Skip to main content

"Where New Legal Realism Meets Gender: New Paradigms," Conference: "Working From the World Up: Equality's Future"

  • Location: Madison WI
  • Research area: Social justice

Mar 2008, Elizabeth Mertz

Conference Overview: We are at a historic juncture in the progress of race and sex equality in American life, with the election of the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives and the first Presidential race in which female and African-American candidates have a serious chance of capturing the White House. This conference aims to honor the institutions and the people who have theorized sex and race in ways that have helped to change the world, and to forge the future of the study of race and sex equality in the law. In short, it will be an opportunity to reflect on the key concepts of the past, so as to better understand the future.

Twenty-five years ago, the Feminist Legal Theory Project, under the direction of Professor Martha Fineman, helped to bring feminist thought to the forefront of the legal academy. It was (and is) a project born of the world, responding to real lives and needs, reflecting the law and society tradition of reasoning-from- the-world-to-law. From this tradition was born a vibrant scholarship not only on sex equality but also on the “intersection” of race, sex and sexuality, inaugurated by the work of pioneer theorists such as Kimberle Crenshaw and Patricia Williams. The conference will feature a keynote address by Patricia Williams, the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University. 


Site design by Webitects

© 2022 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Contact the Fellows
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.