7th CRITICAL RACE STUDIES SYMPOSIUM: WHITENESS AS PROPERTY: A 20-Year Appraisal

CEN_CRS_2014_Symposium-small

OCTOBER 2-4, 2014

Concurrent Sessions

See also: Main Panels

October 3, Friday

1. Whiteness as Property in Practice: Attorneys of Color in White Spaces

Moderator:

  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law

Panelists:

  • Meera Deo, Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Discrimination in Hiring and Promoting Law Faculty of Color
  • Bryant Garth, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law; Race and Ethnicity through the Lens of the After the J.D. Project
  • Luz Herrera, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education, Experiential Learning, and Public Service, UCLA School of Law; Whiteness as Property in Public Interest Lawyering

Panel description:

Historically, the practice of law has been an elite endeavor. The profession privileged those who asserted a property interest in being white and male, relegating others to non‐participatory positions. In one instance, the court upheld a law specifying that non‐whites could not even testify against whites. In another, judges opined that the “natural and proper timidity and delicacy” of women deemed them unfit for legal practice. More commonly, and more recently, regulation of the white‐normative aspects of the legal profession has tracked the shift in racism generally, becoming more “subtle though no less damaging.” Thus, the culture of the legal profession remains overwhelmingly white and xenophobic. In legal academia, whiteness is maintained both through implicit bias and direct discrimination against entry‐level candidates, while senior scholars of color may be reluctant to assume leadership roles based on the race‐based challenges they anticipate. Practicing attorneys of color may face fewer initial hurdles, at least in the corporate sector. Yet, few lawyers of color successfully climb the corporate law firm ladder to partnership and leadership positions. Even in public interest settings, which many expect are flooded with attorneys of color committed to social justice, the environment is often unfriendly to people of color who seek to change the traditional white paradigm. This panel will explore white spaces in the legal profession, focusing explicitly on the ways in which a vested property interest in whiteness continues to exclude and isolate attorneys of color. The discussion will include both challenges facing legal academics, corporate attorneys, and public interest lawyers of color, and strategies for combatting ongoing discrimination in order to achieve professional success.


2. Beyond Whiteness: Exploring Property Interests in Racial and Sexual Identities

Moderator:

  • Sheldon Bernard Lyke, Assistant Professor of Law, Whittier Law School

Panelists:

  • Nicole Guidotti-Hernandez, Associate Professor, American Studies, University of Texas at Austin; Whiteness as a Sexual and Racial Modality of Property Relations in the  Nineteenth Century Arizona-Sonora Borderlands
  • Osamudia James, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law; Identity Politics as Resilience
  • Stewart Chang, Assistant Professor of Law, Whittier Law School; Racial Capitalism and Jeremy Lin: Deconstructing the 'Merits' of the NBA Contract
  • Ainsley LeSure, Lecturer, Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Chicago; Interrogating the Interrelationship Between Identity Politics and the Concept of Property
  • Sheldon Bernard Lyke, Assistant Professor of Law, Whittier Law School; Social Identity as Commons

Panel description:

This panel explores the scholarly extension of Cheryl Harris’s argument in Whiteness as Property.  The papers discuss the property interests present in identities other than whiteness and examine how identity generally, but racial and sexual identities specifically, operates as property in society.  The papers also explore how minority identity responds under the weight and shadow of power and in the margins of whiteness (and other dominant identities) as property.  This panel expands the concept of whiteness as property, and applies the conceptualization outside of whiteness.  The goal is to demonstrate the concept’s utility for understanding identity, property relations, social interaction, and politics amongst a variety of social groups. 

This diverse, multi-disciplinary panel examines Harris’s argument from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (i.e., American Studies, Cultural Studies, English, History, Law, Political Theory, and Sociology), interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, and empirical examples.  The panel examines race and sexuality both generally, and specifically, from blackness in entertainment, through heterosexual brownness on the U.S. Mexico border, to the commodification of commercial sex work in yellowface.


3. Colonialism as Property,Whiteness as Colonialism

Moderator:

  • Robin D.G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History UCLA

Panelists:

  • Nina Farnia, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, UC Davis; Colonialism Without Colonies: Palestine, Iran, and Resistance to American Empire
  • Justin Leroy, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Charles Warren Center for American History, Harvard University; Slavery, Settler Colonialism, and the History of Black Anti-Imperialism
  • Manijeh Nasrabadi, UC President’s Post-Doctoral Fellow, Asian American Studies UC Davis; Imperial Model Minorities Gone Rogue: Iranian Foreign Students in the Revolutionary Convergence
  • Magid Shihade, Professor, Institute of International Studies, Birzeit University; Israel in Asia, Israel in the Globe: Mobility, Settler Colonialism, and Rupture

Panel description:

This panel seeks to explicate the relationship between white supremacy and colonialism in the age of American empire.  Panelists will focus on the manifestations of white supremacy and colonialism both in the United States and in West Asia, the region commonly called “the Middle East.”  The panelists will evaluate the repression of different racial communities in the United States and their resistance both to that repression and to the emerging American empire, arguing that colonialism is a constitutive factor in the making of American racial groups, domestic civil rights and immigration policies, and U.S.-based social movements.  Thus, colonialism emerges as an organizing force not merely in the distribution of land and resources in the U.S., but throughout the uneven and contested terrains of American law and politics, as Cheryl Harris argues in Whiteness as Property.  

Globally, American-style white supremacy continues to manifest itself throughout the region of West Asia.  Panelists will consider the role of Israel as a U.S. proxy in the region, which is both governed by and espouses an explicit white supremacist politic.  Iran continues to be the only major state actor in the region challenging both Israeli and American power, while also attempting to expand its own influence.  Panelists will argue that the relations between Israel, the U.S. and Iran obscure a complicated, uneven web of colonial and neo-colonial relations that facilitate the expansion of U.S. empire throughout much of the Arab world, Central Asia and parts of Africa.


4. Food, Health, and Whiteness as Property

Moderator:

  • Margot J. Pollans, Teaching Fellow, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law

Panelists:

  • Ernesto Hernández-López, Professor of Law, Dale E. Fowler School of Law; Banning Sriracha: Municipal Authority and Racial Exclusion as Property
  • Andrea Freeman, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai'i William S. Richardson School of Law; Whiteness as Property and Food Oppression
  • Erin Kerrison, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Criminology and the Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania; “Things Just Got Outta Hand”: White Ownership of Victimhood and the Race- Based Medicalization of Addiction

Panel description:

Ernesto Hernández-López unravels the “Srirachaapocalypse,” involving legal controversies around the possible halt of production of the hot sauce Sriracha in the Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale in 2013, after concerns that its production emitted odors, causing a public nuisance. These controversies offer lessons on how insider-outsider dynamics are enflamed by municipal legal power and spatial exclusion. Andrea Freeman explores how food policy, created through the cooperation of the government and the food industry, results in food oppression - institutional, systemic, food-related action or policy that physically debilitates a socially subordinated group. An analysis of the role that whiteness plays in common health narratives is necessary to shed light on what drives food policy. Erin Kerrison draws upon empirical research that examines qualitative interviews conducted with approximately 300 drug-involved individuals released from prison in the 1990s, examining how drug-involved former prisoners conceive of their addiction and the extent to which race modifies ownership of a deviant status.  Analyses are disaggregated by race and gender to identify whether patterns of meaning construction differ with inherited intersectional privilege.


5. Whiteness as Property:  Broadening the Framework

Moderator:

  • Sumit Baudh, UCLA School of Law, Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) Candidate 2016

Panelists:

  • Timothy Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, West Chester University of Pennsylvania; Cruel Irony: Legally Securing the Christian Dimension of Whiteness as Property
  • Brant T. Lee, Professor of Law, The University of Akron School of Law; From Self-Interest to Conscience
  • Nicholás Espíritu, Staff Attorney, National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles office; J.D. UCLA School of Law ’02; Citizenship as Property
  • Amanda Werner, Legal Fellow, Office of US Senator Elizabeth Warren; J.D. UCLA School of Law ’14; Corporations are (White) People: How Corporate Privilege Reifies Whiteness as Property

Panel description:

Timothy Golden analyzes the recent Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., 573 U.S. _______ (2014), and its relationship to Employment Division of Human Resources v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990).  Through this analysis, Golden attempts to answer these questions: Does a relationship exist between whiteness as a property right and religion?  If so, then what is it?  Does religion facilitate the enshrinement of whiteness as a property right in American legal traditions?  Does the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) fulfill its intended purpose?  Does RFRA protect religious liberty at the expense of racial justice?  Brant T. Lee utilizes insights from cognitive and behavioral psychology to establish that modern race discrimination is carried out through autonomic, affective dispositions, rather than through conscious intent; thus, no racist intent or conspiracy is required in order to maintain systems of racial inequality.  He then asks the question whether there is any moral obligation to address or correct racial inequality that is unfair, for which nobody in particular is to blame, since it is not the product of intentional malice.   Nicholás Espíritu investigates wht the growth of populations with disaggregated citizenship – such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – means for efforts to achieve social justice and democratic legitimation.  Amanda Werner suggests that the rise of corporate privilege has played a major role in enabling ongoing racial inequities, evolving and expanding with modern “colorblind” jurisprudence to reify white domination through an ostensibly race-neutral mechanism.  


6. Whiteness as Property: Appropriation and Intellectual Property (no video available)

Moderator:

  • Kelly Orians, UCLA School of Law J.D. Candidate 2015

Panelists:

  • Deidre Keller, Associate Professor of Law, The Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law and Anjali Vats, Assistant Professor of Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies, Boston College and Assistant Professor of Law, Boston College Law School; Whiteness as (Intellectual) Property: Authorship and Transformativeness as Possession
  • Eunsong Kim, Ph.D. Candidate in Literature, U.C. San Diego; Interrogating Fountain: Whiteness & the Properties of Found
  • Shun-Ling Chen, Assistant Research Professor, Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica; Whiteness as Property in Copyright – The Case of Cultural Appropriation in the Contemporary Western Music Industry

Panel description:

Through the lens of intellectual property, Deidre Keller and Anjali Vats examine copyright’s central trope for evaluating the existence of fair use, namely that of “transformativeness,” as the concept is used to protect the economic, social, and political benefits associated with whiteness.  Eunsong Kim examines how the Western processes and rationale that lead to the normalization of found/appropriation, found-object art, found literature and the concept of the readymade—are foundationally dependent on whiteness.  Shun-Ling Chen argues that the copyright system appears to be neutral but is in fact a product of chirographic society. It disadvantages musicians from communities with strong oral traditions, including black and indigenous musicians. 


7. Whiteness as Property:  Lessons on Property and Racial Privilege

Moderator:

  • Jassmin Poyaoan, UCLA School of Law J.D. Candidate 2015

Panelists:

  • Tom Romero, Professor of Law and History University of Denver; Teaching Whiteness as (the) Property Curriculum
  • Aleatra Williams, Associate Professor, Charleston School of Law; Lending Discrimination, the Foreclosure Crisis and the Perpetuation of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Homeownership in the U.S.
  • Priya Gupta, Associate Professor, Southwestern Law School; Governing the Single Family House: A (Brief) Legal History
  • Shirley Thompson, Associate Professor, American Studies, University of Texas at Austin; Playing the Numbers: Quantitative Analysis and the Effort to Establish Property in Blackness

Panel description:

Based upon his experiences of teaching first-year Property every year since 2004, Tom Romero explores the pedagogical challenges and rewards of teaching and learning property law through the lens of race within a predominantly white institution.  Aleatra Williams draws attention to the role of lending discrimination in the housing crisis.  The concomitant consequences of lending discrimination during this crisis are greater wealth loss for minorities, furthered racial segregation and widened gaps in home ownership in the U.S.  Priya Gupta investigates connections between the extensive New Deal law and regulation that led to the proliferation of single family detached houses and the continuing racial and gender disparities in housing security and ownership in the U.S.  Drawing on the work of urban historians, architects, and geographers as its foundation, Gupta excavates the often overlooked histories of the law, zoning, and federal regulation that built America’s housing.  Shirley Thompson focuses on the critical period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and builds on the work of Avery Gordon, W.E.B. Du Bois, Toni Morrison, and others to theorize persistent anxieties over property rights in persons and the quantitative methods that make such rights visible, actionable, and exclusive.

October 4, Saturday

1. Whiteness’s Aesthetic Properties

Moderator:

  • andré douglas pond cummings, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Indiana Tech Law School

Panelists:

  • andré douglas pond cummings, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Indiana Tech Law School; The Appearance of Diversity: Corporate Boardrooms, the Black Body, and the Property of a Good Photo-Op
  • Donald F. Tibbs, Associate Professor of Law, Drexel University Law School; The Crime(s) of the Ear: Hip Hop Lyrics Aesthetic Properties in the Courtroom
  • Nick J. Sciullo, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Communication, Georgia State University; Who’s Afraid of the Boogeyman? The Racialization of Richard Sherman(‘s Dreadlocks)
  • Kim D. Chanbonpin, Associate Professor of Law, The John Marshall Law School; Black, White, or Other: Colorism in the Asian American Community

Panel description:

This panel considers the aesthetic dimensions of whiteness as property by considering hip-hop lyrics, dress, hair styles, the black body, photography, and other aestheticized markers of otherness.  Often the whiteness as property idea is crudely reduced to economic interests, taking Peggy MacIntosh’s “knapsack” analogy too literally.  This panel blends the aesthetic with the material, offering suggestions for ways to resist aesthetic whiteness in a multiracial world.  This discussion entails a reflection on both legal and political, to the extent those realms can be divorced from each other anymore, considerations in modern day diversity policy, criminal law, and media representations of people of color.  Without an appreciation for whiteness’s aesthetic property, critical race scholars risk an overly narrow legal, political, or sociological analysis of whiteness that ignores its less concrete dimensions.  To recast Justice Potter Stewart, “I know whiteness when I see it.”  The visual metaphor presents a new way to consider whiteness beyond economic interests and static notions of critical legal analysis.


2. But What About Me? Entitlement and Racial Identity

Moderator:

  • Tristin Green, Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law

Panelists:

  • Tristin Green, Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law; Personal Space and Racial Entitlement
  • Osamudia James, Professor, University of Miami School of Law; Diversity and White Racial Identity
  • Nancy Leong, Assistant Professor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law; Identity Entrepreneurs
  • Camille Gear Rich, Associate Professor of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Marginal Whiteness Revisited
  • Leticia Saucedo, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law; Whiteness as Property and the Criminalization of “Wrongly Documented” Work

Panel description:

Entitlement is the latest buzzword. It is pervasive in the news media (e.g., used to explain the motivations of the white-biracial man behind the Santa Barbara massacre) and prominent in popular literature (e.g. used to characterize the “give me attitude” of citizens demanding government benefits in the book A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic). Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Americans’ preoccupation with entitlement is that the word has a radically unstable meaning, shifting reference in different public debates. It is used to describe everything from the basis for white, middle class rage about “entitlement- based” diversity programs such as affirmative action or public benefits to the attitudes of the white middle class itself, as it perceives certain social, cultural, and economic losses associated with the so-called browning of America.

This panel uses Cheryl Harris’s seminal article Whiteness as Property as an opportunity to interrogate racial “entitlement” in American society. Despite CRT’s role in establishing the cultural relevance of the term, we believe that it remains under-theorized both in CRT and in the academic literature more generally. Therefore, the purpose of this panel is to probe various meanings of entitlement and the ties of entitlement to racial identity as well as to consider ways in which the law shapes and reinforces racial dimensions of entitlement. The panel extends entitlement as a useful concept beyond the macro, societal (usually associated with provision of governmental services) to the micro, interpersonal expectations in relations and within institutions. It seeks to explore questions like the following: What is entitlement and how is it linked to racial identities? What does entitlement look like as it plays out in social interactions? How is entitlement distinct from and/or related to concepts like racism and in-group favoritism or egalitarianism and tolerance? What happens or might happen when micro-social-racial entitlement is disrupted? In what ways do organizational and/or institutional structures and narratives shape entitlement frames? In what ways does (or should) the law reinforce and/or disrupt racial entitlement?

The panel seeks to learn from the social science on the psychology of entitlement, racial identities, and prejudice.  However, its goal is more theoretical and conceptual: to ask questions and generate theories about racial identity and entitlement in light of Harris’s insights from two decades ago and to consider the law’s role in reinforcing or disrupting entitlement in various contexts, such as schools and workplaces.


3. Whiteness as Property and Multiracial Identity

Moderator:

  • Kevin Noble Maillard, Professor of Law, Syracuse University

Panelists:

  • Kevin Noble Maillard, Professor of Law, Syracuse University
  • Rose Villazor, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Carla Pratt, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, The Dickinson School of Law, Penn State
  • Addie C. Rolnick, Associate Professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada

Panel description:

Scholar-Activist Gloria Anzaldúa once questioned the existence of true racial borders in the United States, and this issue becomes more pertinent as the nation grows more cognitively multiracial. But will statistical change be met by a substantive transformation of longstanding racial paradigms, or retrench whiteness as property?  

The U.S. Census reports that whites will become a minority in 2043. At the same time, interracial intimacy and reproduction will continue to increase. This was famously chronicled on the cover of Time Magazine in 1993, which featured a computer generated face of demographically proportional multiracial woman, titled “The New Face of America.”  

This roundtable will assess the reality, resistance, and realization of that vision and the diverse group of discussants will approach this issue informed by their own research and personal backgrounds. Rose Villazor will talk about the impact of immigration on the “browning” of America; Carla Pratt will discuss the difficult issue of race, identity, and finite ethnic resources in Native American tribes; Kevin Noble Maillard will discuss Loving v. Virginia and the lingering taboo of black-white intimacy; and Addie C. Rolnick will present ideas on inter-racial histories generally, on theorizing anti-Black and anti-Indian racism and on teaching inter-racial histories.

If the “New Face of America” will one day be nonwhite and heterogeneous, will it break the mold of a collective vision of race as separate, bordered phyla? How would multiraciality as a collective norm challenge the idea of Whiteness as Property? With these predicted demographic changes before us, will we view race differently in the 21st Century?


4. Expectation and the Propertied Regimes of Race, Gender and Security

Moderator:

  • Pui-Yee Yu, UCLA School of Law J.D. Candidate 2015

Panelists:

  • Sarah Haley, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, UCLA; Expectation, Exclusion, and Enjoyment: A Carceral History of Gender Normativity as Property
  • Jasmine Syedullah, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of English, UC Riverside; A Claim on her Future: A Criminalized Woman’s Right to Self-Defense
  • Dylan Rodriguez, Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside; A Logic of Evisceration:  Gendered Racial and Racial-Colonial Genocide in the Policing-Carceral State
  • Erica Edwards, Associate Professor of English, UC Riverside; Blackness as Security: Race, Counterterror, and the Expectations of Safety

Panel description:

This panel brings together four scholars of policing and abolition to discuss the relationship between race, gender, and security in U.S. history and legal discourse.  Drawing on Cheryl Harris’s paradigm-shifting analysis of whiteness as property, we examine how the discourses and practices of punishment and counterterrorism protect the propertied status of whiteness, even in an era defined by public discussions of the post-racial.  We foreground the interdisciplinary methodologies of gender studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, and abolition studies to extend Professor Harris’s important work, especially its claim that “whiteness was an ‘object’ over which continued control was—and is—expected,” to query how the expectations of privilege map differently onto varied, but related, racial gendered regimes of modern U.S. containment: the Georgia penal system, post-9/11 counterterrorism discourse, and self-defense.  Altogether, these papers offer an interdisciplinary framework for critical race studies scholarship on policing and freedom that seeks to answer the conference organizers’ call to unmask subordination and provoke social change.


5. Whiteness as Property and Immigration

Moderator:

  • Kat Choi, UCLA School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2015

Panelists:

  • Beth Caldwell, Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing & Skills, Southwestern Law School and Ellen Caldwell, Art Historian and Writer; Images, Immigration & Whiteness
  • Angelica Chazaro, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Law; Illegality and Harm
  • Raquel Gonzalez-Madrigal, Ph.D. Candidate, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Discourses of Property in Arizona’s SB1070 Law and the Struggle of Undocumented Immigrant Youth
  • Nayla Wren, Associate at Holguin, Garfield, Martinez & Quinonez; Trafficking as Discrimination: Title VII as Victim-Centered Remedy for Forced Labor

Panel description:

This session focuses on immigration.  In their interdisciplinary talk entitled, Images, Immigration & Whiteness, Beth Caldwell and Ellen Caldwell incorporate images presented by an art historian with a legal analysis by a law professor in order to highlight the relationships between whiteness and immigration law. Their talk will focus on the law’s work to preserve white privilege and will incorporate images that serve to reinforce or challenge the law.  Angelica Chazaro draws attention to the 11 million undocumented people in the United States on the ‘path to citizenship.’ This push for legalization has led mainstream immigrant rights groups to deploy imagery of the undocumented as non-criminal, hard-working, and family-oriented – the ideal candidates to be invited into the spheres of the protections of whiteness. Chazaro argues that instead of centering citizenship, pro-immigrant advocacy should be guided by the question, “Will this intervention increase or decrease the harms related to living without lawful status?” Raquel Gonzalez-Madrigal unravels discourses of property in Arizona’s SB1070 Law and the struggle of undocumented immigrant youth.  She asks the following questions: How are legal notions of property rooted in anti-immigration legislation?  How does the 2010 Arizona bill use notions of property to uphold ideas of American citizenship and nationalism? Nayla Wren examines the utility of Title VII as a remedy for human trafficking.  She provides a case study of a paradigmatic labor trafficking case involving Thai workers brought to the US under H2 visas.  Wren argues that Title VII is a viable, victim-centered remedy for trafficking.


6. Whiteness as Property: Conceptual Origins and Disruptions

Moderator:

  • Jasmine Phillips, UCLA School of Law J.D. Candidate 2015

Panelists:

  • Don Anque, Emerging Scholar, Syracuse University College of Law; There and Back Again: Native American Tribal Disenrollment and Heritage
  • Khaled Beydoun, Assistant Professor of Law, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Barry University; Antebellum Islam
  • Natsu Taylor Saito, Professor of Law Georgia State University College of Law; “The Unconstrained Right to Exclude”: Whiteness as Property in the American Settler Colonial Project
  • Howard Winant, Professor of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara; Whiteness: On the Meaning of Progress

Panel description:

Don Anque examines, based on group paper with Christopher Doval and Elin Cortijo-Doval, the legal basis of tribal disenrollment and its entangled relationship with racial subordination and Native American heritage.  Many disenrolled Native Americans question the validity of their ousting, which also calls into question the governing powers of Native American tribes and their basis for determining property rights and identity.  Khaled Beydoun brings attention to the conflation of Muslim-American identity with Arab-American identity.  This conflation perpetuates stereotypes within legal scholarship, government agencies, and civil rights interventions seeking to combat the marginalization of Muslim Americans – victims of post-9/11 profiling and new, local policing surveillance programs.  Beydoun examines the legal seeds of this conflation, and the consequent erasure of Black Muslim identity that still prevails today.  Natsu Taylor Saito assesses racial hierarchy in the United States as a function of ongoing settler colonial relations, and draws attention to the limitations of the equal protection framework (typically employed to analyze racial inequalities) and points to the liberatory potential of the right to self-determination as it applies not only to Indigenous peoples but all those deemed “Other”.  Howard Winant reflects on the possibility of “white anti-racism” and suggests that it is not the repudiation or abolition of whiteness, but its reinvention that would provide the key to “white redemption”.


7. Whiteness and Criminal Justice

Moderator:

  • Maya Garza, UCLA School of Law J.D. Candidate 2015

Panelists:

  • Jay Borchert, PhD Candidate University of Michigan Department of Sociology;  Epistemological Ownership of the Punishment State in the Era of Mass Incarceration
  • Jamila Jefferson-Jones, Associate Professor Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law; Using Whiteness as Property to Promote Social Justice for Ex-Offenders
  • Andrea Roth, Assistant Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law; Race Against the Machine: Mechanization of Criminal Justice and Replication of Social Privilege
  • Priscilla Ocen, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Prison & Gender

Panel description:

Through interviews with twenty-five state correctional department directors nationwide, Jay Borchert demonstrates linkages between the overwhelmingly white, male power structures that own our jurisprudence and correctional epistemology to reveal how vast social distance may work to conceal the social damages our punishment apparatus perpetrates upon citizen prisoners.  Jamila Jefferson-Jones concludes that reputation bears the same characteristics as whiteness; therefore, it qualifies as “status property.” Once reputation is established as property, then government conduct is identified as the continued assault on reputation by the ongoing attachment of stigma, even after one’s sentence has been served.  Andrea Roth shows how mechanical forms of proof replicate existing inequities, such as through selective positioning of red light cameras and contextual bias in DNA allele-calling.  Priscilla Ocen will discuss the interface of law with prisons and gender.


8. Whiteness as Property and the Construction of Identities

Moderator:

  • Lisa Pruitt, Professor of Law, UC Davis

Panelists:

  • Sonia Katyal, Associate Dean for Research and Joseph M. McLaughlin Professor of Law, Fordham Law School, New York; The Intellectual Properties of Gender
  • Nancy López, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of New Mexico; Colorblind & Neoliberal Racial Projects in Federal Data Collection:  Why we Need Two Questions on Hispanic Origin & Race in the U.S. Census & Beyond
  • Lisa Pruitt, Professor of Law, UC Davis; (Re)Assessing the Value of Whiteness as Property:  Lessons from Winter’s Bone
  • Karen Gaffney, English Professor, Raritan Valley Community College, NJ; Whiteness as Trespassed Property: Uniting Cheryl Harris and Novelist Joyce Carol Oates in Challenging the Status Quo

Panel description:

Sonia Katyal argues that in order to reimagine the regulation of sex and gender, it might be helpful to explore a parallel type of affiliation between property and intellectual property.  Katyal presents a reconceptualization of gender, both descriptively and normatively, through the lens of property and intellectual property theory.  Nancy López examines the politics of racial and ethnic guidelines and measurements in the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) and the Census as sites of macro-level racial formations.  She argues that abstract liberal discourses that conflate race (master social status) with ethnicity (cultural background), national origin (nationality), or ancestry (distant lineage) contribute to hegemonic colorblind and neoliberal racial projects that undermine Civil Rights monitoring, enforcement and equity-based policy-making across a variety of policy arenas including housing, education, criminal justice and employment.  López provides conceptual models and use-inspired questionnaire formats for racial and ethnic measurements that are anchored in the need to contextualize data collection for equity-based policy making.​  Lisa Pruitt analyzes whiteness as historical and contemporary property in Debra Granik’s 2010 award winning film, Winter’s Bone (based on Daniel Woodrell’s 2007 novel).  Pruitt seeks to move beyond abstract discussion of whiteness by referencing the lived realities of socioeconomically disadvantaged whites and to ground and situate whiteness in ways that ultimately complicate its meaning within critical race theory.  Karen Gaffney unites the works of Cheryl Harris and Joyce Carol Oates, a literary writer so that we can better understand the way whiteness has been socially constructed and re-constructed throughout American history, how its borders are vigilantly patrolled, and what happens when the property of whiteness becomes haunted.


9. Whiteness as Property:  Racializing Childhood and Parenthood

Moderator:

  • Juliet Williams, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA

Panelists:

  • Bela August Walker, Associate Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law; Whiteness and Parenthood:  Parental Status from Property Rights to Fundamental Rights
  • Isy India Geronimo Thusi, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Witwatersrand; Whiteness as Property and the Criminalization of Minority Schoolchildren
  • Juliet Williams, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA; White Privilege and ‘Boy Crisis’ Discourse

Panel description:

Bela August Walker argues that the rhetoric of rights is doing the work of property law.  Today, these property rights determine who becomes a (legal) parent, the scope of that parenthood, and the extent to which the state comes to interfere with parenting.  Those who once held greater property entitlements—because of whiteness, wealth or gender—continue to have greater protections of their “fundamental rights.”  Isy India Geronimo (Thusi) argues that the over-criminalization of students of color highlights the power “nonracial” policies have in maintaining white superiority and maintaining the property interests whites have in their whiteness.  Existing policies that are facially race-neutral exacerbate pre-existing advantages that promote white superiority.  Juliet Williams focuses on K-12 public education reform debates and presents an analysis of the way claims about gender-based disadvantage have been deployed to retrench white privilege in U.S. public schools.  With attention to the role that antidiscrimination law plays, Williams shows how white boys have come to achieve the status of a disadvantaged class in education reform circles.