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Drucilla Cornell: Wikis


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Drucilla Cornell is a national research foundation chair in customary law, indigenous values and the dignity jurisprudence. The chair is sponsored by the University of Cape Town Law Faculty. She is the only A1 ranked female professor at the University of Cape Town, and one of only a handful of A1 ranked woman in South Africa. She is also the co-director (with Dr Chuma Himonga) of the uBuntu Project. Professor Cornell is an advocate and researcher for Khulamani, an on the ground organisation of people who suffered under apartheid and are now struggling to find new and creative ways to counter the devastation that remains because of the system of racialized capitalism. She has a daughter, Sarita Graciela Kellow Cornell, who was adopted from Paraguay, and remains a dual citizen of both Paraguay and the United States of America.



She received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Philosophy and Mathematics from Antioch College in 1978, and her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from University of California Los Angeles Law School in 1981.


Prior to beginning her life as an academic, Professor Cornell was a union organizer for a number of years. She worked for the UAW, the UE, and the IUE in California, New Jersey, and New York. As well as being a union organiser, Professor Cornell has been an active feminist. After 9/11 she organised a feminist peace group with Professor Ann Snitow at the New School. In addition to her chair at the University of Cape Town she is also a professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University.

On deconstruction and the law

She played a key role in organizing the conference on deconstruction and justice at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1989, 1990, and 1993—a conference at which Jacques Derrida is thought by many to have made his definitive philosophical turn towards ethical thought.


Her first play, produced in 1989, was a dramatic adaptation of Finnegans Wake which continues to be performed on Bloomsday. Her other plays, 'The Dream Cure', 'Background Interference', and 'Lifeline', have been produced in New York and other cities including Atlanta and Boca Rotan Florida.

Selected works

  • (1991) Beyond Accommodation: Ethical Feminism, Deconstruction and the Law
  • (1992) The Philosophy of the Limit
  • (1993) Transformations: Recollective Imagination and Sexual Difference
  • (1995) The Imaginary Domain: Abortion, Pornography, and Sexual Harassment
  • (1998) At the Heart of Freedom: Feminism, Sex, and Equality
  • (2000) Just Cause: Freedom, Identity, and Rights
  • (2002) Between Women and Generations: Legacies of Dignity
  • (2004) Defending Ideals: War, Democracy, and Political Struggles
  • (2007) Moral Images of Freedom: A Future for Critical Theory
  • (2009) Clint Eastwood and Issues of American Masculinity

See also

External links



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