Law at Columbia U. is Stuck in the 1990s

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The Columbia University Institute for Research on Women & Gender,  “the locus of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and teaching at Columbia University,” offers an undergraduate degree program as well as a graduate “certification” in Feminist Scholarship.  There are some tremendous feminist scholars at Columbia, including Katherine Franke, Carol Sanger and Patricia Williams, whose work I very much admire.  But judging by the Graduate Reading List  (“a guide to reading for the oral examinations offered by IRWaG as one of the requirements for certification in feminist studies”), at least the law part of the graduate certificate program seems stuck in the 1990s.  The most recent source on the “law” reading list is from 1997!  

If feminist legal scholars (myself included) want to make feminism relevant to law (and law relevant to feminism), we have to move beyond the 1990s.  Other disciplines are way ahead of us in this regard.

So does anyone have any suggestions for updates to the Columbia reading list in law?  What recent legal literature should be on graduate students’ reading lists? My suggestions of articles from this year and last appear after the jump.

-Bridget Crawford

Here are a few that come to mind — not a full list, just some of the articles or books from this year and last that really made me stop and think:


  • Kerry Abrams, Immigration Law and the Regulation of Marriage, 91 Minn. L. Rev. 1625 (2007).
  • Dorothy A. Brown, Race and Class Matters in Tax Policy, 107 Colum. L. Rev. 790 (2007).
  • Cyra Akila Choudhury, (Mis)Appropriated Liberty: Identify, Gender Justice, and Muslim Personal Law Reform in India, 17 Colum. J. Gender & L. 45 (2008).
  • Martha Fineman, The Vulnerable Subject: Anchoring Equality in the Human Condition, 20 Yale J.L. & Feminism 1 (2008).
  • Laura T. Kessler, Community Parenting, 24 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol’y 47 (2007).
  • Catharine A. MacKinnon, Are Women Human?  And Other International Dialogues (2007).
  • Nancy D. Polikoff, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the Law (2008).
  • Lisa R. Pruitt, Toward a Feminist Theory of the Rural, 2007 Utah L. Rev. 421.
  • Laura A. Rosenbury, Friends With Benefits? 106 Mich. L. Rev. 189 (2007).
  • Katharine B. Silbaugh, Women’s Place: Urban Planning, Housing Design and Work-Family Balance, 76 Fordham L. Rev. 1797 (2007).


Additions welcome!

-Bridget Crawford

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0 Responses to Law at Columbia U. is Stuck in the 1990s

  1. Kathryn Stanchi, Feminist Legal Writing, 39 San Diego L. Rev. 387 (2002).

  2. Kathleen Bergin says:

    Kathleen A. Bergin, Sexualized Advocacy and the Ascendant Backlash Against Female Lawyers, 18 Yale J.L. & Feminism 191 (2006). Shameless plug, I know . . .

  3. barbara burke says:


    Adrian Wing, Critical Race Feminism: A Reader (2003).

    Debran Rowland, The Boundaries of her Body (2007).

    Mulcahy and Wheel, Feminist Perspectives on Contract Law (2005).

  4. Kathy Stanchi says:

    Dean Spade, Resisting Medicine/Remodeling Gender, 18 Berkeley Women’s Law Journal 15 (2003). Any post 90s course should have at least (at least!) one trans-reading.