Topics in Jurisprudence: LatCrit and Critical Race Theories in Action
Are you interested in learning more about new forms of jurisprudence such as LatCrit (a term that covers a broad range of scholarship focused on anti-subordination values, doctrines and practices produced mostly in law schools by a highly diverse group of legal scholars), Critical Race Theory, Feminism and/or Border Studies? In writing for publication? In a cross-disciplinary, cyber-spaced experiment? In service learning projects (which means, in this instance, that you learn by partnering with public school and undergraduate teachers and students in developing race-conscious and critical curricular projects)?
If any or all of these opportunities interest you, you may want to consider this seminar. As the instructor, I will be creating linkages between students here at the law school and professors in other academic units or law schools who have students interested in working on critical theory and praxis. The students will work individually and collectively in the research, writing and service learning aspects of the course. Students will be evaluated on the following: 1) preparing an analysis and literature review on one of the topics listed below; 2) producing a curricular project developing ideas and multimodal materials (Web-based, DVDs, etc.) on how students and teachers can use this scholarship; and 3) working with a team of students on a service project that creates a partnership with students and teachers to discuss, demonstrate and experiment with this scholarship.
Using my published and unpublished scholarship (described below), we will work on creating and publishing a critical theory book targeted at high school and undergraduate students. Together we will learn how to design, edit, publish, and market a book on critical theory. Proceeds from this publication will be used to fund other social justice ventures.
My scholarship covers the following topics, among others:
•LatCrit: Counter-hegemonic structures of knowledge production and cultural capital,
•LatCrit theory as a tool for resisting coercive cultural and ideological assimilation
•Affirmative action and equal protection in education,
•Educational segregation and pipeline programs,
•Bush v. Gore and the role of the courts in a democracy,
•The expression of protected identities (racial, ethnic, gendered, sexual, religious, etc) via un/masking, passing, covering and other forms of “performance,”
•Narrative intelligence: The voice of color and silence in legal writing, including judicial opinions,
•Color-on-color conflict and color-with-color coalitions and coexistence: reading New Mexico’s stories and listening to her peoples,
•Cultural literacy/competence and the delivery of legal/medical services,
•The protection of “outsider” art forms in the face of religious or political repression,
•Wills and other intergenerational devices for preserving culturally valuable family and community wealth,
•The use of identity-conscious popular culture, such as movies, advertising, poetry, to communicate about law and public policy, and
•De-constructing the dynamics of the law school classroom using critical race pedagogy.
The objectives of this class are:
1) to create a collaborative learning environment where students can engage race-based jurisprudence and critical theory to produce sophisticated written legal analyses,
2) develop materials about race, law and public policy of interest to high school and undergraduate students, and
3) work with professionals in other disciplines to use race-based scholarship to address the pressing issue of low educational outcomes for students of color.
The over-arching goal of service learning projects like this one is to transform legal education, however gradually, by moving, lowering and perforating the boundaries of the law school classroom, finding new audiences for progressive legal scholarship, using student talent and labor to address educational inequalities, and training law students for leadership in social change by honing their analytical, team-building, and communication skills.