Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Property Panels at Law and Society

Montreal Here is a list of property-related panels for the upcoming Law & Society Conference in Montreal.  If you're aware of a panel or paper that might be of interest to propertyprofs that I've missed, please leave a comment and I'll update this post.

[UPDATE:  Info on several panels added since intial post]

Thursday, May 29 - 8:15am - 10:00am: Property and Poverty 1114

Panel Abstract:

At its most fundamental level property law is presumed to protect our personal and communal connections to the material world: it transforms space into place. And yet property law is also a well-documented instrument of displacement. The history of colonialism is replete with stories of the use of property law to justify and legalize a shift of ownership from one population to another. Even when impoverished and marginalized people succeed in retaining or acquiring legally cognizable interests, these interests are often ultimately undermined by the very same property rules that were presumed to offer protection. This panel will explore the extent to which property law has failed to protect the modest property interests of impoverished and marginalized people, the latent potential within property law to actually shift resources to the poor, and alternative property related strategies to alleviate poverty.

Chair : Sarah Harding (Illinois Institute of Technology)


John A. Lovett (Loyola University New Orleans College of Law), The Winding Road to Recovery: Property Relationships Three Years after Katrina

Bernadette Atuahene (Illinois Institute of Technology), Property Theft and Restitution: The South African People Tell their Story

Nadja Jungmann (Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam), Improving the Effectiveness of the Amicable Debt Settlement Procedures

Thomas W. Mitchell (University of Wisconsin, Madison), A Tale of Two Communities: Race and Land Reform in the New Deal

Thursday, May 29 - 12:30pm - 2:15pm:  Status, Anxiety, and Conflict: How Property Law Shapes Relationships between People and Places 1322

Panel Abstract:

This panel will explore how property law impacts interpersonal relationships and the relationships between people and places. The issues that will be discussed include: How does property law shape the status relationships between people? Why does the alienability of certain types of property cause anxiety? How do different groups of people relate to historic properties, and how does that shape preservation law? What can property scholarship and the psychology of place tell each other about how property law impacts people’s relationship with their homes and other places and spaces?

Chair: Gregg Kettles (Mississippi College)


Benjamin Barros (Widener University), Legal Questions for the Psychology of Home and Place

Peter Byrne (Georgetown University), Hallowed Ground: The Gettysburg Battlefield in Historic Preservation Law

Nestor M. Davidson (University of Colorado), Property and Status

Lee Fennell (University of Chicago), Anxiety and Alienability

Thursday, May 29 - 12:30pm - 2:15pm:  Author Meets Reader--"Land Expropriation in Israel: Law, Culture, and Society," by Yifat Holzman-Gazit 1309

Panel Abstract:

Historically, Israel's Supreme Court has failed to limit the state's powers of expropriation and to protect private property. This book argues that the Court's land expropriation jurisprudence can only be understood against the political, cultural and institutional context in which it was shaped. Security concerns and economic pressures, the precarious status of the Court in its early years, the pervading ethos of collectivism, the cultural symbolism of public land ownership , the perceived strategic and demographic risks posed by the Israeli Arab population – all contributed to the creation of a harsh land expropriation legal philosophy. This philosophy, the book argues, was applied by the Supreme Court not only against Arab landowners but against Jewish landowners as well, from the establishment of the State in 1948 until the 1980s. The book concludes with an analysis of the constitutional changes of 1992 and their impact on the treatment of property rights under Israeli law.

Chair: Tehila Sagy (Stanford University)
Author: Yifat Holzman-Gazit (Stanford University)
Readers:  Gregory S. Alexander (Cornell University), Rachelle Alterman (Israel Institute of Technology); Geremy Forman (U of Haifa/Tel Aviv U); Alexandre Kedar (Haifa University); Nimer Sultany (Harvard University)

Friday, May 30 - 10:15am - 12:00pm:  Evolution and Reform of Property Law 2223

Panel Abstract:

This panel will focus on the reform of property law. It will address historical and contemporary mechanisms of achieving property reform, comparing common-law evolution of the law with statutorily-imposed change. It will also address the current need for reform to make property law responsive to the requirements of modern society. Individual papers will argue for the reform of the rules governing estates and future interests, which are unnecessarily complex; for the reform of the remedies imposed for abuse of easements to better achieve consistency, efficiency, and fairness in the law of servitudes; and for the reform of concurrent-interest law to better serve modern needs of people ranging from the intestate heirs of indigent farmers to the owners of a family vacation house.

Co-Chairs: Benjamin Barros (Widener University) & Mark Fenster (University of Florida)


Benjamin Barros (Widener University), The Failure of the Restatements and the Need for Model Laws of Property

Thomas W. Mitchell (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Exit from the Community: U.S. Property Law Reform and the Relevance of Comparative Perspectives

Lee J. Strang (Michigan State University), Damages as the Appropriate Remedy for “Abuse” of an Easement: Moving Toward Consistency, Efficiency, and Fairness in Property Law

Joshua C. Tate (Southern Methodist University), The Writ of Quare Impedit and the Development of English Property Law, 1180-1250

Sarah Waldeck (Seton Hall University), Inheriting the Family Cottage: Real Life Arrangements and the Law of Tenancies-In-Common

Friday, May 30 - 12:30pm - 2:15pm  Local Interaction, Constitutive Community, and the Role of Law: The Place of Identity 2306

Panel Abstract:

Individuals constitute and are constituted by their local communities. This panel’s papers analyze the social and legal dynamics of various types of local places and spaces where the interaction of individuals with one another expresses or actualizes an important aspect of the individuals’ identity, and at the same time constitutes a community that seeks to control and constitutes the site. Formal law and informal norms, visibility, invisibility and performance, and the rhetoric of public and private are among the tools. They may be deployed to create a stable consensus about the local place/space and the identity and status of the individuals who turn to that place/space or physically inhabit it. Or these tools may be used to destabilize, contesting the values expressed by the community and battling over the status and identity of the constituent individuals. Physical place will be contrasted with shared communicative space, and the multiscalar nature of conflicts over local constitutive community will also be discussed.

Chair: Ngai Pindell (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Discussant:  Hari Osofsky (Oregon)


Carlos A. Ball (Pennsylvania State University), Privacy, Property, and Public Sex

Robin Paul Malloy (Syracuse University), Opening Neighborhoods to the Mobility Impaired

Marc R. Poirier (Seton Hall University), Ocean Grove versus Ocean Grove

Russell K. Robinson (University of California, Los Angeles), Structural Dimensions of Romantic Preferences

Friday, May 30 - 4:30pm - 6:15pm  Marginalized People, Contested Use, and the Regulation of Space 2504

Panel Abstract:

This panel will explore how local governments respond to marginalized people engaging in controversial activities. The regulatory responses to these activities often lead to sub-optimal outcomes because of the relative powerlessness of the people that engage in them. Thus, local regulation aimed at housing occupied by illegal immigrants reflects the inferior property rights of non-citizens. Regulation of areas where day laborers congregate, even when well intentioned, fails to address either the needs of the laborers or the needs of the community. Regulation of market spaces can stifle the organic development of spontaneous order in heterogeneous market communities. Indeed, one response to market regulation is the development of a sense of community based on outsider status by marginalized people engaged in gray market enterprises.

Chair: Joshua C. Tate (Southern Methodist University)


John C. Cross (University of Mary Washington) and Alfonso Hernandez (Centro de Estudios Tepitenos), Deviant Space and Deviant Communities: The Defense of Alternative Uses of Space in Mexico City

Gregg Kettles (Mississippi College), Day Labor and Public Space

Alfonso Morales (University of Wisconsin)In the Zone: Street Markets and Street Merchants in Socio-Legal Perspective

Saturday, May 31 - 8:15am - 10:00am, Race and Property/Property and Race 3114

Panel Abstract:

This session focuses on the relevance of race to property and vice verse. The participants will explore a range of historical and contemporary problems, specifically the institutional challenges that people of color face in claiming and holding property entitlements. Property is a richly broad area. As such, the panelist will cover a variety of topics, including in human integrity and reputation, intellectual property in a socio-cultural context ; labor, wealth and property ownership. The panelists will explore the boundaries of property and the present disenfranchisement of black people from the various forms of property. This separations is deeply historic and currently persists, contributing to the ever-broadening wealth gap in America.

Co-Chairs: Carol N. Brown (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Zanita Fenton (University of Miami)


Olufunmilayo Arewa (Northwestern University), Borrowing the Blues: Intellectual Property and African American Music

Carol N. Brown (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Racism's Property Victims: Why Blacks Are Exploitable by Subprime Mortgages

Adrienne Davis (Washington University), The Jurisprudence and Justice of Black Reparations

Zanita Fenton (University of Miami), Reconstruction and Rhetoric: A History of Race, Speech, and Democracy

Saturday, May 31 - 10:15am - 12:00pm:  Roundtable--The Property of the Commons in Question 3231

Roundtable Abstract: 

This roundtable brings together scholars and activists to discuss the way globalized discussions of "the commons" are changing industrial practices of property. Specifically, the contributors are concerned with the transformation of the "commons" in recent years, with the way the term is mobilized to support the extension of globalized capital into local economies, and the consequences of such a re-articulation. Commenting on recent work on the subject, the roundtable members will discuss the precise ways that the "commons" is working its way into mainstream discourses, and, in doing so how it is fundamentally changing the practices of property. Possible points of discussion are: (i) the way "the commons" (both the notion and 'substance') is being appropriated and re-articulated by, among others, the World Bank, (ii) how some scholars' work abet this atrophying of the sense the commons has, (iii) how talk of "access" and "benefit-sharing" reinterpret the commons in a divisible way, and (iv) the relationship of the new mobilization of commons-discourse to new efforts of colonialism. Against this, the roundtable members will also comment on strategies and networks that challenge the appropriation of the discourse, with the aim of collaborating towards a richer understanding of the commons both within law, and without.

Chair: Shiri Pasternak (University of Toronto)
Participants: Nick Blomley (Simon Fraser University), Bradley Bryan (University of Victoria), Deborah Curran (University of Victoria), Geoff Mann (Simon Fraser University)

Saturday, May 31 - 2:30pm - 4:15pm:  Roundtable--Local Administrative Law 3420

Roundtable Abstract: 

Overshadowed by federal and state administrative law, the procedures and institutions of local governments constitute a set of complex doctrines and practices that deserve greater attention. Governing in the shadow of their larger and more powerful partners in the American state, local governments reckon with distinct challenges in their efforts to meet the same core democratic values (including impartiality, accountability, transparency, and deliberation) that challenge federal and state governments. Local governments encounter these challenges under quite different conditions, however, given their limited political authority and resource constraints. Their ability to govern legitimately and authoritatively is also colored by the American political imaginary, which views local governments as both the romantic, Tocquevillean locus of democratic participation and the exploitative site of corruption, segregation, and NIMBY-ism.

In focusing on “local administrative law,” this roundtable session will consider both the pluralism of local governance --- the diverse sources of law that affect municipalities, as well as the diverse practices in which they engage --- and the normative dimensions of bureaucracy and democracy as they play out at the local level. The panelists are engaged in a variety of projects that seek to describe how local administrative law operates on the ground, to suggest reforms that will improve existing procedures and address emerging regulatory issues, and to develop new theoretical models to understand the specificities of local administrative law. They plan to engage with these issues across levels of abstraction, academic disciplines, and substantive legal issues.

Chair: Mark Fenster (University of Florida)
Participants: Nestor M. Davidson (University of Colorado), Lee Fennell (University of Chicago), Ronald H. Rosenberg (William & Mary University), Edward Sullivan (Garvey Schubert Barer)

Saturday, May 31 - 2:30pm - 4:15pm:  Land Rights, Property, and Its Distribution in the Context of Development 3427

Chair/Discussant: Julie Paquin (McGill University)


Hiromi Amemiya (University of Toyama), Customary Land Right and Development Issues in Africa: Case of "Tanzania Village Land Act, 1999”

Bernadette Atuahene (Illinois Institute of Technology), The Legitimacy of Property Rights in the Context of Past Theft

Elizabeth Gianola (University of California, Berkeley), The Legal Construction of Communal Land Rights: The Ghanaian Experience

Jeffrey L. Gower (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Peter J. Kedron (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Rupal Desai (University at Buffalo, SUNY), and Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Political and Economic Contexts of Biofuel Production: A Case of Iowa's Ethanol Industry

Sunday, Jun 1 - 10:15am - 12:00pm  Roundtable--Contestations of Indigenous Property 4221

Roundtable Abstract: 

This roundtable examines various contestations in aboriginal and indigenous claims over property. In particular, it analyzes the role that law and culture play in determining, managing, constructing, and reifying the (limited) rights of indigenous peoples in the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world. The roundtable participants will explore distinct yet overlapping issues affecting indigenous and aboriginal groups’ resources such as land, water, and intellectual property that have found inadequate protection in law.

Chair: Matthew Fletcher (Michigan State University)
Participants: Kate Fort (Michigan State University), June McCue (University of British Columbia), Wenona Singel (Michigan State University)

Ben Barros

Montreal photo from Wikicommons

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