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286.6 sec. 1 - Race, Sexuality, and the Law (Fall 2012)

Instructor: Russell Robinson  (view instructor's profile)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: M 3:35-5:25
Meeting Location: 145

Course Start: August 27, 2012

This course will examine the ways in which race and sexuality intertwine to shape the law, public discourse and society. This will include exploring issues regarding the experiences of LGBT people of color and their relationship to the dominant LGBT community and movement. The latter issues are related to broader questions of intragroup discrimination and the capacity of any one social movement to represent all people who share a trait, as exemplified by black feminist critiques of male dominance in the civil rights movement. We will approach these provocative issues from a comparative perspective; for instance, we will compare the stereotyping of black male sexuality and Asian male sexuality. Pedagogical methods will include not just reading cases and legal scholarship but analyzing literary texts, viewing and critiquing film and television and discussing issues with various guest speakers. Questions we will study include the following: How do the media represent the sexualities and identities of people of color, and of LGBT people of color? To what extent do interracial couplings reduce or reflect racial stereotypes? Do legal analysis and public discourse regarding "gay rights" issues tend to assume a white male "prototype" and thus exclude other LGBT experiences? Are LGBT people of color best served by working within the predominant gay rights movement and/or racial justice movements or developing new identities, rubrics and movements?

Please note that Professor Robinson is unlikely to supervise student writing projects outside the scope of this class. Admission to the course will not exceed 24 students (2L and 3L), and is by
permission of the instructor. To apply for the course, please send an e-mail to Professor Robinson describing any educational, employment or life experience regarding race, sexuality and the law. Please also indicate whether you intend to use this course to complete the law school's substantial writing requirement. Applications must be emailed to Professor Robinson by noon on June 1st. Students who are admitted will be notified by email by June 18th at 5 PM and will receive a course control number so they can complete their registration.

This course will include a workshop component. On select Fridays at lunch time, students will be required to attend talks by visiting scholars on emerging issues in race and sexuality. Students will be required to read the scholar's paper and engage during a question and answer period. Lunch will be provided. We will have seven Friday sessions. If you have any questions about this format, please email Professor Robinson.

This course may satisfy the Writing Requirement.

Exam Notes: P
Course Category: Social Justice and Public Interest

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A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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