The thing about intersectional discrimination and why discrimination law doesn't get it (September 2018)

Dr Shreya Atrey, University of Bristol Law School and Professor Beth Gaze, Melbourne Law School

CELRL Labour Law Seminar

The thing about intersectional discrimination and why discrimination law doesn't get it

Seminar presented by Dr Shreya Atrey, with discussant Professor Beth Gaze

Monday 3 September 2018: 1–2pm at Melbourne Law School

About the event

This seminar addressed what intersectional discrimination is all about, and why has it been so difficult for jurisdictions across the world to redress it through discrimination law. The term 'intersectionality' was coined by KimberlĂ© Crenshaw in her seminal piece Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex in 1989. Thirty years since its conception, the term has become a buzzword in sociology, anthropology, feminist studies, psychology, literature and politics. However, it remains marginal in the discourse of discrimination law, where it was first conceived by Crenshaw. Traversing its long and rich history of development, this seminar explains what intersectionality is as a theory and as a category of discrimination. This seminar then addresses what it takes for discrimination law to be reimagined from the perspective of intersectionality in reference to comparative laws in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, India and the jurisprudence of the European Courts (Court of Justice of the European Union, and European Court of Human Rights). The talk gives a snapshot of Shreya's upcoming book Intersectional Discrimination.

About the speaker

Shreya is a Lecturer at the University of Bristol Law School. Her research is on discrimination law, feminist theory, poverty and disability law. Her most recent work on sexual violence and harassment shows how post-colonial, intersectional and third world feminisms may be ignored in the accounts of both marginalisation and progress of the women’s movement. (‘Women’s Human Rights: From Progress to Transformation - An Intersectional Response to Nussbaum’) [Human Rights Quarterly, forthcoming Nov 2018]. She is currently writing her monograph titled Intersectional Discrimination.

Shreya teaches in Constitutional Rights, Public Law and International Human Rights Law courses. Before joining Bristol, she was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence in 2016-17 and a Hauser Postdoctoral Global Fellow at the NYU School of Law, New York in 2015-16. She completed her BCL with distinction and DPhil in Law on the Rhodes Scholarship from Magdalen College, University of Oxford. At Oxford, she served as the Chairperson of the Oxford Pro Bono Publico from 2013-14 and is currently an associate member of the Oxford Human Rights Hub.

About the discussant

Beth Gaze is a Professor at Melbourne Law School and is a member of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law. Beth has published extensively on anti-discrimination law, and has conducted socio-legal research in this area. She has acted as an expert advisor to the Victorian Parliament and is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law. With Anna Chapmen, she is presently engaged in a major project on the intersection between provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and anti-discrimination law. Beth has degrees in science and law from Melbourne and Monash Universities and the University of California (Berkeley), where she held a Fulbright postgraduate student grant, and has been admitted to legal practice in Australia.