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New Essay By University Of Miami Law Professor Analyzes The Story Of A Haitian Immigrant

October 15, 2009

University of Miami Law Professor Anthony V. Alfieri has recently authored an essay titled, “Discovering Identity in Civil Procedure” that explores the story of Floride Norelus, an undocumented Haitian immigrant. The backdrop for Norelus’s story comes out of Ariela J. Gross’s new book “What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America.” In the book, Gross expands on slavery, race, and antebellum trials to investigate the changing meaning of identity in law and litigation.

Gross conjoins the study of law and culture, as she constructs identity – both race and gender – from social performance and scientific expertise. Prof Alfieri’s essay extends Gross’ historical scrutiny of identity trials to contemporary civil rights debates over the construction of race in law and litigation. The essay is divided into three parts ““ Gross’ analysis of racial identity trials, examination of trial and appellate litigation in Floride Norelus’s civil rights case, and consideration of alternative approaches to civil rights litigation embodied in identity performance and empowerment strategies.

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