Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

CSLS Speaker Series – “‘The Extinction of the Race’: Abortion, Homosexuality, and the Reproduction of Senegal, 2009-2015”

Monday, January 25, 2021 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm


The Center for the Study of Law and Society 

cosponsored with the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice

are pleased to announce the first speaker in the Spring 2021 CSLS Speaker Series




Jason Ferguson is Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Los Angeles


Speaking on his research

“’The Extinction of the Race’: Abortion, Homosexuality,
and the Reproduction of Senegal, 2009-2015”

How do judges account for their legal decision-making in cases of abortion and homosexuality? What can their accounts tell us about the broader aims of the state? This article innovates by bringing together several distinct lines of inquiry: the comparison of the criminalization of abortion and homosexuality; the focus on a correctional court and judicial decision-making; and the study of a penal system in a francophone West African context. Drawing on court archives and in-depth interviews from the Dakar Tribunal, Senegal’s largest court, I explore the single-eyed concern with the reproduction of the nation, both biological and social, that underpins legal decision-making. Against this backdrop of reproduction, I argue, magistrates make moral distinctions between what I call redeemable offenders and lifestyle offendersRedeemable offenders do not challenge the reproductive order of society and fit one of three frames: 1) duty to family, 2) performance of regret, and 3) experience of victimization, all frames that secure the court’s clemency. Lifestyle offenders, on the other hand, defy these frames and openly flout the state’s reproductive aims, and thus receive the harshest punishment. These different offenders represent two distinct forms of social pollution, one internal and one external to the nation. And yet, if in principle these classifications can apply equally to those charged with abortion and homosexuality, in practice this is not the case. For a striking puzzle exists in the data: women found guilty of abortion tend to be constructed as redeemable offenders, facing very light or totally suspended sentences; men found guilty of homosexuality, in stark contrast, are more often considered lifestyle offenders and must reckon with the full force of the law.


Please join us on Monday, January 25 from 12:45-2:00pm

Please register here for Zoom link.


We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Pamela Erickson, Executive Director

Catherine Albiston, Faculty Director


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact csls@law.berkeley.edu with as much advance notice as possible and at least 10 days in advance of the event.


NOTE: All participants and hosts are now required to sign into a Zoom account prior to joining meetings hosted by UC Berkeley. See “How to sign into your UC Berkeley Zoom account” for how to sign in.

Participants who are not eligible for a UC Berkeley-provided Zoom account can use a Zoom account provided by their institution, can create a free, consumer Zoom account (at https://zoom.us/freesignup/), or can dial in via the phone.


Monday, January 25, 2021
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
, ,
Will participants be asked to keep cameras on?
Will there be breakout rooms?
Will the public chat be on or off?


Online – Zoom


Center for the Study of Law and Society

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

Interested in subscribing to a weekly email digest of Berkeley Law events? Learn more here.

Notice – Latest updates on COVID-19 policies and resources for the UC Berkeley campus community. — View Details