Instructor(s): Sarah Mason-Case

This section of the course is for students studying remotely. This course will meet once a week, via audio-visual conference. To enrol in this course all students must meet or exceed the tech requirements for enrolment in University of Toronto courses, which can be found here []

This course explores how race matters for the law, institutions and social structures. The focus will be on Critical Race Theory, an intellectual tradition with many interlocutors, styles and vocabularies that respond to liberal theories of the law and society, to critical legal studies, and to institutional measures such as affirmative action, addressing systemic discrimination, and implicit bias training. An emphasis will be placed on race as an analytic for understanding structural relations of subordination, including through enslavement, capitalism, policing, incarceration, labour and education. 

Topics will include the legacies of (settler) colonialism, the social construction of race, storytelling as a form of resistance, intersectionality, unconscious racism, ‘post-racialism’, abolition movements, ‘Third World’ approaches to the law, efforts to formulate distinctively Canadian approaches to race and the law, and exchanges between Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other peoples. 

The seminar will involve a close reading of texts that offer critical race theories as well as some literature engaging with these theories. The classes will be structured to promote the meaningful discussion of topics and the students’ experiences. Engaging in conversation with one another openly and respectfully will be a basis for mutual learning. Diary entries submitted before class and posted for other participants in the class to read will also be used to foster deep reflection and sharing.

will be based on the following components: six reflections of 500 words (in the style of diary entries) submitted before class (30%); leading a class discussion (in a group, depending on enrolment) (30%); one final reflection on the course as a whole of 2000 words that may build on prior reflections (30%); class participation (10%).
Academic year
2020 - 2021

At a Glance

Second Term



15 JD


M: 5:10 - 6:30 pm (AV Conference)