Critical What What?

51 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011

See all articles by Devon W. Carbado

Devon W. Carbado

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2011


More than twenty years after the establishment of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a self consciously defined intellectual movement, defining oneself as a Critical Race Theorist can still engender the question: critical what what? When asked, the inquiry is not just about the appellation, though this is certainly part of what engenders the question. The query is about the whatness (or, less charitably, the “there, there”) of CRT as well. What is the genesis of CRT? What are the core ideas? What are its goals and aspirations? What intellectual work does the theory perform outside of legal discourse? What are the limitations of the theory? What is its future trajectory? This Afterword employs Kimberlé Crenshaw’s lead article, and the essay responses to it, to engage the foregoing questions.

Keywords: Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Studies

Suggested Citation

Carbado, Devon W., Critical What What? (July 1, 2011). Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 1593, 2011, UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 11-28, Available at SSRN:

Devon W. Carbado (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

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