Emma Shakeshaft is a law and society postdoctoral fellow at the Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University. Emma’s research analyzes legal constructions of race, ethnicity, nationality, and gender by examining how legal actors define, apply, and interpret these concepts when making legal decisions. Her dissertation, “Race, Law and Family Formation in the United States: The Legal Construction of Race in Transracial Adoption Case Law”, demonstrates the ways in which legislators and judges impact family formation based on their interpretations of race, culture, and nationality in transracial adoption legislation and case law.
Before moving to New Orleans, Emma lived in Chicago where she was a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation. She earned a PhD and an M.S. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She also received her B.A. in sociology and international relations from the University of Southern California.