The Jurisprudence Centre was established in 1974 as a forum for the advanced interdisciplinary study of problems related to law, law reform, and politics.
The Jurisprudence Centre Seminar Talks, or JurisTalks, are a long-standing tradition in the Department of Law and Legal Studies aimed at stimulating academic dialogue and innovation toward the development of legal studies research and theory. JurisTalks feature academics from other institutions as well as our own Law and Legal Studies faculty.
October 16, 2020 – Joshua Sealy-Harrington – Seeing Power, Unseeing People: Disaggregating Identity
Joshua Sealy-Harrington, J.S.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School, Lawyer, Power Law
This presentation explores the value of disaggregating identity in theoretical discourse following discussion of three approaches to thinking about identity:
- The political value of identity: it’s capacity to galvanize support, (e.g., Black Lives Matter), identify subordination (e.g., intersectionality), and regulate space (e.g.,
- The personal theoretical costs of identity: how the speaker has come to view notions of identity as heuristics rooted in rendering the self—and others—legible; a means of simplifying the world through narrative in order to lower the mental burden of navigating the complexity of human experience and interaction.
- The collective theoretical cost of identity: how thinking of identity as “real” compromises our ability to detect the systems of power that create and deploy that identity for the purpose of sustaining hierarchy—indeed, viewing identity as real can, perversely, reify the logics through which
identity-based hierarchies are mobilized.
Register here: October 16 JurisTalk.