Intersectionality: Theoretical Origins, Debates, Applications

In the nearly three decades since critical race theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw first published “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” to describe the complexity of identity and injustice, the term “intersectionality” has become a cultural meme. Its increasing popularity among activists suggests the term has strong relevance for understanding contemporary social issues; at the same time, its widespread circulation in popular discourse has led to various misinterpretations and misuses. This seminar explores foundational texts in intersectional theory, to better equip us to use it effectively to better understand identity and experience in both theory and politics. The seminar will include discussion of challenges and opportunities for teaching about sameness, difference, and power.