Taboo Trades & Forbidden Exchanges

This class examines exchanges and transactions that are traditionally taboo, and sometimes illegal. Importantly, what constitutes a taboo trade is culturally dependent, changing over time and across cultures. For example, typical taboo trades in modern western societies include organs, blood, babies, sexual relations, votes for money, and a wide range of other issues. In other cultures and other times, however, humans were sold as a matter of course, whereas land was considered inalienable.

Students will discuss reading selections from law, economics, anthropology, psychology, and sociology. During most class meetings, we will host speakers (generally visiting faculty from other law schools) who will discuss current projects related to taboo trades.

Course Number: 
Course Credits: 
Course Types: 
Course Learning Outcomes: 
(a) Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law


*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.