UC Hastings’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, in partnership with the Center for Racial and Economic Justice (CREJ), hosted an event on Oct. 16 featuring Adjunct Professor and CREJ Affiliated Scholar T. Anansi Wilson. Wilson presented two papers, “Furtive Blackness: On Blackness and Being” and “The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life.”
The articles, published by the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, take a fresh approach to both criminal law and constitutional law, particularly as they apply to African-descended peoples in the United States. The event was part of UC Hastings’ ongoing Diversity in Legal Thought and Practice speaker series.
Wilson is an award-winning scholar of law, literary, and cultural studies; a racial-justice strategist; and an author of creative nonfiction. An Adjunct Professor and Affiliated Scholar with CREJ for this academic year, Wilson is teaching Constitutional Law II with Prof. Rory Little and a seminar, Race, Sexuality and the Law.
Wilson has a J.D. from Howard University School of Law and is completing a doctoral candidacy in African and African Diaspora Studies at UT-Austin.
Their legal research is situated in legal philosophy, critical theory, political economy, Black studies, and constitutional law. Their writing and scholarship focuses primarily on the history of Black thought, art, and imagination crafted in response to—and resistance against—the social, political, and legal realities of domination in the West.
“A Homecoming of Sorts”
“Working at Hastings has been a homecoming of sorts,” Wilson said. “Hastings was both my first law school acceptance—I couldn’t attend due to family reasons—and my first offer to engage my legal scholarship in a serious way. Working at CREJ has been a wonderful experience. I’ve gained exemplary and singular mentorship from Professors Shauna Marshall and Alina Ball that has allowed me to think expansively about my future in academia but also as a scholar-creator, a social engineer and movement philosopher.”
Hosting Wilson allows UC Hastings students and faculty to see cutting-edge scholarship develop in real time. “Teaching my seminar—Race, Law & Sexuality—as well as teaching Con Law II alongside Rory Little has allowed me to continually tinker with a critical and responsive pedagogy that seeks to uncover the way law is made through our interpersonal interactions, while simultaneously pushing students to own, define and contend with the classroom, the texts and the process of law making as a tumultuous yet sacred democratic space and dialectic practice.”
Wilson brings new concepts to students who, in turn, challenge Wilson’s scholarship. “My students have pushed me to learn, as I’ve pushed them to teach. And I hope, together, this opportunity at Hastings and CREJ will allow us to model—and experience—a different method of law teaching, learning and promulgation.”
“Looking Forward to a Textured, Interdisciplinary Approach”
Student response to the Oct. 16 presentation has been positive. “I would love to take constitutional law with Professor Wilson,” said 2L Emma Hyndman, who attended the presentation. “I’m looking forward to their textured, interdisciplinary approach.”
“Professor Wilson adds real depth and breadth to our scholarly community at Hastings, particularly in their ability to examine intersectional identity and the law,” said Ball. “Moreover, their course, Race, Sexuality and the Law, not only fills a significant gap in our current offerings, but has created a safe space for our students to learn and explore critical issues in the public discourse as well as the evolution of doctrinal law.”
The public can view the livestream of Wilson’s presentation here.