Social Justice Textbook Project
Social Justice Textbook Project
This proposal outlines the basic concept for the Social Justice Textbook Project and its hardcopy printed volume, Social Justice in Plural America: From Critical Theory to Legal Action. Taking advantage of new technologies, the Project features one printed volume (1000pp) consisting of four thematic Parts, each arranged into several chapters, supplemented by three sets of online materials, allowing each teacher/reader to custom-tailor the most relevant materials according to particular needs or goals. Professors adopting the printed volume, as discussed below, will be able to supplement their desired areas of emphasis in two ways: first, with online “tracks” of materials organized specifically to deepen a particular topic and, second, with online “Parts” of related background materials that provide historical, theoretical or other kinds of context. In addition, teachers will have access to an online resources website, including a teachers’ wiki. Thus, the Plural America printed volume is designed to serve as a malleable textbook for a variety of courses, both law and otherwise, whether alone or as supplemented by additional Parts and tracks. The attached Table of Contents provides more details.
• The four main Parts of the printed volume focus, respectively, on: 1) Legal Action and Rebellious Lawyering; 2) Public Policy and Comparative Racialization; 3) Economic Inequality and Social Justice; 4) Globalization and Comparativism. The Project centers race and class (and related identitarian socio-legal forces, like gender and sexuality) to anchor issues and discussions of contemporary law, policy, practice, education and theory. In addition to the extensive online resources that supplement this hardcopy volume both for classroom and general uses, every Part features “in-the-trenches” notes/problems to help provoke vigorous in-class exchanges.
• Each of these hardcopy Parts are supplemented thematically with two online resources. The first is the tracks of additional materials organized to complement specifically each Part of the printed volume. In addition, the hardcopy volume and online tracks are further supplemented with online materials organized as entirely new Parts and chapters that provide broader theoretical, historical and other kinds of contextualizing background information. These two substantive sets of online supplementation permit teachers to modify readings easily, both in real time and from year to year, perhaps linking these resources to the “Westlaw Law School Exchange” or other similar tools/sources synergistically.
• The Project also includes a third online resource: a website platform featuring sample syllabi, a “wiki” and other materials to help faculty formulate lesson plans, course syllabi and pedagogical innovations tailored to varied educational environments or purposes.
• Designed for classroom and general uses, the Project combines new essays with previously published key works to study and teach how law, policy and identity interact with each other and affect society, and how legal actors and actions can make a societal difference.
• The Project situates each issue’s discussion in critical, interdisciplinary and globalized frameworks to study how law promotes and/or impedes social justice in diverse local communities across the United States and beyond.
• Given its interdisciplinarity, the Project also is well suited for adoption in non-law classes, whether graduate or undergraduate, particularly in departments and areas such as Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Public Health, Political Science, International Studies, Geography, and Media Studies.
To ensure multiple perspectives, the Project is being developed for publication by a seasoned team of diverse legal scholars. In alphabetical order, they are: Steven Bender, Sumi Cho, Christine Zuni-Cruz, Ibrahim Gassama, Carmen Gonzalez, Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, Gil Gott, Tayyab Mahmud, Margaret Montoya, Athena Mutua, Illeana Porras, Charles Pouncy and Frank Valdes.