COUNTERSTORYTELLING: INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND AMERICAN LAW IN DERRICK BELL'S SCIENCE FICTION
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Recently, a division of legal scholarship, Critical Race Theory, began examining the law from a new perspective: creative literature. Within the legal community, CRT legal storytelling has received mixed reception; yet literary scholars have largely ignored this genre. This thesis aims to fill the research gap surrounding legal storytelling, examining the stories not only as works of legal scholarship, but as works of literature as well. Through application of literary theory and close-reading techniques, I argue for the value of literary works to legal scholarship, particularly civil rights. My research concerns four findings. First, literature broadens the scope of legal scholarship to examine how the law operates and our relationship to the law. Second, fiction allows for critique of the law and legal scholarship. Third, counterstories provide alternative strategies for the civil rights community. Finally, Derrick Bell’s science fiction contains elements of fantasy well-suited to judicial critique of racial inequality.