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Spring 2022 Seminar

Critical Race Theorists and their Critics

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This seminar examines the role of the law and legal activism in perpetuating and alleviating racial inequality in the United States. Several questions animate our readings and discussions. First, how have laws and legal institutions shaped racial identity? Second, how have ideas about race shaped legal institutions? Third, why does racial inequality persist despite social movement organizing and progressive legal transformations? Our readings excavate the various ways scholars and advocates have grappled with these questions. We will consider tensions and debates among race theorists including the dominant school of race theory in law, Critical Race Theory. We will identify the stakes of these debates and the consequences (intended and unintended) of various legal reform projects designed to issues of race.