This Spring, the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law is pleased to welcome an exciting cohort of Visiting Faculty, who will be working in residence with our team at Columbia Law School this semester.  Our visitors, Professors Sahar Aziz, Suzanne Kim, and Melissa Murray, will be engaged in programming with students and faculty at Columbia Law School, while also working on individual research projects, detailed below.

Please join us in offering a warm welcome to our visitors, and read more about their exciting work below!

Sahar Aziz
Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, and Middle East and Legal Studies Scholar at Rutgers University Law School.

Professor Aziz served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where she worked on law and policy at the intersection of national security and civil liberties.  Professor Aziz began her legal career as a litigation associate for WilmerHale after which she was an associate at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLP in Washington, D.C. where she litigated Title VII class actions on behalf of plaintiffs.

Professor Aziz earned a J.D. and M.A. in Middle East Studies from the University of Texas where she was as an associate editor of the Texas Law Review.  Professor Aziz clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

While at Columbia, Professor Aziz will be working on her book, The Muslim Menace: The Racialization of Religion in the Post-9/11 Era, which examines the myriad ways Islam is racialized in law and society to exempt Muslims from religious freedom protections.  In doing so, the book brings to the forefront the paradox of explicit bias and discrimination against an ostensible religious minority notwithstanding the privileging of religion in American anti-discrimination norms and law.  The book historicizes its analysis of the contemporary era to argue that religious freedom has always been conditioned on a group’s relationship to the social construction of whiteness and American Christendom.  Professor Aziz’s book is forthcoming with Harvard University Press.

Suzanne A. Kim
Professor of Law and Judge Denny Chin Scholar at Rutgers University Law School in Newark.

Professor Kim’s research and teaching interests include family, procedure, constitutional law, antidiscrimination, critical theory, and socio-legal studies. Her scholarship, interdisciplinary in approach, bridges law, critical theory, and social sciences in examining socio-legal regulation of intimacies and gender, antidiscrimination, and resilience.

Professor Kim earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She has served as an appointed member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns and has practiced law as a litigation associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York and received the firm’s Pro Bono Service Award. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Denny Chin, then of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and now of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Professor Kim was a lecturer-in-law at Stanford Law School in what is now the Thomas C. Grey Fellowship program.

While at Columbia Professor Kim will be focusing on processes of legal status migrations, including in the intimate context. This work connects theories of procedural justice and vulnerability with insights from social sciences to explore how gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and other socioeconomic status factors inform passages across intimate status borders like that surrounding marriage. She is also writing about intimate and bodily rights as they relate to socio-legal movements in the regulation of family, race, and reproductive rights.

Melissa Murray
Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law at Berkeley Law School.

Professor Murray joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2006.  She teaches Family Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Reproductive Rights and Justice. She served as interim dean from March 2016 to June 2017.

Murray is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, and Yale Law School, where she was notes development editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Murray is a member of the New York bar.

While at Columbia, Professor Murray will be completing two essays–one on Griswold v. Connecticut‘s origins in the criminal law reform movement, and another on interracial child custody decisions made in the aftermath of Loving v. Virginia.  But hopefully, most of my time and attention will be devoted to launching a new project that focuses on the regulation of sex and sexuality in the aftermath of decriminalization and legalization.

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