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Bringing History Alive: John Jay Online Opens Registration for First-ever MOOC on the Literature & Law of American Slavery

Watch video on Literature & Law of American Slavery & register for MOOC here

John Jay Online’s first-ever MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Literature & Law of American Slavery, takes an unusual and in-depth look at one of the seminal periods of American history, beginning Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Distinguished Professor of English John Matteson, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his book, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, designed the curriculum and will lead the course instruction.

The “Literature & Law of American Slavery” MOOC is a free eight-week course designed to be an immersive experience, painting a richly faceted picture of the era. Students will discover what it was like to live in the troubled decades leading up to the Civil War from one of the foremost experts on that period. Providing educational value to all those interested in the subject and era, this MOOC will be a particularly effective way for those considering full-time enrollment as students to further invest in their education.

“We are still processing the effects of the slaveholding era today,” said Professor Matteson. While most of us acknowledge and understand our history, we don’t think about, or examine, how the debate over slavery changed American law and influenced literature. With this MOOC, we’re taking American slavery out of the typical textbook context to explore not just how the people who lived through it were affected, but how it still affects us today.”

The course begins on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, and will entail up to five hours per week of video lectures, readings and discussions. Those interested in enrolling in the course can register today at

To read the Justice Matters magazine article on the MOOC, click here.

Read the MOOC press release, here.