This comparative CRT seminar will address the legal and social apparatuses of racialization in the global North and South. A primary focus will be the development of group-based remedies such as affirmative action, positive action, and other identity-conscious strategies, and the legal, social and theoretical challenges such policies have engendered. Comparative examples will be drawn from post-slave societies, (Brazil, US, Colombia); post-colonial societies (South Africa, India); and neo-Imperial societies (France, Germany and the UK). A central focus of the seminar will be to interrogate the various tensions around the role of group identity in the social subordination of marginalized people, and the wide variety of critiques that frame the remedial use of group identity as inconsistent with national ideologies such as colorblindness, non-racialism, racial democracy and civic republicism. Beyond these nationalist and conservative discourses, we will also place critiques from liberal and progressive quarters in conversation with demands arising from newer voices in the global debate including so-called migrant communities in Europe, Afro-descendants in Latin America, and Dalits in South Asia.
Students in this seminar will undertake comparative research projects related to racialization and resistance contestations over affirmative action in selected countries. The seminar is also a prerequisite for students hoping to participate in the Global Affirmative Action Praxis Project (“GAAPP”). Field trips to Brazil and/or Colombia may be offered during Spring Break 2013.
Admission is by permission only. To apply, write a letter detailing your interest in the topic, and any background coursework, experience or personal interest you have in affirmative action and/or in the transnational arena. Students who have taken or are enrolled in Critical Race Theory, Civil Rights, or Race Conscious Remedies are preferred.