Faculty Spotlight

Professor Sundquist Launches Blog on Race and the Law

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Professor Christian Sundquist launched his blog Race and the Law to examine both the role of law in the construction of race and the role of race in the construction of law.

In his inaugural post, Professor Sundquist writes that “the RAL website critically analyzes the disturbing scientific and legal trend of late to view race in biological and genetic terms."  

Professor Sundquist challenges the recent judicial tendency to define race in scientific terms, noting the consensus post World War II finding “that race is a purely social and political construct, fashioned over the last couple of hundred of years to ascribe political and social meaning to perceived differences among people." 

In subsequent posts, he examines the reasons why some courts and scientists have mistakenly adopted inaccurate views of the scientific nature of race, while proposing recommendations to ensure that race is not wrongly valorized as an immutable genetic characteristic in the future.

Professor Sundquist also provides a look at his work in progress, which includes a project to provide Constitutional backing to the argument that it is improper for courts to admit racialized DNA evidence at trial. He also reviews Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Professor Dorothy Roberts – the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the Northwestern University School of Law – who recently spoke at Albany Law School regarding the intersection of race, law and science, as well as Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity by Tim Wise. 

Professor Sundquist is scheduled to present his ideas regarding race, science and law during the March 2012 “Transforming Race” conference at the prestigious Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. He will serve as a speaker – along with Professor Dorothy Roberts (Northwestern Law), Professor Lisa Ikemoto (U.C. Davis Law) and Professor Osagie Obasogie (U.C. Hastings Law) – during one of the conference’s keynote panels on race and law. 

Professor Sundquist is also delivering the keynote lecture on “Affirmative Action” to the New York State Department of Health in late February of this year, as part of the government’s Black History Month celebrations. 

Beyond his new blog, Professor Sundquist is scheduled to publish the article "Signifying on Passing: (Post) Post-racialism, (Post) Post-modernism and Transformation” in the Columbia Journal on Race and Law. He has also published work in the Harvard Blackletter Law Journal; Temple Journal of Science, Technology and Environmental Law; and the Albany Law Review, among others.

At Albany Law School, Professor Sundquist teaches Evidence; Advanced Evidence; Federal Jurisdiction and Practice; Immigration Law and Policy; Economic Justice, Identities and Markets; and Political and Civil Rights.

Prior to joining the faculty in 2006, Professor Sundquist practiced litigation at Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York City and worked as a trademark law clerk at Manelli, Denison & Selter LLC in Washington, D.C.

Professor Sundquist earned his J.D. from Georgetown University, where he was senior editor of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. He earned his undergraduate degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.