SOAS University of London

School of Law

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.
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Publications


Staff Silhouette
School of Law

Postgraduate Taught Programmes Convenor

Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)


Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law


Centre for Ottoman Studies


Dr Brenna Bhandar
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4540
Senate House
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Tuesday 17:00-18:00 & Wednesday 11:00-12:00
On Sabbatical:
Term 2 (2018/19)


Brenna Bhandar’s current research project explores the relationship between racial formations and modern property law in settler colonial contexts. She examines articulations of race and ownership that emerge through the appropriation of Indigenous lands, drawing on a combination of critical theory, archival sources, and interviews in Canada, Australia and Israel/Palestine.

She is co-editor (with Jon Goldberg-Hiller) of the book Plastic Materialities: Legality, Politics and Metamorphosis in the work of Catherine Malabou (Duke University Press, 2015). The contributions in this volume assess the political and philosophical implications of Malabou's innovative combination of poststructuralism and neuroscience across the disciplines of legal theory, sociology, literature and philosophy.

She is also co-editor of a special issue of Darkmatter Journal, "Reflections on Dispossession: Critical Feminisms" (2016, with Davina Bhandar). This collection traces a path for contemporary critiques of neoliberal capitalism and colonial dispossession. The authors show the compelling need for complex strategies and tools to evaluate the interlocking or intersectional practices of dispossession, and their particular effects on racialised, Indigenous, sexualized, and gendered subjects.

Brenna is co-editor of the Routledge Book Series, Law and the Post-Colonial: Ethics, Politics & Economy, and has served on the editorial board of Feminist Legal Studies and the International Advisory Board of the Law and Society Review.

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


Modules 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
  • Moritz Koenig, Adaik Minangkabau and the Law: An Anthropological Critique of Sociality and Self in West Sumatra
  • Paola Zichi, Thesis (Working) Title: On Feminist Approaches to Self-Determination in Mandatory Palestine
  • Sai Englert, The Defeat of Hebrew Labour: Neoliberalism, the Histadrut, and the labour movement in Israel


Authored Books

Bhandar, Brenna (2018) Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land and Racial Regimes of Ownership. Durham, North Carolina: 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, pp 253-282.

Bhandar, Brenna and Toscano, Alberto (2015) '"Race, Real Estate and Real Abstraction"'. Radical Philosophy, (194).

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 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 (2017) 'Registering Interests: Modern Methods of Valuing Labour, Land and Life'. Searching For Contemporary Legal Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 290-311.

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

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

Bhandar, Brenna (2011) 'The Conceit of Sovereignty: Toward Post-Colonial Technique'. 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'. 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 Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 04:41 Europe/London.