This course examines the interconnections between race and law, and particularly the ways in which race and law can be mutually reinforcing. Critical Race Theory (CRT), suggest that racial subordination is not a deviation from a liberal legal ideal, but rather has been central to and complicit in upholding racial hierarchy (as well hierarchies of gender, class, and sexual orientation, among others). The course examines origins of this critique, as well as contrasts between the CRT approach and liberal and conservative analytical frameworks on race and American law and society. It also examines some of the questions and criticisms raised about CRT, from both inside and outside of the genre, as well as the impact of the work on legal and political discourse. Students will explore various approaches to questions about race as well as the role that law plays in constructing racial identities.
Return to Elective Courses