Osagie K. Obasogie, Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings

"Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind"
103 McNeil Building
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Osagie K. Obasogie, Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings
Recent Interview in the Boston Globe

Professor Obasogie's research attempts to bridge the conceptual and methodological gaps between empirical and doctrinal scholarship on race. This effort can be seen in his recent work that asks: how do blind people understand race? By engaging in qualitative research with individuals who have been totally blind since birth, this project provides an empirical basis from which to rethink core assumptions embedded in social and legal understandings of race. His first article from this project won the Law & Society Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize in addition to being named runner-up for the Distinguished Article Award by the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association.  This research provides the basis for Professor Obasogie’s first book, Blinded By Sight, which is forthcoming with Stanford University Press.

His scholarship also looks at the past and present roles of science in both constructing racial meanings and explaining racial disparities. This is tied to his interest in bioethics, particularly the social, ethical, and legal implications of reproductive and genetic technologies. Obasogie’s second book, Beyond Bioethics: Towards a New Biopolitics (with Marcy Darnovsky) is currently under contract with the University of California Press.

In addition to his work at Hastings, Professor Obasogie has a joint appointment with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Genetics and Society. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program at UCSF and UC Berkeley. Obasogie serves on the Board of Trustees for the Law & Society Association and is on the Steering Committee for the University of California Center for New Racial Studies.