I Am/I Am Not: On Angela Harris’s Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory

27 Aug 2014 05:06pm Mary Anne Franks 

In 1990, Angela Harris wrote an article that interrogated the limitations of feminist legal theory. Nearly a quarter of a centurylater, the insights and challenges Harris offered in Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory continue to reverberate. The influence of her ideas can be seen in the fractured and passionate conversations about gender, race, and solidarity occurring both inside and outside of academia. In recent years, we have witnessed an explosion of debate of these topics in social media forums such as Twitter and Facebook. Far from being trivial, the intensity and persistence of these conversations suggest a welcome expansion of popular political and social consciousness. Harris's work provides important context, depth, and insight to contemporary reflections on the nature and practice of feminism.

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