The course is a close and critical reading of the text (by the same name) by Professor Randall Kennedy (Harvard Law). Its focus will be the histories of laws that consider sex, marriage, identity and adoption. Although its major emphasis will be a review and consideration of the legal cases that document the evolution of identity-based jurisprudence, the course will extend Kennedy’s analyses to include readings and interrogation of decisions rendered in cases of IVF clinic errors that are attached to racial identity. Supplementary reading in the course will include literary texts that focus on these issues (fiction and non-fiction both) including the book on the 1924 Rhinelander case (Love on Trial), Nella Larsen’s Passing, R. Wiegman’s essay on Fasano v. Rogers, the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and Cheryl Harris’s “Whiteness as Property” (HLR:1993). Discussions in the class will anticipate Professor Kennedy's Spring 2013 visiting Lecture Series at Duke Law.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.