March 27, 2006
Apr. 11: 2006 O’Fallon Lecture features Stanford’s Richard T. Ford, author of ‘Racial Culture: A Critique’
Richard T. Ford on
What is black culture? Does it have an essence? What do we lose and gain by assuming that it does, and by building our laws accordingly?
Richard Thompson Ford, the George Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and author of “Racial Culture: A Critique”, will discuss his book at a free public lecture at the University of Oregon as the 2005-2006 Colin Ruagh Thomas O’Fallon Lecturer in Law and American Culture.
The lecture, sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center, will begin at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 11, in Room 175, Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St., and will be followed by a book signing and sale. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, or for disability accommodations, contact the Humanities Center at (541) 346-3934
In his lecture, Ford will question the common presumption of political multiculturalism that social categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality are defined by distinctive cultural practices.
He argues against law reform proposals that would attempt to apply civil rights protections to “cultural difference,” and focuses on the adverse effects of multicultural rhetoric and multicultural rights on their supposed beneficiaries.
He makes a bold argument against the liberal emphasis on diversity which, he says, often results in a “difference discourse” that forces minority groups to accept the very stereotypes they were trying to oppose.
The O’Fallon Lecture was established by a generous gift from Henry and Betsy Mayer, named in memory of their nephew, son of law professor James O’Fallon and his wife, artist Ellen Thomas.