Law Course Catalog

7380. Critical Race Theory

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

This course examines the role of law in constructing and upholding racial hierarchy, as well as hierarchies based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, and class, to name a few. While rejecting the notion of race as a biologically fixed trait, Critical Race Theory (CRT) focuses instead on race as social construct, maintained and regulated by and through 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. The course will compare CRT with liberal and conservative frameworks for approaching issues of race and racism in American legal doctrine. During the course, we will cover a diverse range of topics including mass incarceration, environmental justice, freedom of expression and campus speech, international human rights, national security, homophobia, sexism, immigration, and affirmative action.