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796.20 - Critical Race Narrative
Professor: Vincene Verdun
Semester: 2011 Summer
Second Writing Requirement? Yes
Professional Responsibility? No
This team-taught course will focus on the relationship between narrative and law by using critical race theory to examine how race in America is a narrative of property and power. By reading a number of essayists and several novelists, we will explore such questions as: Who owns the narrative of slavery? Who can tell whose story? How has the law served as a totalizing presence in the lives of people of color? How do Critical Race Theorists challenge such concepts as "property," "witness," "evidence," "white innocence"? All of the novels that we will read will have as their genesis or focal point issues of law. All of our legal theorists assume that "wherever there is law, there is narrative."
Texts: Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow; Devon W. Carbado and Rachel F. Moran, Race Law Stories; Charles Mills, The Racial Contract; and two novels: Nella Larsen, Passing and Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose.
Essays by Kimberle Crenshaw, Toni Morrison, Derrick Bell, Cheryl Harris, Richard Delgado, Lani Guinier, Cheryl Harris, Noel Ignatiev, George Lipsitz, Ian Lopez, Dorothy Roberts, Patricia Williams, Adrien Wing.
Requirements: Active Class Participation: 40%; Final Seminar Paper: 60%.
Cross-listed English 890/Law 796.20
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