SOAS University of London

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.
  • Teaching
  • Publications


Staff Silhouette
School of Law

Director of Research

Dr Brenna Bhandar
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4540
Senate House
Office No:
Academic 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.



Authored Books

Bhandar, Brenna (2018) Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land and Racial Regimes of Ownership. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Bhandar, Brenna and Bhandar, Davina (2016) 'Cultures of Dispossession: Critical Reflections on Rights, Status and Identities'. darkmatter Journal, (14).

Bhandar, Brenna (2016) 'Status as Property: Identity, Land and the Dispossession of First Nations Women in Canada'. darkmatter Journal, (14).

Bhandar, Brenna (2016) 'Possession, Occupation and Registration: Recombinant Ownership in the Settler Colony'. Settler Colonial Studies, (6) 2, pp 119-132.

Bhandar, Brenna and Toscano, Alberto (2016) 'Representing Palestinian Dispossession: Land, Property and Photography in the Settler Colony'. Settler Colonial Studies, (7) 1, pp 1-18.

Bhandar, Brenna (2015) 'Title By Registration: instituting modern property law and creating racial value in the settler colony'. Journal of Law and Society, (42) 2, pp 253-282.

Bhandar, Brenna and Toscano, Alberto (2015) 'Race, Real Estate and Real Abstraction'. Radical Philosophy, (194), pp 8-17.

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.

Edited Books or Journals

Bhandar, Brenna and Ziadah, Rafeef, (eds.), (2020) Revolutionary Feminisms: Conversations on Collective Action and Radical Thought. London: Verso.

Bhandar, Brenna and Bhandar, Davina, (eds.), (2016) Reflections on Dispossession: Critical Feminisms. London: Darkmatter Journal 14.

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

Book Chapters

Bhandar, Brenna (2018) '“Fault-lines in the Settler Colony: On the Margins of Settled Law”'. In: Muller, G and Brits, R and Slade, B V and Van Wyk, J and Pienaar, G J, (eds.), Transformative Property Law: Festschrift in honour of AJ van der Walt. Cape Town, South Africa: Juta and Company, pp 402-418.

Bhandar, Brenna (2017) 'Registering Interests: Modern Methods of Valuing Labour, Land and Life'. In: Desautels-Stein, Justin and Tomlins, Christopher, (eds.), Searching For Contemporary Legal Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 290-311.

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

Bhandar, Brenna and Goldberg-Hiller, Jonathan (2015) 'Introduction: Staging Encounters'. In: Bhandar, Brenna and Goldberg-Hiller, Jonathan, (eds.), Plastic Materialities: Politics, Legality and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp 1-34.

Bhandar, Brenna (2012) 'Dis-assembling legal form: ownership and the racial body'. In: Stone, Matthew and Wall, Illan and Douzinas, Costas, (eds.), 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: Lessard, Hester and Johnson, Rebecca and Webber, Jeremy, (eds.), 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: Veitch, Scott, (ed.), Law and the Politics of Reconciliation. Farnham: Ashgate, pp 93-110.

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 (2010) '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.

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 (2004) 'Unmapping Myths and De-territorialising Knowledge(s)'. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, (16) 1, pp 226-234.


Bhandar, Brenna and Ziadah, Rafeef (2016) 'Acts and omissions: Framing settler colonialism in Palestine Studies'.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 17:51 Europe/London.