Black Feminism and the Limits of the Law
"Black Feminism and the Limits of the Law" offers a critical analysis of the dissenting opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in Utah v. Strieff, a Fourth Amendment case on lawful police search and seizures. Specifically, this talk examines how the specter of racial Blackness undergirds the demarcations of legal and illegal actions by state agents, which is embedded in the dissent's conceptual framework. By employing Black feminist theory, this talk questions what limits are present in the law that reify, even or especially through dissent, the gendered and sexual arrangements of slavery and its afterlife.
Patrice Douglass is Assistant Professor of Justice, Community, and Leadership at Saint Mary's College of California. She received her PhD in Culture and Theory from the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include black feminist theory, the legal archive of slavery, political theory, and gender theory. She is currently working on her book manuscript Politicizing Gender: Sociogeny, Violence, and Narrative in Black. Patrice's publications have appeared in The Black Scholar, Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture, Theory & Event, and Oxford Bibliographies.