School of Law, Gender and Media

Dr Brenna Bhandar

Key information

School of Law, Gender and Media Director of Research
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.
Senate House
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4540
Support hours
Wednesdays 11:00 - 13:00 (Term 2)


Brenna Bhandar’s primary research has centred on the colonial foundations of modern law, taking property (broadly conceived) as its main focus. This research culminated in the publication of Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land and Racial Regimes of Ownership (Duke University Press, 2018), which excavates the co-emergence of racial subjectivities and modern property law in various settler colonies. She examines how from the 18th century onwards, prevailing concepts of race and racial difference, understood as always gendered in ways specific to each context, were forged in conjunction with economic ideologies that rendered race contingent on particular forms of labour and property relations – captured by the term “racial regimes of ownership.”

Brenna has published widely in the areas of critical legal theory, sovereignty and indigenous rights, contemporary disputes over ownership and property rights, amongst other themes. Brenna takes a fundamentally transdisciplinary approach to her research, and draws upon critical race and feminist theory, critical indigenous studies scholarship, post-colonial theory, political philosophy and legal history.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Leonie Clarke The Legal Standing, Autonomy and Equivocal Personhood of Enslaved Black People In 17th-19th Century Britain and Jamaica
Mr Moritz Koenig Colonial Law in Minangkabau. Legal Discourses and the Enframing of West Sumatran Social Worlds
Paola Zichi Thesis (Working) Title: On Feminist Approaches to Self-Determination in Mandatory Palestine


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