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Gender, Race, Intersectionality and Law



Admitted to Honours College Law.


Until now, systematic discussions of gender, race and law have received little attention from Dutch law faculties, especially at the undergraduate teaching level. At the same time, public calls for discussion of these issues increases all the time. The internet has enabled movements against gender-based harassment (#MeToo) and race-based police brutality (#BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName) to the connect on an international scale, while local organizers have continued to call attention to what makes each of these movements unique to a given place. Legal instruments against unequal treatment based on race or gender have existed for decades at both the national and international level, but don’t seem to be sufficient or adequate to address continuing inequalities.

This honors course provides students the opportunity to explore some of the histories, theories and challenges of seeking equal justice under the law. Concrete examples will focus on gender and race, but discussions and tools will encourage expansive interpretation and allow us to explore the intersections between various aspects of individual identity, national and international legal institutions, politics and law.


At the end of this course, students will be able to
1) identify and explain the key theoretical aspects of interaction between gender, race, and law & intersectionality
2) identify and critically evaluate different schools of feminist legal theory as well as critical race theory
3) conduct research on specific case studies on a related topic of their interest
4) work effectively in group projects, present their case studies to the audience, and thereby contribute to the debate


The first part of this course consists of five interactive sessions of 3 hours. In these meetings, we will discuss the following subjects/questions:

  • Why shall we study feminist legal theory? Liberal, Radical, and Cultural Feminism

  • Intersectionality, Anti-discrimination and Equality

  • How law constructs race and gender in the Netherlands?

  • Sexual consent, Carceral Feminism: Rape Law and Age of Consent Law

  • Postmodern and Postcolonial Feminism: FGM and Child Marriage

In each session, the last hour will be spent for group work. Students will choose a case study and will conduct group research.
At the end of this course, the students will present the outcome of their research project on a ‘Conference Day’ – which will take a form of academic conference whereby they listen to each other’s presentations and engage in academic debates, to collectively advance our understandings of the subjects learnt in this course and of the related issues. ( If day and time are not found then this idea will be dropped and it will a written and/or video assignment instead.)


The meetings will take place on:
Wednesday September 14
Wednesday September 21
Wednesday September 28
Wednesday October 5
Wednesday October 12

All meetings are from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

Day and time of the ‘Conference Day’: Wednesday 26 October, from 09:15-12:00 uur.

Of course, attendance is mandatory and students are expected to prepare well and participate actively in the meetings. As with all courses of HC Law. This is partly due to the character and structure of HC Law and its courses, which therefore also have the status of ‘practical exercises’.


Evaluation forms:

  •       Short written assignments (reading responses) (30%)
  •       Group research (70%)

The content of these two evaluation forms is still being worked on. For the time being, and therefore subject to changes and adjustments, the set-up is as stated below. The final content of the test forms are included in the Syllabus, and will be explained during the first educational meeting.

Reading responses
To guide and stimulate your reading, one week before each lecture the teacher and/or course coordinator will give an assignment, for example a reading quiz on the forum on Brightspace.
Think of a quiz in that it will ask you about some key concepts and ideas from the lecture and the reading - and a response in that we will also ask you to reflect on your thoughts on the reading, what confused you, and what you would like to know more about.
What is important is not to give “correct” answers – but to exchange ideas with other students and to contribute to the development of academic discussions in a friendly constructive manner.

The Group research:
At the start of the course students will be asked to name three preferences for a particular topic for the group research project. Working on a specific topic will allow students to have ‘a case study’, in order to delve deeper into the topic, as well as to further reflect on some of the broader themes and theories learned in this course.
The list of topics will be available in the Syllabus/Brightspace. There will be probably six topics for you to choose from.

At the end of the course there will be a ‘Conference Day’, where each group will present their research outcome.
On this day students are also expected to reflect on and give constructive feedback to other groups’ presentations. This Conference Day will allow students not only to present their research outcome, but also to receive feedback to incorporate them to their research project.

After the Conference Day, each group will rework their presentations into 1000-word blogposts.
The presentations and essays will be graded as group work and partly individual.

Along with this group assignment, students will also be asked to submit a ‘reflection paper’.
In this paper students should discuss what you learned in the research and the presentation, as well as reflection on their group work (e.g., how they divided the work, their individual contribution to the group project), and any other responses to the assignment and experience they would like to share. This paper also should include a full bibliography of any material cited/drawn on by your presentation. It should be 1000 words max. excluding the bibliography.

Both the essay and the reflection paper are due on November 5nd.


More information on this course will be offered on Brightspace.


Syllabus, which contains the list of literature, will be made available on Brightspace.


Via de administratie van Honours College Law: op de wijze zoals aangegeven in de Cohort Brightspace omgeving en/of de mail over ‘Aanmelden vakken’.

Minimum en maximum aantal deelnemers



Co-ordinator: dr. Hoko Horii
Work address: KOG
Contact information: by appointment via email

Institute: Metajuridica
Department: Van Vollenhoven Institute
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 9.00 - 12.30 and 13.30 - 16.00 h.
Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 7260