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School of Law

Dr Brenna Bhandar

BA (Hons) University of Toronto, LLB (University of British Columbia), PhD (Birkbeck School of Law, University of London), called to the Bar of British Columbia.


Staff Silhouette
School of Law

Senior Lecturer in Law

Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law


Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)


Centre for Ottoman Studies


Dr Brenna Bhandar
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4540
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Tuesday 13:00 to 15:00


Prior to joining SOAS, Brenna Bhandar was a lecturer at Kent Law School and Queen Mary School of Law. She has been a visiting lecturer in Canada and South Africa. Her areas of research and teaching include property law, equity and trusts, indigenous land rights, post-colonial and feminist legal theory, multiculturalism and pluralism, critical legal theory, and critical race theory.

On her current research project, she examines techniques of ownership and dispossession in settler colonial contexts. Building on her doctoral research, which focused on theories of recognition and Aboriginal rights, she traces the relationship between the emergence of modern property law and settler colonialism, revealing how emergent forms of value were produced in conjunction with a thoroughly gendered, racial capitalism.  

Another recent research project has culminated in the forthcoming publication of an edited book: Plastic Materialities: legality, politics and metamorphosis in the work of Catherine Malabou (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming), co-edited with Professor Jon Goldberg-Hiller.

Brenna is co-editor of the Routledge Book Series, Law and the Post-Colonial: Ethics, Politics & Economy (with Denise Ferreira da Silva and Mark Harris), and is on the international advisory board of the Law and Society Review.

To view her publications, blogposts and other miscellaneous pieces of work, please see: Academia.edu.

Brenna is happy to supervise doctoral students working in the areas of indigenous rights, law and colonialism, post-colonial, feminist and critical legal theories.


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Dan He, Working Title: Personification of State as ‘Corporation’
  • Margaret O'Brien, Law, power and land in the Chittagong Hill Tracts - An analysis of the emancipatory potential of the human rights system in the customary legal system of the Jumma people of Bangladesh
  • Sai Englert, The Defeat of Hebrew Labour: Neoliberalism, the Histadrut, and the labour movement in Israel
  • PhD Research Seminars


Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Bhandar, Brenna and Goldberg-Hiller, Jon, eds. (2015) Plastic Materialities: Politics, Legality, and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou. Duke University Press.

Book Chapters

Bhandar, Brenna and Toscano, Alberto (2016) 'Representing Palestinian Dispossession.' In: Ferreira da Silva, Denise and Harris, Mark, (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Law, Race and the Postcolonial. London: Routledge. (Forthcoming)

Bhandar, Brenna and Goldberg-Hiller, Jon (2015) 'Law, Sovereignty and Recognition.' In: Plastic Materialities: Politics, Legality and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 209-232.

Bhandar, Brenna and Goldberg-Hiller, Jon (2015) 'Introduction: Staging Encounters.' In: Plastic Materialities: Politics, Legality and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou. Durham: Duke University Press. (In Press)

Bhandar, Brenna (2012) 'Dis-assembling legal form: ownership and the racial body.' In: New Critical Legal Thinking: law and the political. London: Routledge, pp. 112-127.

Bhandar, Brenna (2011) 'The Conceit of Sovereignty: Toward Post-Colonial Technique.' In: Stories Communities: Narratives of Contact and Arrival in Constituting Political Community. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, pp. 66-88.

Bhandar, Brenna (2007) ''Spatialising History' and Opening Time: Resisting the Reproduction of the Proper Subject.' In: Law and the Politics of Reconciliation. Ashgate, pp. 93-110.


Bhandar, Brenna (2015) 'Title By Registration: instituting modern property law and creating racial value in the settler colony.' Journal of Law and Society . pp. 253-282.

Bhandar, Brenna (2015) 'Possession, Occupation and Registration: Recombinant Ownership in the Settler Colony.' Settler Colonial Studies . (Forthcoming)

Bhandar, Brenna (2014) 'Critical Legal Studies and the Politics of Property.' Property Law Review, 3 . pp. 186-194.

Bhandar, Brenna (2014) 'Property, Law, and Race: modes of abstraction.' UC Irvine Law Review, 4 (1). pp. 203-218.

Bhandar, Brenna (2012) 'Strategies of Legal Rupture: The Politics of Judgment.' Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice , 30 . pp. 59-78.

Bhandar, Brenna (2011) 'Plasticity and Post-Colonial Recognition: Owning, Knowing and Being.' Law and Critique, 22 (3). pp. 227-249.

Bhandar, Brenna (2009) 'The Ties That Bind: Multiculturalism and Secularism Reconsidered.' Journal of Law and Society, 36 (3). pp. 301-326.

Bhandar, Brenna (2009) 'Constituting Practices and Things: The Concept of the Network and Studies in Law, Gender and Sexuality.' Feminist Legal Studies, 17 . pp. 325-332.

Bhandar, Brenna (2007) 'Recovering the Limits of Recognition: The Politics of Difference and Decolonisation in John Borrows' Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law.' Australian Feminist Law Journal, 27 . pp. 125-151.

Bhandar, Brenna (2004) 'Anxious Reconciliation(s): unsettling foundations and spatialising history.' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22 . pp. 831-845.

Bhandar, Brenna (2002) 'Always on the Defence: The Myth of Universality and the Persistence of Privilege in Legal Education.' Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 14 . pp. 341-361.

Book Reviews

Bhandar, Brenna and Goldberg-Hiller, Jon (2011) 'Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction and Deconstruction by Catherine Malabou.' Theory and Event, 14 (1).

Bhandar, Brenna (2009) 'Book Review: Hegel’s Laws: The Legitimacy of a Modern Legal Order: By William E. Conklin, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. 400 pp. $65.00 (Cloth). ISBN 10-0804750300.' Law, Culture and the Humanities, 5 . pp. 452-456.

Bhandar, Brenna (2009) 'Joan Wallach Scott: The Politics of the Veil.' Feminist Legal Studies, 17 . pp. 345-351.

Bhandar, Brenna 'Unmapping Myths and De-territorialising Knowledge(s).' Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 16 (1). pp. 226-234.

Bhandar, Brenna 'A Review of Zeina B. Ghandour's A Discourse on Domination in Mandate Palestine: Imperialism, Property and Insurgency.' Modern Law Review, 73 (6). pp. 1079-1082.

This list was generated on Sun Aug 30 00:33:54 2015 BST.