The Center for the Study of Law and Culture
Khiara M. Bridges Law ’02, Ph.D. ’08 does a reading for Human Rights: Culture, a Seminar Performance Project sponsored by the center.
The mission of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia University (CSLC) is to facilitate interdisciplinary study, research, and scholarship on the intersections of law and culture.
Starting from the twin premises that law is a cultural form and that culture carries the regulative force of legal practices and norms, the CSLC seeks to advance a wide range of work in law and culture studies. Embracing an expansive definition of culture as a concept whose boundaries range from the aesthetic to the political, the CSLC supports projects that understand law in a strict institutional or positivist sense, as well as those that approach law more generally as a regime for ordering social life, constructing cultural meaning, and shaping group and individual identities.
CLSC projects emanate from the understanding that law can no longer be adequately analyzed as though it were exogenous to the realm of culture. In keeping with its broad mandate, the CSLC offers an intellectual home for teaching, research, and scholarship across disciplines.
Penelope Andrews is the 2018-2019 Sabbatical Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia Law School. She previously completed two terms as Dean: as the first Black dean at the University of Cape Town Faculty of a Law and as the first female dean of Albany Law School, New York. She served as an Acting Judge of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for the 2018 third term, presiding over criminal appeals, motion court and civil trials.
Andrews has published several books and articles that focus on comparative constitutional law, gender and racial equality, human rights, and particularly the tension between respect for indigenous law and implementing broader human rights norms, the judiciary, and legal education. She also publishes regularly in the popular and social media, focusing on issues of race, poverty, legal education, public interest litigation and the ongoing challenges of transforming an economically unequal and racially divided society.