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MacKinnon, Catharine A.

Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law


Catharine A. MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at Michigan Law and the long-term James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She holds a BA from Smith College, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in political science from Yale. She specializes in sex equality issues under international and domestic (including comparative, criminal, and constitutional) law. She pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment and, with Andrea Dworkin, created ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation and the Swedish model for abolishing prostitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography, and hate speech, which have been influential internationally as well. Representing Bosnian women survivors of Serbian genocidal sexual atrocities, she won with co-counsel a damage award of $745 million in August 2000 in Kadic v. Karadzic under the Alien Tort Act, the first recognition of rape as an act of genocide. Among the schools at which she has taught are Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Harvard, Osgoode Hall, Basel (Switzerland), Hebrew University (Jerusalem), and Columbia. She was awarded residential fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, Stanford, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the University of Cambridge. Professor MacKinnon's scholarly books include the casebook Sex Equality (2001/2007), Are Women Human? (2006), Women's Lives, Men's Laws (2005), Only Words (1993), Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), Feminism Unmodified (1987), and Sexual Harassment of Working Women (1979). She is widely published in journals, the popular press, and many languages. Professor MacKinnon practices and consults nationally and internationally and works regularly with Equality Now, an NGO promoting international sex equality rights for women, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. Serving as the first special gender adviser to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (The Hague) from 2008 to 2012, she implemented her concept of "gender crime." In 2014, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of American Law Schools Women's Division and was elected to the American Law Institute. Studies document that Professor MacKinnon is among the most widely-cited legal scholars in the English language.

Recent Publications

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​"Toward a Renewed Equal Rights Amendment: Now More Than Ever." Harv. J. L. & Gender 37, no. 2 (2014): 569-79.​
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​"Shakespeare's Sister in Philosophy and Reality: A Response." Am. Phil. Ass'n. Newsl. Phil. & Law 12, no. 2 (2013): 16-22.​
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Co-author. "Sexual Violence." C. K. Nana, co-author. In The Oxford Companion to Comparative Politics, edited by J. Krieger, 2, 359-64. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013.

​"Raising Hell, Making Miracles: The Everlovin' Legal Imagination of Ann Scales." Denv. U. L. Rev. 91, no. 1 (2013): 13-21.
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"Intersectionality as Method: A Note." Signs 38, no. 4 (2013): 1019-30.​

​"Creating International Law: Gender as Leading Edge." Harv. J. L. & Gender 36, no. 1 (2013): 105-21.
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Foreword to Symposium: Catherine MacKinnon. Tulsa L.Rev. 46, no. 1 (2012): 1-6.
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"Martinez Revisited." In The Indian Civil Rights Act at Forty, edited by K. A. Carpenter, M. L. M. Fletcher, and A. R. Riley, 27-38. Los Angeles: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2012.

"Gender in Constitutions." In The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law, edited by M. Rosenfeld and A. Sajó, 397-416. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
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"Feminist Legal Theory." In Legal Intellectuals in Conversation: Reflections on the Construction of Contemporary American Legal Theory, edited by J. R. Hackney, Jr., 129-43. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

"Creating International Law: Gender as New Paradigm." In Non-State Actors, Soft Law and Protective Regimes, edited by C. Bailliet, 17-31. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012.

​"10 x 10 (American): Homage to Norman Dorsen." Int'l J. Const. L. 10, no. 3 (2012): 786-91.
Full Text: Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals

Foreword to Feminist Constitutionalism: Global Perspectives, by B. Baines, D. Barak-Erez, and T. Kahana, editors, ix-xii. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, (2012).

Foreword to Speech and Harm: Controversies over Free Speech, by I. Maitra and M. K. McGowan, editors, vi-xviii. Oxford: Oxford University Press, (2012).
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