Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory – Fall 2019


Fall Semester 2019

All classes meet in 141 Law Building (unless otherwise noted*), Fridays from 12:00 pm-2:00 pm. Papers for upcoming talks are available to download in the table below.  Alternatively, copies of papers may be requested by contacting Adele Perera at  A downloadable copy of the Fall 2019 schedule is available here.

Course description:

This course is a workshop for discussing work-in-progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The central aim is to enable students to engage directly with philosophers, political theorists, and legal scholars working on important normative questions. Another aim is to bring together scholars from different disciplines and perspectives, such as economics, history, sociology, and political science, who have strong normative interests. In Fall 2019, the workshop will focus on the theme of “identity.” A list of confirmed presenters is below.

The format of the course will be as follows. For the sessions with guest presenters, lunch will be served starting at 12:00. We’ll begin at 12:15. A designated student commentator will lead off with a 15-minute comment on the paper. The presenter will have 5-10 minutes to respond and then we will open up the discussion to the group. The first part of the course will be open to non-enrolled students, faculty, and visitors who wish to participate in the workshop discussion. We’ll stop for a break around 2:00 and those not enrolled in the course will leave. Enrolled students will continue the discussion with the guest from 2:00 to 3:00.

This is a cross-listed/room-shared course with the Philosophy and Political Science Departments. Students may enroll through Law (Law 210.2), Philosophy (Philosophy 290-6), or Political Science (PS 211). The first class will meet on Friday, August 30.

Aug. 30

First session (for enrolled students only)

Prof. Joshua Cohen

Prof. Sarah Song

Sept. 6 Brandon Terry, African & African American Studies and Social Studies, Harvard University

Irony and the Politics of Pessimism in African American History and Philosophy
Sept. 13

Robert Gooding-Williams, Philosophy and African American & African Diaspora Studies, Columbia University

Du Bois’s Political Aesthetics and the Moral Psychology of White Supremacy

Paper Abstract: Du Bois’s Political Aesthetics

Sept. 20

Julie Suk, Dean for Masters Programs and Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center

We the Women: The Forgotten Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment

Chapter 7: Equal Rights and Reproductive Justice

Chapter 8: Why It’s Not Too Late

Sept. 27 Paula Moya, English, Stanford University

American Identity Politics and the 2015 Law of Spanish Return
Oct. 4

Kathryn Abrams, Law, UC Berkeley

Practices of Authorization and Legitimation in the Undocumented Immigrants Movement

Open Hand, Closed Fist: Undocumented Immigrants Mobilize in the Valley of the Sun (Optional Summary Reading)

Oct. 11

Taeku Lee, Law and Political Science, UC Berkeley

*Canceled Due to Campus Closure*

Power, Identity, Method

Oct. 18

Rachel Kranton, Economics, Duke University

Deconstructing Group Bias: Groupy vs Not Groupy Social Preferences

Oct. 25

Francis Fukuyama, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University
Populism and Identity
Nov. 1

Elizabeth Barnes, Philosophy, University of Virginia

Why Gender is not (Merely) Gender
Nov. 8

Desmond Jagmohan, Political Science, UC Berkeley

Booker T. Washington and the Ethics of Dissimulation

Nov. 15

Lisa Garcia Bedolla, School of Education, UC Berkeley

Epistemological Bias in U.S Political Behavior Research

Nov. 22

Will Kymlicka, Philosophy, Queen’s University

The Ethics of Membership in Multicultural Societies