[SydPhil] NISL SEMINAR: There is No ‘I’ in Law

Martin Krygier m.krygier at unsw.edu.au
Tue Oct 28 22:39:40 AEDT 2014

The UNSW Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law

invites you to attend a lunchtime seminar:

Sarah Keenan


Space and Subversive Property:
Holding Up Relations of (un)Belonging

Monday, 10 NOVEMBER 2014

1.00 – 2.00 PM

Dean’s Board Room

2nd Floor


Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging

The book from which this paper derives explores the relationship between space, subjectivity and property, arguing that new political possibilities for property may be unveiled by thinking about property in terms of belonging rather than exclusion.  While most socio-legal theories of property focus on the propertied subject and that subject’s right to exclude, this book shifts focus away from the propertied subject and on to the broader spaces in and through which the propertied subject is located.  Using case studies, such as analyses of compulsory leases under Australia’s Northern Territory Intervention and lesbian asylum cases from a range of jurisdictions, the book argues that these spaces consist of networks of relations that revolve around belonging: not just belonging between subject and object, as property is traditionally understood, but also the less explored relation of belonging between the part and the whole.  This presentation will discuss the main themes of the book to suggest ways in which subversive property might offer a conceptually useful way of analysing a wide range of socio-legal issues.


Sarah Keenan is lecturer in Law at SOAS, University of London.  She teaches Property, Feminist Legal Theory and Indigenous Land Rights and is also engaged in community-based struggles around each of these issues.  Her research draws on legal geography, feminist and critical race theory to think through the relationship between law, space and belonging (this is explored in her book 'Subversive Property: Law and the Production of Spaces of Belonging <http://www.guilfordpress.co.uk/books/details/9781138013988/>').  In particular, Sarah has written on the role of long term leases of Aboriginal land in Australia's Northern Territory Intervention, of the impact of identity testing in sexuality-based asylum claims, and of the conceptual and political links between property and governance, and between ownership and membership.

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