudes of the time, such as movies about Dr. Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan.


English Literature

Crime and Punishment in New York City: What’s Lit Got to Do with It?

  • LIT 326-04, T/TH 9:25 AM – 10:40 AM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 35568
  • Professor Elizabeth Yukins

Crime and Punishment in New York City: What’s Lit Got to Do with It?

  • LIT 326-05, T/TH 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 35569
  • Professor Elizabeth Yukins

Why has so much literature been produced about the people and neighborhoods of NYC? In this course, we will examine what our city offers in terms of diverse cultures, complex histories, pervasive social myths, and under-examined economic realities. With a focus on crime and punishment, we will specifically examine how authors use New York City as a setting to explore tensions between individual aspirations, family traditions, and community rules. Amidst these powerful forces, how and why does crime occur? In addition, who gets to define what’s a crime and what is not? In the literature we will read, authors use stories to raise questions about who in American society has been able to access education, to shape community standards, to pass laws, and to judge purported criminals. Over the course of the semester, we will analyze how histories of crime and punishment link with social anxieties about class, race, gender, and sexual identities, and we will debate philosophical questions about our city’s system of laws, rewards, and punishments. Possible texts we will read include Bartleby the Scrivener, Through the Eyes of Rebel Women: The Young Lords, and The Watchmen. 


Latinx Studies

Latinx Struggles for Civil Rights and Social Justice

  • LLS 322-03, M/W 10:50 AM−12:05 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 34388
  • Professor Brian Montes

This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the experiences of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latinx during the Civil Rights period. It focuses on the Latinx social movements during the 1960’s and their consequences today for the struggles for civil rights and social justice of Latinx and other racial minorities in the United States. Topics include access to education and employment; immigrant right; detention and deportation; race and crime; Latinx and African American alliance building; Latinx citizenship and the military and gender values and sexuality. 

The Latinx Experience of Criminal Justice

  • LLS 325-02, T/TH 12:15 PM−1:30 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 35084
  • Professor Jose Morin

This course analyzes the criminal justice system and its impact on the lives and communities of Latino/as and other groups in the United States. Particular emphasis is placed on Latino/as human and civil rights and the role that race, ethnicity, gender and class play in the criminal justice system. Interdisciplinary readings and class discussions center on issues such as the overrepresentation of Latino/as and racial minorities in the criminal justice system; law and police-community relations; racial profiling; stop and frisk policies; immigration status; detentions and deportations; Latino/a youth; media representations; gangs; and access to education and employment and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Immigrant Rights in the Americas

  • LLS 341-02, TH 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM
  • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
  • Registration Code 35000
  • Professor Amada Santiago

This course explores the reception of foreigners in different nations, including immigrants in the Americas, as globalization has increased the fear of foreigners, leading to debates on immigrant rights in all parts of the world, and raising the question of who gets to belong to a given society. Students will assess the factors that lead Latin Americans to leave their homelands and examine the ways that immigrants' national origins, race, class, and gender shape and differentiate their experiences in US society. This course focuses on the changing relationship between legal status and access to rights in the United States and aims to provide students with the conceptual and empirical arguments necessary to assess and debate the issue of immigrant rights in the Americas today.


Philosophy

Philosophy of Law in Global Perspective

  • PHI 317-02, T/TH 12:15 PM−1:30 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 35530
  • Professor Justine Borer

This course introduces students to classical western philosophy of law by means of two major critical reactions to traditional and especially Anglo-American legal theory: Jeremy Bentham's castigation of English common (or case) law as a form of primitive law in the 19th century and Brian Tamanaha's criticism of H.L.A. Hart's legal positivism from the vantage of the collision of transplanted US law with traditional law in Micronesia (Yap) in the 21st century. Students will read primary texts in the philosophical traditions that form the main objects of discussion for Bentham, Hart, and Tamanaha: classical common law theory, natural law, Legal Formalism and Legal Realism of the US, and the work of Hart's critics Lon Fuller and Ronald Dworkin. At the conclusion of the course, students will be familiar with western philosophies of law and major critical responses to them from a global perspective. They will understand the role and importance of judge-made law for Anglo-American philosophies of law and for global critiques of western philosophy of law and be able to construct arguments based on primary texts in the philosophy of law.

 

Philosophy of Law in Global Perspective

  • PHI 317-05, M/W 10:50 AM – 12:05 PM
  • Instruction Mode: In Person
  • Registration Code 35525
  • Professor Jacob Browning

This course introduces students to classical western philosophy of law by means of two major critical reactions to traditional and especially Anglo-American legal theory: Jeremy Bentham's castigation of English common (or case) law as a form of primitive law in the 19th century and Brian Tamanaha's criticism of H.L.A. Hart's legal positivism from the vantage of the collision of transplanted US law with traditional law in Micronesia (Yap) in the 21st century. Students will read primary texts in the philosophical traditions that form the main objects of discussion for Bentham, Hart, and Tamanaha: classical common law theory, natural law, Legal Formalism and Legal Realism of the US, and the work of Hart's critics Lon Fuller and Ronald Dworkin. At the conclusion of the course, students will be familiar with western philosophies of law and major critical responses to them from a global perspective. They will understand the role and importance of judge-made law for Anglo-American philosophies of law and for global critiques of western philosophy of law and be able to construct arguments based on primary texts in the philosophy of law.


Contact

jjtransfer@jjay.cuny.edu