Splash! Chicago

Splash Biography

PAUL JOHNSON, Radical Norwegian lawyer and non-Twitter user

Major: Law

College/Employer: University of Chicago

Year of Graduation: 2006

Picture of Paul Johnson

Brief Biographical Sketch:

A graduate of the University Booth School of Business and the Law School, I currently practice law, teach debate, teach creative writing, juggle and enjoying ridiculing politicians. A fierce critic of anything which makes no sense, I hope to discover sense over the course of our five weeks together. And if not sense, hopefully humor and wonderful energy.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H1432: A History of Slavery: How the NCAA Enslaves Student Athletes in Splash Spring 15 (May. 02, 2015)
Students will learn the process by which the National Collegiate Athletic Association marshals its myriad resources to the detriment of athletes, para-athletes, students, student-athletes and everyone else.

C1345: Jury Nullification in Splash Fall 2014 (Oct. 04, 2014)
Follow your heart or follow the law: what's the right decision? If you believe a person is guilty but harbor anger towards the legal system, the police department, the prosecutor's arrogance, the country's terrible record of defending the downtrodden should you vote "not guilty"? These questions including discussion of the verdict in the Travon Martin shooting; the events occurring in Ferguson, MO; and the OJ Simpson trial will all factor into our examination of why juries do what they do and whether they should have ever done what they did in the first place.

E1298: Herodotus: Father of History or Father of Fabrication in Droplet Spring 2014 (May. 03, 2014)
Who is Herodotus? What's his education? Where did he get the money to travel? What language did he speak, write, hear? Why would kings talk to him? Did they talk to him? Is he a reporter, a chronicler or simply a con man? What makes his Histories so compelling? Why should we care?

C1211: Criminal Juries Gone Wild? in Splash! Fall 2013 (Oct. 05, 2013)
What is the future of the criminal jury? In the aftermath of the George Zimmerman and Casey Anthony trials, Americans are shaking their heads; and some are nodding. In this class, we’ll be covering the history of juries in America. Are trials more dramatic than actual case law? Who decides the make-up of “the jury”? Are these jurors our peers or their peers? These and other burning questions are only a few of the topics we’ll be covering as “critics” and “supporters” of the jury process.

C969: The Federal Reserve: The Institution that Runs (or Ruins) Our Lives in Splash! Fall 2012 (Oct. 06, 2012)
Learn about the inner workings of the Federal Reserve. What is it? Who's on it? How did they get there? Who appointed them? What are their superpowers once there? Why should I care?

A924: Social Media: The Beginning of the End or Only the Beginning? in Cascade! Winter 2012 (Jan. 24, 2012)
What is social media? Who uses it? How do we use it? Why do we use it? Who cares that we use it? Who controls it? Who profits from it? These are just a few of the many questions we'll ask and answer in Social Media: The Beginning... We'll examine the comparison between Social (New) Media and traditional media and how quickly news travels. We'll probe Facebook and the sort of "branding and promoting power" we engage in for others to see and share. How does this sharing and promoting power influence our behavior? We'll also ask the question, Who are we producing social media for? Who consumes what we produce? Is posting and picture sharing for those that matter or don't really mind? Students will also have the opportunity to debate the pros and cons of social media through a series of mini-debates over the five-week course.