The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law

Critical Perspectives on
Race and Human Rights:
Transnational Re-Imaginings

March 8, 2019

Symposium Program



8:45-9:00am - Room 1347

Welcome and Introduction - Video

9:00-10:30am - Room 1347

Panel One: Race, Political Equality, and Human Rights - MCLE materials - Video

The international human rights regime often falls short of its universal ambitions, and does so in racially discriminatory or racially unequal ways. This panel will apply TWAIL and CRT to illuminate the racialized implications of the history, evolutions, structure, and priorities of the international human rights regime, including the primacy accorded individual “civil and political rights”. Panelists will also consider political equality among peoples or sovereigns, by exploring how race, sovereignty and human rights interface. Drawing on TWAIL and CRT perspectives will enrich the panel’s engagements with the many meanings and valences of political equality among individuals and among sovereigns in a postcolonial age that remains marked by empire.

Moderator: Kimberlé Crenshaw, Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

  • Aziz Rana, Professor of Law at Cornell Law School
  • John Reynolds, Lecturer and Programme Director of LL.M. in International Justice at Maynooth University
  • Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Associate Professor of Law and Development at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning; head of the International Development Group; founding Director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice; and founder of the Displacement Research and Action Network (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Laura Gómez, Professor of Law & Faculty Director of Critical Race Studies Program, UCLA School of Law, Professor by Courtesy, UCLA Departments of Sociology and Chicana & Chicano Studies

10:45am-12:00pm - Rooms vary

First Concurrent Session (more information below)

12:00-1:30pm - Room 1347

Keynote Lunch

  • HRH Prince Zeid Raad Al-Hussein, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Introduced by: Aslı Ü. Bâli, Faculty Director, the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law

1:30-3:00pm - Room 1347

Panel Two: Race, Migration, Human Rights - MCLE materials - Video

Today, migrants and refugees confront hostility across the world, at risk from explicit political projects of racialized or religious exclusion, and from institutional and governance regimes that have this very same effect. As nation-states, especially in the global north, consolidate regimes of migrant and refugee exclusion and control, the human rights frame stands as the ascendant counter to sovereignty discourse at the global and regional levels. Panelists will explore the human rights frame as both “problem” and “solution,” and consider the circumstances of refugees, involuntary displaced persons (including as a result of climatic conditions), and those who move on account of economic conditions.

Moderator: Tendayi Achiume, Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Law

  • Jennifer Chacón, Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law
  • Chantal Thomas, Professor of Law at Cornell Law School
  • Maxine Burkett, Professor of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

3:15-4:30pm - Rooms vary

Second Concurrent Session (more information below)

4:45-6:15pm - Room 1347

Panel Three: Race, Socio-Economic Inequality, and Human Rights - MCLE materials - Video

This panel seeks to interrogate legal protections for economic, social and cultural rights in the seven decades since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from a perspective that centers racial equality, and the rights of the Third and Fourth Worlds. Recent scholarship has asserted that human rights frameworks developed in ways that complement neoliberalism rather than attenuating the gaping inequalities it has produced. Using CRT and TWAIL approaches, panelists will query whether and to what extent the individual conception of rights at the heart of the human rights framework has been implicated in the promotion of free markets at the expense of social welfare.

Moderator: Hannah Appel, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

  • Adelle Blackett, Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development at the Faculty of Law, McGill University
  • Vidya Kumar, Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, Law School
  • Radhika Balakrishnan, Faculty director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, and Professor, Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University
  • Matiangai Sirleaf, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School



Concurrent Sessions

10:45am-12:00pm - Rooms noted below

First Concurrent Session

Concurrent Panel 1: Migration - Room 1347

Discussant: Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

  1. Amanda Brown, Class of 2020, UCLA School of Law, Racism at the Gate to Refuge: A Critique of the Special Immigration Visa Program
  2. Blanche Cook, Assistant Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School, Johnny Appleseed: Citizenship Transmission Laws and a White Heteropatriarchal Property Right in Philandering, Sexual Exploitation, and Rape (The "Whip")
  3. Susan Reardon-Smith, Academic Support Officer Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Linking Land and Sea: Intersections between Indigenous peoples' dispossession and asylum seekers' containment by Australia

Concurrent Panel 2: Migration - Room 1357

Discussant: Cecilia Menjivar, Dorothy L. Meier Chair and Professor of Sociology at UCLA

  1. Jay Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at UCLA, State Borders, Urban Boundaries, and Legal Identities: The Case of Refugee Reception Offices in South African Cities
  2. Eleni Karageorgiou, Lecturer in Law at Lund University, Sweden, Making sense of EU cooperation with third countries as a response to the 2015/2016 'refugee crisis': an intervention project legitimized by a quest to solidarity?
  3. Janine Silga, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg, The Ambiguity of the Migration and Development Nexus Policy Discourse: Perpetuating the Colonial Legacy?
  4. Thomas Spijkerboer, Professor of Migration Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Global Mobility Infrastructure: Reconceptualising the Externalisation of Migration Control

Concurrent Panel 3: Political Equality - Room 1420

Discussant: Kamari Clarke, Visiting Professor in Anthropology at UCLA, and Professor of Global and International Studies and Anthropology at Carleton University

  1. Catherine Powell, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law, Race, Gender, and Nation in an Age of Shifting Borders
  2. Yuvraj Joshi, Doctoral candidate at the Yale Law School, Affirmative Action as Transitional Justice
  3. Mack Eason, PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at UCLA, Legacies of Empire in International Law: Discourses of International Crime and Criminality in the Long 19th Century
  4. Gil Gott, Associate Professor at DePaul University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Human Rights, Neoliberalism and Race

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3:15-4:30pm - Rooms noted below

Second Concurrent Session

Concurrent Panel 4: Political Equality - Room 1347

Discussant: Angela Riley, Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Director of UCLA's Native Nations Law and Policy Center

  1. Kristen Carpenter, Council Tree Professor of Law and Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School & Alexey Tsykarev, Chair of the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples and Civic Diplomacy "Young Karelia" ("Nuori Karjala"), (Indigenous) Language as a Human Right
  2. Sujith Xavier, Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor, The Human Rights Complex: A Site of Emancipation for People of Colour & Indigenous Peoples?
  3. Danielle Boaz, Assistant Professor in the Africana Studies Department (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Witnessing Terrorism: Religious Racism and Access to Justice in Brazil
  4. Ntina Tzouvala, Postdoctoral Fellow with the Laureate Program in International Law at the University of Melbourne Law School, The 'logic of biology' and the international legal argument: the standard of civilisation and its enduring relevance

Concurrent Panel 5: Socio-Economic Inequality - Room 1357

Discussant: Noah Zatz, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

  1. Anthony Farley, James Campbell Matthews Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at Albany Law School, Banners of Colonial Occupation: Marxism, Development Theory, International Law, and Critical Race Theory
  2. Kai Fees, Research affiliate at the Promise Institute for Human Rights, visiting scholar, and project supervisor of the International Human Rights Clinic at the UCLA School of Law, Narrowing Neutrality… Now What? Preliminary thoughts on the UN human rights system’s recent critiques of neoliberal economic policies (Working Title)
  3. Zinaida Miller, Assistant Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Global Law & Policy, Harvard Law School, Rupture and Reckoning: The Times, Victims, and Experts of Transitional Justice
  4. Catherine Imbeck, Legal Consultant for the United Nations, Re-conceptualizing decolonization in international law

Concurrent Panel 6: Socio-Economic Inequality - Room 1430

Discussant: Peter Hudson, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at UCLA

  1. Jay Butler, Assistant Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, The Corporate Keepers of International Law
  2. Ernesto Hernández-Lopez, Professor of Law at Chapman University Fowler School of Law, México’s GMO corn fight: Race’s Role in Sovereignty, Biodiversity, and Regulation
  3. Chaumtoli Huq, Associate Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law and Founder/Editor of Law@theMargins, Charting Global Economic Inequalities in the Garment and Tea Worker Struggles of Bangladesh
  4. Andrea Freeman, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law, A Comparative Study of Food Inequality under Capitalist and Socialist Political and Economic Systems

Concurrent Panel 7: Roundtable on Global Raciality: Empire, Postcoloniality, and Decoloniality - Room 1420

  1. H. Samy Alim, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Language, University of California, Los Angeles
  2. Lee Cabatingan, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology, Law & Society, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
  3. Kamari Clarke, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
  4. Laura Gómez, Professor of Law & Faculty Director of Critical Race Studies Program, UCLA School of Law, Professor by Courtesy, UCLA Departments of Sociology and Chicana & Chicano Studies
  5. Howard Winant, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

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