72 Notre Dame L. Rev. 503 (1996-1997)
Some Critical Thoughts on Critical Race Theory

handle is hein.journals/tndl72 and id is 513 raw text is: ESSAY

SOME CRITICAL THOUGHTS ON
CRITICAL RACE THEORY
Douglas E. Litowitz*
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is perhaps the fastest growing and
most controversial movement in recent legal scholarship, stirring up
debate in much the same manner Critical Legal Studies (CLS) did
fifteen or twenty years ago. Although CRT was inspired in part by the
failure of CLS to focus sufficiently on racial issues, it remains indebted
in style and substance to CLS; it also draws from such diverse sources
as Continental philosophy (especially postmodernism and poststruc-
turalism), radical feminism, Marxism, cultural studies, and the black
power movement. CRT is still a young movement: it emerged in the
1980s and held its first official conference in 1989. Judging by the
sheer volume of recent articles and symposia on CRT, the movement
is here to stay.' Several months ago, Temple University Press pub-
lished a comprehensive anthology of writings by CRT scholars under
the title Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge,2 and I will use this text as
a springboard for my assessment and critique of CRT as an intellectual
movement.
Writings that fall under the CRT rubric are diverse and cannot be
easily categorized or summarized, except to say that they all address,
however directly or obliquely, the various ways in which assumptions
about race affect the players within the legal system (judges, lawyers,
* BAL 1985 Oberlin College, J.D. 1988 Northwestern University School of Law,
Ph.D. 1996 Loyola University Chicago.
1 See Richard Delgado &Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Annotated Bibliog-
raphy, 79 VA. L. REv. 461 (1993); Richard Delgado &Jean Stefancic, Critical Race The-
ory: An Annotated Bibliography: 1993, A Year of Transition, 66 U. CoLo. L. RFv. 159
(1994); see also Symposium, Critical Race Theory, 82 CAL. L. REv. 741 (1994); Sympo-
sium, Race Consciousness and Legal Scholarship, 1992 U. ILL. L. REv. 945 (1992).
2 CrrIcAL RACE THEOR. THE CUTING EDGE (Richard Delgado ed., 1995) [here-
inafter CRrrca RACE THEoRy].

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