Yale Law School Hosts Critical Race Theory Conference

Yale Law School is hosting a conference on the controversial Critical Race Theory and virtually every leading scholar in the field is coming. The conference begins tonight, Thursday, Nov. 13, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 15, at 127 Wall St.

Critical Race Theory asserts that Western society is steeped in persistent racial oppression, which law plays a significant role in creating and maintaining. The first explicit discussion of Critical Race Theory took place in 1987, with the publication of a symposium on “Minority Critiques of the Critical Legal Studies Movement.”

Conference organizers from law schools at Yale, Duke, Boston University, the University of California at Berkeley, Santa Clara University, the University of Miami, and the University of Hawaii will meet with scholars from across North America for three days of lectures and discussions on Critical Race Theory and its future. Newer movements, including Queer Theory and LatCrit Theory, will also be discussed.

Conference speakers include:

* Lani Guinier, Law ‘74, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, whose nomination by President Clinton to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division was withdrawn.

* Derrick Bell, visiting professor at New York University School of Law and author of several books, including “Confronting Authority: Reflections of an Ardent Professor” and “Race, Racism and American Law.”

* Patricia Williams, professor of Law at Columbia University and author of several books, including “The Alchemy of Race and Rights” and “The Rooster’s Egg.”

Three plenary sessions will be held during the conference. The first, on Friday morning at 9 a.m., is titled “Looking Back, Looking Forward.” It will feature Kimberle Crenshaw and Mari Matsuda, with commentary from Catharine MacKinnon and Duncan Kennedy. Gerald Torres will moderate.

The Saturday morning plenary session, beginning at 9 a.m., is titled “CRT and Indigenous Peoples.” Speakers at that session include John Borrows, Patricia Monture, Kekailoa Perry, and Estevan Rael y Galvez. Moderator is Jo Carrillo. On Saturday at 1:30 p.m., the final plenary session, “Critical Coalitions,” will feature conference organizers Harlon Dalton, Frank Valdes and Eric Yamamoto, along with Julie Su.

Panels are scheduled around the plenary sessions. Offerings include “CRT and International Human Rights,” “Race, Suspicion and Criminal Law,” “Breaking Ground: Sexuality Discourses and Critical Race Theory,” “Race, Power and the Reliable Verdict,” “The Future of the Concept of ‘Race,’” and “Crime, Race, Family and Other Dimensions.”

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325