Professor Obasogie's research attempts to bridge the conceptual and methodological gaps between empirical and doctrinal scholarship on race. This effort can be seen in his recent work that asks: how do blind people understand race? By engaging in qualitative research with individuals who have been totally blind since birth, this project provides an empirical basis from which to rethink core assumptions embedded in social and legal approaches to race and discrimination. His first article from this project won the Law & Society Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize in addition to being named runner-up for the Distinguished Article Award by the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association. This research is further discussed in Professor Obasogie’s first book, Blinded By Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind (Stanford University Press, 2014), which was awarded the Herbert Jacob Book Prize. (Click here to read Professor Obasogie’s interview with the Boston Globe on the themes explored in the book.)
His scholarship also looks at the past and present roles of science in both constructing racial meanings and explaining racial disparities. This is tied to his interest in bioethics, particularly the social, ethical, and legal implications of reproductive and genetic technologies. Obasogie’s second book, Beyond Bioethics: Towards a New Biopolitics (with Marcy Darnovsky) is currently under contract with the University of California Press.
In addition to his work at Hastings, Professor Obasogie has a joint appointment with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Genetics and Society. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program at UCSF and UC Berkeley. Obasogie is a 2014 Soros Justice Fellow with the Open Society Institute and serves on the Advisory Board of Life of the Law.
Professor Obasogie's writings span both academic and public audiences, with journal articles in the Law & Society Review, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Stanford Technology Law Review, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics along with commentaries in outlets such as the New York Times, Slate, Scientific American, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and New Scientist. (Click the publications link for a full list.)
Education: Yale University, B.A. (with distinction); Columbia Law School, J.D. (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar); University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. (National Science Foundation Fellow)
Courses Taught: Constitutional Law; Bioethics; Social, Ethical, and Legal Implications of Reproductive and Genetic Technologies
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