Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform

Libby Adler, Northeastern University School of Law

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 12:00pm
LAPA Conference Room, 348 Wallace Hall
Princeton University Community: Faculty, Fellows, Students, Staff


Members of the public are welcome. Lunch is provided.

RSVP required: Click here.

Please join us for a lunchtime book talk with Libby Adler, to discuss Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform.

From Duke University Press: "In Gay Priori Libby Adler offers a comprehensive critique of mainstream LGBT legal agendas in the United States and a new direction for LGBT law reform. Adler shows how LGBT equal rights discourse drives legal advocates toward a narrow array of reform objectives—namely, same-sex marriage, antidiscrimination protections, and hate crimes statutes. This approach means that many legal issues that greatly impact the lives of the LGBT community's most marginalized members—especially those who are transgender, homeless, underage, or nonwhite—often go unnoticed. Such a narrow focus on equal rights also fixes and flattens LGBT identities, perpetuates the uneven distribution of resources such as safety, housing, health, and wealth, and limits the capacity for advocates to imagine change. To combat these effects, Adler calls for prioritizing the redistribution of resources in ways that focus on addressing low-profile legal conditions such as foster care and other issues that better meet the needs of LGBT people. Such a shift in perspective, Adler contends, will serve to open up a new world of reform possibilities that the law provides for."

Libby S. Adler
Professor of Law and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Northeastern University School of Law
Professor Adler holds a joint appointment with the School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. She teaches Constitutional Law, Sexuality, Gender and the Law, Family Law and Administrative Law. Professor Adler has written extensively on sexuality, gender, family and children, including foster care, and draws heavily from queer and critical theory. Her book, Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform, was published in April 2018 by Duke University Press. She is also a co-editor of the casebook Mary Joe Frug’s Women and the Law (4th ed.), and has written about contemporary legal issues arising out of Nazism. 

Professor Adler has served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, where she taught Women and the Law, and at the University of Frankfurt, where she taught a course on contemporary legal fallout from the Nazi labor program. She received the Northeastern University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007-2008.

Prior to joining the permanent faculty, Professor Adler served Northeastern as a visiting professor in 1999-2000 and as a part-time lecturer in 1998-1999, while also a visiting researcher and graduate fellow at Harvard Law School. In the 1990s, she practiced as a policy attorney for the Massachusetts child support enforcement agency, drafting legislation and regulations.