Berta Esperanza HernÃ¡ndez-Truyol, currently the Levin Mabie & Levin Professor of Law at the University of Florida, is a strong and eloquent voice in critical race feminism and women’s human rights. She received her B.A. from Cornell University, her J.D. (cum laude) from Albany Law School and her LL.M. from New York University. Berta got her start in law teaching in the early 1980s at DePaul University School of Law. Since then, she has taught at Brooklyn, Georgetown, Wisconsin, New Mexico and St. John’s, where she was the Director of International Women’s Human Rights Project of the Center for Law and Public Policy (1993-1995). At each of these institutions, Berta developed new substantive ways to teach about crossing the borders of identity, subordination, and nationality. Her challenging and exciting pedagogical efforts all can be viewed on her webpage.
Berta’s work bridges many disciplines. She applies critical principles of feminism, anti-racism, and anti-subordination to areas such as public international law, family law, trade law, and many areas of state remedies for group inequality. Among her many affiliations, Berta’s participation in LatCrit has fostered that group’s continued emphasis on integrating feminist and critical race thinking in a transnational framework.
Berta, when asked when she became a feminist, recounts this entertaining tale:
When did I become a feminist? I think I was born one. Really I rebelled against making my bed because my brother did not have to – that was before I knew the word. I’ve always had a sense of justice that centrally includes sex/gender. My mom was a diplomat, so to me law & diplomacy were not gendered. Both my parents always told me & my brother that we/I could do whatever we/I wanted. Then I put a word to the idea….that was probably in college, an apt place and time, as I could not get admitted under early admissions to Cornell because that was only for boys!!!!