Crossroads, Directions, and a New Critical Race Theory

Edited by Francisco Valdes, Jerome McCristal Culp and Angela P. Harris
Book Cover

PB: $47.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-930-2
Publication: Jul 02

Ebook: $47.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0779-5
Publication: Jul 02

440 pages
7 x 10
1 table 1 figure

A powerful collection of original essays on the history of Critical Race Theory


Its opponents call it part of "the lunatic fringe," a justification for "black separateness," "the most embarrassing trend in American publishing." "It" is Critical Race Theory.

But what is Critical Race Theory? How did it develop? Where does it stand now? Where should it go in the future? In this volume, thirty-one CRT scholars present their views on the ideas and methods of CRT, its role in academia and in the culture at large, and its past, present, and future.

Critical race theorists assert that both the procedures and the substance of American law are structured to maintain white privilege. The neutrality and objectivity of the law are not just unattainable ideals; they are harmful actions that obscure the law's role in protecting white supremacy. This notion—so obvious to some, so unthinkable to others—has stimulated and divided legal thinking in this country and, increasingly, abroad.

The essays in Crossroads, Directions, and a New Critical Race Theory—all original—address this notion in a variety of helpful and exciting ways. They use analysis, personal experience, historical narrative, and many other techniques to explain the importance of looking critically at how race permeates our national consciousness.


"The book will appeal to race and legal scholars in the US as well as in the UK. The breadth of topics and methodologies covered within the volume is certainly impressive and the teaming of chapters from established academics with younger scholars give the book a fresh approach to the study of critical race theory."
The Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies

"The book is a must-read for those who are interested in the genesis of CRT (Critical Race Theory), in how CRT positions itself against other legal discourses, and in the current debates within the CRT literature."
Yale Law Journal

"The essays are a snapshot of a sprawling, unruly, and sometimes fractious field. Meant to evaluate the first ten years of critical race theory's development, the book truly captures a discipline at the crossroads, struggling with how to define its substantive mission, methodological commitments, and connection to a world outside the academy."
Stanford Law Review

"On the whole, this collection will leave those of us with an investment in (and a debt to pay to) critical race theory optimistic about its future."
Social and Legal Studies

"The volume certainly offers much material for another conservative broadside against critical race theory, but by speaking their truth—and speaking it elegantly—this collection of 'outsider' academics has offered a telling and important contribution to the future."
Black Issues in Higher Education

Table of Contents

Foreword: Who Are We? And Why Are We Here? Doing Critical Race Theory in Hard Times – Charles R. Lawrence III Introduction: Battles Waged, Won, and Lost: Critical Race Theory at the Turn of the Millennium – Francisco Valdes, Jerome McCristal Culp, and Angela P. Harris

Part I: Histories 1. The First Decade: Critical Reflections, or "A Foot In the Closing Door" – Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw 2. Historicizing Critical Race Theory's Cutting Edge: Key Movements that Performed the Theory – Sumi Cho and Robert Westley 3. Keeping It Real: On Anti-"Essentialism" – Catharine A. MacKinnon

Part II: Crossroads Section A: Race Critiquing "Race' and Its Uses: Critical Race Theory's Uncompleted Argument – Robert S. Chang 4. The Poetics of Colorlined Space – Anthony Paul Farley 5. Un-Natural Things: Constructions of Race, Gender, and Disability – Robert L. Hayman, Jr., and Nancy Levit 6. Race and the Immigration Laws: The Need for Critical Inquiry – Kevin R. Johnson 7. "Simple Logic": Race, the Identity Documents Rule, and the Story of a Nation Besieged and Betrayed – Sherene H. Razack 8. Straight Out of the Closet: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation – Devon W. Carbado Section B: Narrativity Celebrating Racialized Legal Narratives – Margaret E. Montoya 9. The Unbearable Whiteness of Being – Thomas Ross 10. Construction Project: Color Me Queer + Color Me Family = Camilo's Story – Victoria Ortiz and Jennifer Elrod 11. On Being Homeless: One Aboriginal Woman's "Conquest" of Canadian Universities – 1989-98 – Patricia Monture-Angus 12. Dinner and Self-Determination – Henry J. Richardson III Section C: Globalization Critical Race Theory in Global Context – Celina Romany 13. Global Markets, Racial Spaces, and the Role of Critical Race Theory in the Struggle for Community Control of Investments: An Institutional Class Analysis – Elizabeth M. Iglesias 14. Global Feminism at the Local Level: The Criminalization of Female Genital Surgeries – Isabelle R. Gunning 15. Breaking Cycles of Inequality: Critical Theory, Human Rights, and Family In/Justice – Berta Esperanza Hermandez-Truyol 16. Critical Race Theory and Post-Colonial Development – Enrique R. Carrasco

Part III: Directions 17. Critical Coalitions: Theory and Praxis – Julie A. Su and Eric Y. Yamamoto 18. Beyond, and Not Beyond, Black and White: Deconstruction has a Politics – Mari Matsuda 19. Outsider Scholars, Critical Race Theory, and "Outcrit" Perspectivity: Postsubordination Vision as Jurisprudential Method – Francisco Valdes

Afterword: The Handmaid's Truth – Derrick A. Bell About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

Francisco Valdes is Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law.

Jerome McCristal Culp is Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law.

Angela P. Harris is Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.