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Aoki Seminar Series - Professor Leti Volpp, Berkeley Law

Tuesday October 20, 2020

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

“Shithole Countries”

 This talk will explain the context in which this term was uttered by President Trump, will discuss how the term appears in litigation opposing Trump’s immigration policies, and will offer an analysis about the term itself.

No recording will be available.

Leti Volpp joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2005. She researches immigration and citizenship law with a particular focus on how law is shaped by ideas about culture and identity.  

Volpp’s honors include two Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships, a MacArthur Foundation Individual Research and Writing Grant, the Association of American Law Schools Minority Section Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Award, and the Professor Keith Aoki Asian Pacific American Jurisprudence Award. She has delivered many public lectures, including the James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale Law School, the Korematsu Lecture at New York University Law School, and the Barbara Aronstein Black Lecture at Columbia Law School. Volpp is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany. She has served as a Visiting Faculty member at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and as Faculty for the University of Osnabrück Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of Law.

Volpp currently directs the campus-wide Center for Race and Gender, and is an affiliate of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the Center for the Study of Law and Society, Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Institute for European Studies, and is a core faculty member of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative.

After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993, Volpp clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson ’62 of the Northern District of California, and then worked as a public interest lawyer for several years. Volpp served as a Skadden Fellow at Equal Rights Advocates and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, both in San Francisco; as a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C.; and as a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project in New York City.

For more information, please contact Nina Marie Bell at