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49 UCLA L. Rev. 1215 (2001-2002)
Critical Race Studies: An Introduction

handle is hein.journals/uclalr49 and id is 1229 raw text is: CRITICAL RACE STUDIES: AN INTRODUCTION

Cheryl I. Harris*
The introduction of the Critical Race Studies concentration as a field
of study at the UCLA School of Law (UCLAW) represents an important
moment in the evolution of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and related schol-
arship.1 It is significant in part because the Critical Race Studies (CRS)
*    Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law (UCLAW). To my colleagues who have been
part of the Critical Race Studies Concentration, my thanks for helping to create a vibrant intellec-
tual project that reflects the best academic traditions of serious engagement, tolerance and commit-
ment. To my colleagues who have been a part of the discussions leading to the creation of the
Critical Race Studies Concentration, my thanks for your willingness to listen and to foster an
environment in which many views about the relationship between race and law can prosper. And
to my colleagues who have different perspectives about all of this, my thanks for helping me
sharpen and deepen my thinking about these issues. Special thanks also to Laura G6mez and
Devon Carbado for helpful comments and to Kimberl Crenshaw for listening. As always, the
amazing staff of the UCLA School of Law Library has been extremely helpful, and I am grateful for
the patience and assistance of the members of the UCLA Law Review.
1.   1 include here Latina/o Critical Theory (LatCrit) and Asian American Legal Scholar-
ship, as well as race and feminist scholarship and race and queer theory. It is important to note
that scholarship from these genres cannot be tightly categorized and is often overlapping in its
objectives, foci, and concerns. See, e.g., Elizabeth M. Iglesias, Out of the Shadow: Marking Intersec-
tions in and Between Asian Pacific American Critical Legal Scholarship and Latina/o Critical Theory, 40
B.C. L. REV. 349 (1998). Authorship is often overlapping as well. Nevertheless, there are distinct
trends within the literature that are reflected in the various theoretical schools.
LatCrit Theory endeavors to address the specific ways in which Latinas/os have been racial-
ized in U.S. law and to correct the deficiencies of binary racial models. For an annotated bibliogra-
phy, see Jean Stefancic, Latino and Latina Critical Theory: An Annotated Bibliography, 85 CAL. L.
REV. 1509 (1997). Representative scholarship is also included in the following: Symposium, Lat-
Crit Theory: Naming and Launching a New Discourse of Critical Legal Scholarship, 2 HARV. LATINO L.
REV. 177 (1997); Symposium, Lawyering in Latina/o Communities: Critical Race Theory and Practice,
9 LA RAZA L. J. 1 (1996). Issues regarding immigration, nativism, language rights, and transna-
tional identities are central concerns, as is coercive assimilation as a form of racial subordination.
Much of the work also engages the internal diversities of Latinas/os and how that affects larger
intergroup frameworks and the possibilities of social justice coalitions.
Asian legal scholarship from a critical perspective includes ROBERT CHANG, DISORIENTED:
MENT (2001); Harvey Gee, Beyond Black and White: Selected Writings by Asian Americans Within the
Critical Race Theory Movement, 30 ST. MARY'S L.J. 759 (1999); Mari J. Matsuda, Voices of America:
Accent, Antidiscrimination Law and a Jurisprudence for the Last Reconstruction, 100 YALE L.J. 1329
(1991); Symposium, In Honor of Neil Gotanda, 4 Asian L.J. 1 (1997). This work also addresses
immigration and the way in which racial hierarchy has shaped immigrant communities, as well as
the multiethnic nature of Asian American identity. The racialization of Asians as perpetual for-
eigners is exposed, as is the double-edged nature of the model minority myth.


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