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71 UMKC L. Rev. 485 (2002-2003)
After Intersectionality

handle is hein.journals/umkc71 and id is 495 raw text is: AFTER INTERSECTIONALITY
Robert S. Chang* & Jerome McCristal Culp, Jr.*
Kimberl6 Crenshaw introduced the legal world to intersectionality.l She
criticized the limits of single axis notions of identity as practiced in legal doctrine
and feminist and antiracist politics. The notion that aspects of identity such as
race and gender do not operate independently but are woven together to produce
people's lived experience seems commonsensical today, but putting this insight
to work in law and antisubordination practice has proven to be quite difficult.2
How   does one pay attention to the points of intersection?           How   many
intersections are there? Is the idea of an intersection the right analogy?3
A number of scholars have been working on answering these questions,
including a group whose work has been characterized as post-intersectionality
4                                                                5.
analysis.   Nancy Ehrenreich's article, Subordination and Symbiosis, is an
. Professor of Law and J. Rex Dibble Fellow, Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University.
I'd like to thank Windy Watson and Matthew Kinney for their research assistance.
. Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law. Thanks to Scott Lee for his helpful
1 Kimberl6 W. Crenshaw, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist
Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics, 1989 U. CHI.
LEGAL F. 139 (1989). This article was part of a broader groundswell of dissatisfaction with
essentialism in feminist theory.  See, e.g., ELIZABETH V. SPELMAN, INESSENTIAL WOMAN:
PROBLEMS OF EXCLUSION IN FEMINIST THOUGHT (1988); Angela P. Harris, Race and Essentialism in
Feminist Legal Theory, 42 STAN. L. REV. 581 (1990). See also Jerome McCristal Culp, Jr.,
Colorblind Remedies and the Intersectionality of Oppression: Policy Arguments Masquerading as
Moral Claims, 69 N.Y.U. L. REV. 162 (1994). An earlier expression of this discontent can be seen
OF US ARE BRAVE: BLACK WOMEN'S STUDIES (Gloria T. Hull et al. eds., 1982).
2 For example, there is only one published opinion that cites Crenshaw's intersectionality thesis.
See Lam v. Univ. of Haw., 40 F.3d 1551, 1562 (9th Cir. 1994). The court does note, though, that
other courts have recognized, [that] where two bases for discrimination exist, they cannot be
neatly reduced to distinct components. Id. (citing Jefferies v. Harris County Cmty, Action Assoc.,
615 F.2d 1025, 1032-34 (5th Cir. 1980)); Graham v. Bendix Corp., 585 F.Supp. 1036, 1047 (N.D.
Ind. 1984); Chambers v. Omaha Girls Club, 629 F.Supp. 925, 946 n. 34 (D. Neb. 1986), affd, 834
F.2d 697 (8th Cir.1987)).
3 Crenshaw herself admits that intersectionality is a provisional concept linking contemporary
politics with postmodern theory. Kimberl6 W. Crenshaw, Women of Color at the Center:
Selections from the Third National Conference on Women of Color and the Law. Mapping the
Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, 43 STAN. L.
REV. 1241, 1244 n.9 (1991).
4 Peter Kwan appears to have coined the term  post-intersectionality. See Peter Kwan,
Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender & Secual Orientation: Jeffrey Dahmer and the
Cosynthesis of Categories, 48 HASTINGS L.J. 1257, 1264 (1997) [hereinafter Kwan, Jeffrey
Dahmer].   Kwan identifies at least two other scholars who are trying to develop post-
intersectionality theories. Peter Kwan, Complicity and Complexity: Cosynthesis and Praxis, 49
DEPAUL L. REV. 673, 687 (2000) (citing Francisco Valdes, Sex and Race in Queer Legal Culture:
Ruminations on Identities & Inter-connectivities, 5 S. CAL. REV. L. & WOMEN'S STUD. 25, 57-66
(1995) (discussing inter-connectivity); Darren Lenard Hutchinson, Out Yet Unseen: A Racial
Critique of Gay and Lesbian Legal Theory and Political Discourse, 29 CONN. L. REV. 561, 640
(1997) (multidimensionality)).

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