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Critical Race Theory and the Law

This class examines the role of law in constructing and upholding racial hierarchy. Central to this consideration is one of the newest intellectual currents within American Legal Theory – Critical Race Theory (emerging during the 1980s). While rejecting the notion of race as a biologically fixed trait, Critical Race Theory focuses instead on race as social construct, maintained, and regulated by and through the law. This seminar explores the origins and theoretical foundations of CRT in legal scholarship and examines its current applications to pressing legal issues and social justice concerns. Students will investigate CRT in relation to race and racism, as well as classism, sexism, and heterosexism. Topics of study may include racial identity, the social construction of race, employment discrimination, immigration, criminal justice, and voting rights. Enrollment limited.