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(2013) 31:2 Windsor Y B Access Just p.97


My reflections from the original symposium have been misplaced. They are inside a notebook I cannot find. The videotape of the day has been taped over. I do not remember what I said, probably because I have said too much in the interim. My thoughts, sentences, words, they happened, but they are lost.

When thinking about “Reigniting Critical Race” I think about my lost words. What does it mean to say “CRT as a lens is absent within the contemporary law school curriculum” when it is not absent, but unseen? I do not mean to suggest that anywhere in Canada, CRT infuses institutional approaches to curriculum or is a primary theoretical position for large numbers of scholars. But when the contemporary efforts to discuss CRT start from the premise that it is dead in curriculum, I confess to a feeling I cannot quite describe. I am afraid it is pique, but perhaps it is not. I think we should examine why we need to claim that the fire is dead. If we see a dead fire, what are we saying to those who write in the area, those who assign the work of Esmerelda Thornhill, Patricia, Monture, Sherene Razack and others? Was there a glorious past in which the flame burned brightly in the Canadian legal academy? Was critical race once a modish theoretical approach? Was it a radical movement crushed into conformity? I do not know whether any of these things are true, and like any student of law, I have spent quite some time fighting with the question – puzzling over the premise for this symposium and the vision that it creates of past and present. What are we struggling to regain, reignite, resurrect? What have we lost? What would it be like to find it?


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