Mary Anne Vallianatos and Vincent Wong Windsor Law professors Mary Anne Vallianatos and Vincent Wong have developed an original course on “Asian Canadians and the Law.”

Course to explore relationship between Asian Canadians and law

Windsor Law professors Mary Anne Vallianatos and Vincent Wong have developed an original course, “Asian Canadians and the Law,” available for Winter 2024.

This course contributes to anti-racist higher education by introducing students to historical foundations of gendered racial discrimination, theoretical tools to contextualize Asians’ experiences with the legal system in Canada, and ongoing debates concerning how law influences the construction and expression of Asian Canadian identity and citizenship.

“Definitely a key theme for this class is the question of how law shapes our ideas about race or normalizes daily experiences of racism. I think it’s important to consider the ways this question plays out for diverse Asian-Canadian communities,” said Vallianatos. “But more than case law, statutes, or state policy, I’m excited to engage students in the redress movements and important moments of organizing for collective change from our shared history.”

Learning outcomes of this class include:

  • Identify the ways in which law has contributed to the racialization of Asian Canadian communities;
  • Reflect on the differences and overlap between differently racialized communities in Canada;
  • Critically analyze laws, policies, and practices that the Canadian settler state has invoked to define and regulate Asian Canadians;
  • Examine the social and political consequences of historic laws that enacted racial and intersectional discrimination, including their colonial and imperial legacies, and contemporary manifestations of the same;
  • Identify strategies for countering racial hierarchy and subordination; and,
  • Consider the historic and contemporary forms of community mobilization and advocacy in legal forums and through non-legal interventions to respond to the concerns of Asian Canadians.

“This course has emerged in response to the significant increase in incidents of anti-Asian racism and violence in North America in the wake of the discovery and spread of COVID,” Wong said.

“This surge underscored a notable lack of historical comprehension and resources within Canadian law schools for comprehending, confronting, and opposing such occurrences.”

This course was developed with the help of research grant from the Diversity Indigeneity and Anti-Racism PD Fund.

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