The Colour of Feminist Legal Scholarship

Friday, September 26, 2014 13:00to14:30
Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 202, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

Join us for a Margot Halpenny Lecture, part of the Annie MacDonald Langstaff workshops series, with Professor Rakhi Ruparelia, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa.


In 1993, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law published a special issue on racism in an effort to “shift paradigms” in feminist legal scholarship in Canada. This presentation examines scholarship published in the journal since that time to evaluate to what extent this aspiration has been realized. Although some progress has been made, feminist theorizing around racism and colonialism is not being undertaken as a matter of course. Rather, this theorizing is pursued most often when an issue has obvious significance to racialized women.

In her lecture, Professor Ruparelia will explore why feminists, and white feminists in particular, still do not regularly integrate the impact of racism and colonialism into their writing and the potential consequences of this choice. She argues that ignoring the role of racism and colonialism in legal scholarship perpetuates systems of domination, which feminism should be aggressively dismantling, and thus impedes the feminist project.

Ultimately, she questions whether theorizing without meaningful analysis of the role of racism, colonialism and other sites of oppression can still be considered feminist.

Back to top