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Duncan Kennedy, Intersectionality and Critical Race Theory: A Genealogical Note from a CLS Point of View (Aug. 6, 2017).

Abstract: This comment, written as a contribution to an as yet unpublished book collection on Kim Crenshaw’s intersectionality writings, develops Crenshaw’s notion of critical legal studies as a “condition of possibility” for critical race theory. In terms of genealogy CRT is “descended” from CLS. I’ll give my own brief version of CLS as the “incubator” of CRT, and then shift to two other aspects of the mid-1980’s context, unrelated to CLS, that seem to me just as important in the genealogy. Then I ‘ll try to show that the incubator image understates the extent to which, as Kim I think rightly argued in her “Preface,” intersectionality, a major tendency within CRT, is an extension and development of substantive crit ideas about the role of law in social injustice. In the last section I remember with somewhat perverse old white male heavy satisfaction some of the ways in which CRT intersectionality disrupted the standard rhetorical moves of black men and white women, all the while forwarding a cross-category left coalition agenda.