Vinay Harpalani ’09 was selected as this year’s Student Scholar at the Thirteenth Annual LatCrit Conference hosted by Latino and Latina Legal Critical Theory, Inc. This year’s conference took place October 2-5 in Seattle. The paper that garnered the award, "Formal, Material, and Symbolic Modes of Racialization: Examining South Asian Americans’ Access to 'Whiteness,'" uses South Asian Americans as a case study to explore the concept of whiteness as a form of capital to which various groups may seek access.
“The conference was an incredible experience and opportunity,” Harpalani said. “The entire LatCrit community not only embraced me, but treated me like a keynote speaker.” He is also quick to recognize the role that the NYU faculty played in his intellectual development. He noted many professors by name, making special mention of Professors Paulette Caldwell and Cristina Rodríguez, who he claimed “have been my academic mentors at NYU: working with them has allowed me to better understand how law develops in social and political context.” In addition to the law degree Harpalani is due to receive in May, he also holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Harpalani hopes to become a professor of law.