Spring 2024

Land, Law and Property

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-266


Nica M. Siegel (Section 01)


This course interrogates the theories of society that emerge alongside the history of the appropriation of land, especially the private property form.  We will take up several classical puzzles in the writings of thinkers such as John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Hannah Arendt: how do we come to understand land as available for possession? How should we distinguish between possession, use, and laying waste? What is the relation between the genesis of capitalist private property relations, imperialism, and the rise of the modern State form?  In all of this, we will think together about how the dispossession of indigenous, racial, and colonial subjects played a central role in the development of modern theories of property and land, engaging thinkers like Rosa Luxemburg, Frantz Fanon, Ruth Hall, and Brenna Bhandar. Finally, we will study the role of landed power in contemporary legal struggles across a number of contexts, working with critical legal geography and indigenous studies, and using materials from litigation, literature, archive, and documentary. 

Limited to 30 students. Offered Spring semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Siegel.

How to handle overenrollment: preference to LJST majors or demonstrated interest in topic

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: close reading, attention to papers, class discussion, revisions of writing

LJST 266 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM CHAP 103
Th 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM CHAP 103