Intersectionality – brief follow-up

I’ve got more detailed notes from the fourth annual Critical Race Studies symposium that I had been hoping to get into shape for posting, but I’ve been swamped with other projects.  So instead of a detailed discussion of panels, I’ll just give a brief overview; time allowing, I’ll add some panel detail next week.  

Overall, the conference was astonishingly well done.  There were about two dozen plenary speakers, addressing intersectionality from a variety of angles and disciplines.  A lot of these were legal academics whose work I knew well — Kimberle Crenshaw, Patricia Williams, Devon Carbado, Mari Matsuda, and many others.  In addition, speakers like Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Charles Mills incorporated perspectives that I don’t often see in purely legal discourse.  I also had the chance to watch Margaret’s excellent presentation _Narrative Braids_, which expands on her classic discussion of Latina personal identity _Mascaras, Trenzas y Greñas_, with Christine Zuni Cruz as a Native American discussant.  Overall, the plenary panels were very strong.

The concurrent sessions added another element to the mix.  By my count, there were just under 70 (!) concurrent panels total, truly an embarrassment of riches.  I attended one panel which included Rebecca Tsosie, Angela Riley, Sarah Deer, and Christine Zuni Cruz – a total of four of the eight Native women law professors in the entire country.  I attended panels about LatCrit theory (with Robert Westley, Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, and Tayyab Mahmud), about masculinity (Russell Robinson’s presentation highlighted a very strong panel), about sovereignty, and more.  I unfortunately missed a number of strong concurrent panels because there were just too many excellent options to attend them all.  While I was sad to miss some intriguing concurrent panels due to conflicts, thankfully the CRS website contains short notes and write-ups for many of the sessions, as well as some session recordings (to come) which I’ll use to fill the gaps.

Overall, it was a very strong program, and I applaud the CRS faculty at UCLA for a job very well done.  I’m definitely looking forward to next year.

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