The Center for Law, Equity and Race (CLEAR), welcomes four new Faculty Fellows.
Established in November 2021 as a new Center of Excellence at the Northeastern University School of Law, the Center for Law, Equity and Race (CLEAR) was created to strengthen and expand the work of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project.
Zinaida Miller, Caleb Gayle, Adam Omar Hosein and Kris Manjapra will participate in the 2023-2024 fellowship.
Miller, Gayle and Manjapra will complete projects that will directly help to inform CRRJ’s reparative justice programs.
(Featured photo: (left to right) Kris Manjapra, Caleb Gayle and Zinaida Miller, CLEAR Faculty Fellows 2023-2024)
Faculty Fellows' Projects
Pushahead: The Story of Edward McCabe and Mapping the Afterlife of Slavery in the Old West
Caleb Gayle is Professor at the School of Journalism and in Africana Studies. He’s also the Associate Director of Center for Communication, Media Innovation, and Social Change. A journalist and contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, he writes about race and identity. His is the author of We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power (Riverhead Books, 2022), finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award for Nonfiction, and longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award.
During the fellowship, Professor Gayle will return to the topic of African Americans and westward expansion. Following the failures of Reconstruction in the early 20th century, thousands of Black people made their way to the Old West, endeavoring to begin again. Gayle’s next book, titled Pushahead: The Story of Edward McCabe and his Dreams of Colonization, tells this migration story from the vantage point of Edward P. McCabe, a Black politician who aimed not just to colonize part of the American West, but to turn Oklahoma Territory into an all-Black state, with him as governor.
Gayle’s work seeks to examine McCabe’s brand of self-determination, which earned him the nickname “Pushahead” from his white Republican colleagues who found his enterprising and intense advocacy for Black power detestable. Gayle will explore how law shaped relationships between public lands, private property, US colonial expansion, and racial formation. Professor Gayle also seeks to design an oral history project, cataloguing the stories of those still living in and descendants of the people who founded all-black towns such as those McCabe championed and built.
Time, Law, and Justice: Pasts and Presents of Colonialism, Racism, and Inequality
Zinaida Miller is Professor of Law and International Affairs at the School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. An authority on transitional justice, human rights and humanitarianism, Professor Miller studies the reproduction of inequality and structural violence in areas including South Africa, Palestine, Rwanda, and the U.S. She co-edited the book Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press 2016); her work has appeared in International Criminal Law Review, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Opinio Juris, Just Security, and many others. Professor Miller is a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Global Law & Policy at Harvard Law School and co-director of NUSL’s Program on Human Rights & the Global Economy.
Professor Miller’s fellowship project, Time, Law and, Justice: Pasts and Presents of Colonialism, Race, and Inequality, will offer a new theory of temporality in legal doctrine, adjudication, argument, and interpretation, focusing on the transmission and reproduction of racialized harms and subordination. Courts, legislatures, and civil society actors in colonial, settler-colonial, and former slave states are engaged in ongoing battles over the relationships between past racialized injustice and radically unequal distributions of wealth and power today. Professor Miller’s project will examine how legal doctrine and decision in areas such as criminal, constitutional, and human rights law shape and are shaped by specific ideas about time – and will ask whether, when, and how temporal constraints produce racialized effects. Her work seeks to reconceptualize time and temporality in law in relationship to ongoing duties, debts and responsibilities, particularly with regard to the intergenerational transmission of benefit, harm, and privilege.
Reckoning with Ancestral Remains
Kris Manjapra is the Stearns Trustee Professor of History and Global Studies in the departments of History and Cultures, Societies and Global Studies. Professor Manjapra works at the intersection of transnational history and the critical study of race and colonialism. His research interests are in global Black Studies, the African diaspora, the modern Caribbean, and modern South Asia. He is founder of Black History in Action. He is the author of five books, including his comparative study of global emancipation processes and the implications for the reparations movement today: Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation (Scribner, 2023).
Professor Manjapra’s research has examined the broad historical and conceptual framework of reparations. He will spend his fellowship year continuing this exploration of reparations, and exploring the human rights landscape in which claims and defenses are situated, as well as grassroots forms of community legal action.
He is researching reparations for the vast collections of human remains, and bodily derivatives, of Black and Indigenous peoples held by North American, British, and European museums, medical schools, and anthropological repositories. His work will examine the reparative struggles and disruptive engagements of descendant communities, including court cases, protests and sit-ins.
Adam Omar Hosein
Racial Discrimination and Social Power
Adam Omar Hosein is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program, and Affiliate Professor of Law. He works in moral, political, and legal philosophy, with a special interest in areas of international concern and issues relating to race or gender. He is author of The Ethics of Migration: An Introduction (Routledge, 2019).
During his fellowship year, Hosein will pursue a book project about discrimination, including anti-discrimination. Titled Discrimination, Inclusion, and Social Progress, the book is under contract with Oxford University Press. Professor Hosein asks what it would take for a theory of discrimination to fully account for structural racism. He suggests that disparate treatment and disparate impact are conceptually inadequate to grapple with complex, hegemonic systems of racial supremacy. He will explore methods of shifting power in favor of people marginalized by race and class, including proportional representation in federal elections and greater community control over local police.