Professor Emeritus of Law
Formerly a practicing attorney representing low-income clients and community organizations, he has taught at Harvard and Northeastern law schools and at the University of Massachusetts and Wesleyan University. His interests include civil and human rights, transnational migrations, and Latino and Latin American studies with special focus on Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
How do we explain the long history of treating people differently based on race in a nation formally committed to equality of "all persons"? Slavery, Indian "removal", Asian exclusion, Jim Crow laws, the illegalizing of Latino/a workers and today's disproportionate police killings of people of color suggest that the American legal system has hardly been color-blind. How has the judiciary participated in racializing the nation's "non-white" populations, and what ideological and material effects have its decisions produced? The course will help students develop answers to such questions through historical and legal analysis of judicial decisions purporting to determine the legal personhood of Native, African, Asian and Latino Americans. In addition to court decisions, readings in critical race theory, political theory and history will deepen our inquiry.
The U.S.-Mexico border was described by Anzaldua as the "thin edge of barbwire...where the Third World grates against the First and bleeds." Nowhere else in the world is there such physical proximity of a post-industrial nation and a developing one. While NAFTA called for the free movement of capital, goods and managerial personnel across the border, its basic assumptions are under assault by the new US administration. The Mexican body has been criminalized, stripped of rights and targeted for detention and expulsion by various forms of policing by state and non-state actors. Deeply held notions of racial, ethnic and national boundaries mark the social terrain, yet are challenged by the long history of transborder circuits and communities and their recent explosive growth along the border and throughout the American heartland. Emphasizing historical analysis and contemporary theories of nationalism, governmentality, globalization, and transnationalism, the course will challenge students to rethink the meaning of the border, the place of Mexicans in the U.S., and the role of the U. S. in Mexico. The course will prepare students to deepen their border knowledge through participation in the two-week field course "Interrogating the US-Mexico Border" in late May 2019. Visit https://www.hampshire.edu/geo/interrogating-the-us-mexico-bo rder for more information.