Faculty Feature: Flavio Risech-Ozeguera
Flavio Risech-Ozeguera, associate professor of law, holds a B.A. from the University of South Florida and a J.D. from Boston University, and was a Community Fellow in urban studies and planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Formerly a practicing attorney representing low-income clients and community organizations, he has taught at Harvard and Northeastern law schools and at the University of Massachusetts and Wesleyan University.
His interests include civil and human rights, transnational migrations, and Latino and Latin American studies with special focus on Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Border Matters: Mexico and the United States (Fall 2012)
The U.S.-Mexico border was famously described by Gloria Anzaldúa as the “thin edge of barbwire…where the Third World grates against the First and bleeds.” Nowhere else in the world is there such physical proximity of a post-industrial nation and a developing one. While capital, goods and managerial personnel freely cross the border under NAFTA, the Mexican worker is the target of conflicting policies aimed at securitizing the border and disciplining labor on both sides. The political and economic relationship between the two nations produces deeply problematic effects in each, driving northward migration and producing the archetypically Mexican “illegal alien” devoid of rights. Deeply held notions of racial, ethnic and national boundaries mark the social terrain, yet are challenged by the explosive growth of transnational circuits and communities. Emphasizing historical analysis and contemporary theories of nationalism, governmentality, globalization, and transnationalism, the course will challenge students to rethink the meaning of the border, the place of Mexicans in the U.S., and the role of the U. S. in Mexico.
Constitutionally Queer: Law, Politics & Sexuality (Spring 2012)
Until 2003, consensual sex between adult same-gender partners was a crime in many of the United States. Most states and the Federal government still prohibit same-sex marriage and exclude nonconforming couples and individuals from a host of social and financial benefits automatically available to the straight. And those whose gender identity is transgressive face numerous legal indignities. Many forms of resistance (and backlash) have emerged to challenge (or reinforce) the normative assumptions of state control over sexuality and gender expression. Public confrontations between the values of traditional sexual morality, and those of individual autonomy and equality, take place in judicial, legislative and electoral arenas. By reading historical analyses and key cases that reflect and shape our debates about the proper place of the State in queer people’s bedrooms and lives, we will gain basic familiarity with legal analysis, constitutional politics and the law as a historically contingent system of power.