Areas of Interest
- Legal and political theory
- Critical constitutionalism
- Critical theories of community
- Feminist, queer, and critical race theory
- Postcolonial legal studies
- Law and aesthetics
My interest in law and legal studies is fuelled by broad questions about theories of democracy, the role of the state, the relationship between government and governed, and processes of decolonisation. These concerns have pushed me to think critically about the role of, and reasoning behind constitutions, and their imagined relationship to political community. I approach these questions through empirical research as well as through political and legal theory, such as that offered by Jean-Luc Nancy, Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, and Antonio Negri. Moreover, these topics intersect deeply with questions posed from feminist, queer, and critical race theoretical traditions. In undertaking these analyses I draw on scholars such as Sarah Ahmed, Jasbir Puar, Andrea Smith, Wendy Brown, and Denise Ferreira Da Silva, among others.
Current and Future Research
My current research investigates the relationship between museums and constitutionalism. Specifically, I am interested in how both sites launch imaginations of political community that shape the very horizons of our thinking. Drawing on political theory and empirical research from the UK and South Africa, I bring these sites together to pose questions about ‘democracy’, politics, and the im/possibility of founding community through law. My future research aims to contribute to the development of the theorization of a transformative anti-colonial constitutionalism that brings together Canadian case law, constitutional theory, as well as at the site of the soon to be opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Editorial and Committee Activities
I formerly served as Co-Director of the Kent Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality (2009-11), Articles Editor for Feminist Legal Studies (2009-11) and feminists@law (2010-11), Committee Member for the Postgraduate and Early Career Scholars Network (2009-11), as well as Skills Tutor for Kent Law School (2010-11).
At Carleton I teach LAWS 4100 Modern Legal Theory and LAWS 2502 Law, State, Citizen. These courses build on my interests in legal theory and critical constitutionalism. In these classes students can expect to cover topics such as indigenous and anti-colonial resistance and critiques of sovereignty through feminist, queer, and poststructuralist theoretical approaches. My method of teaching emphasizes the importance of thorough reading in order to broaden intellectual horizons and this is reflected in the course structure. Students who take these courses will experience my passionate commitment to the study of law, not only as gleaned from the Charter or public law textbooks, but also as an urgent need to (re)think our being in the world.
I have taught across a wide array of subjects in Canada and in the UK. Most recently I taught ‘Public Law’ and ‘Critical Introduction to Law’ at Kent Law School (UK) as well as ‘Women’s Studies’ at Trent University (Canada).
Forthcoming. “Museums As Constitutions: A Commentary on Constitutions and Constitution-Making”. Law, Culture, and the Humanities.
2013. “The Time That Binds: Constitutionalism, Museums, And The Production Of Political Community”. Australian Feminist Law Journal 38, June, 75-92.
2011. “Between Mo(nu)ments: Memorialising Past, Present and Future at the District Six Museum and Constitution Hill”. Law and Critique. Vol. 22, Issue 2. 177-187.
2011. Co-authored with Suhraiya Jivraj and Sarah Lamble. 2011. “Liabilities of Queer Anti-Racist Critique”. Feminist Legal Studies. Vol. 19, Issue 2. 107-118.
2010. “On Defending Raw Nerve Books, or the Promise of Good Feeling”. Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action. Number Eleven. 81-94.
2011. Co-authored with Suhraiya Jivraj, and Sarah Lamble (Eds.). 2011. Liabilities of Queer Anti- Racist Critique [Special Issue]. Feminist Legal Studies. Vol. 19, Issue 2.
2011. Co-authored with Rosemary Hunter, Yvonne Rigby, Madhumanti Mukherjee, Gauri Nanayakkara, and Donatella Alessandrini (Eds.). feminists@law: an open access journal of feminist legal scholarship [Pilot Issue]. Kent Law School. Vol. 1, Issue 1, <http://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/feministsatlaw/issue/current>.
Political Commentary and Interviews
2011. “Beyond Barbarism: David Kato, Uganda and the American Right”. Truthout. 17 February. <http://www.truth-out.org/beyond-barbarism-david-kato-uganda-and-american-right67737>.
2011. “For a New Europe: University Struggles Against Austerity”. Radical Philosophy. 167. May/June. 63-4.
2011. “Race, Civility, and a Good Cup of Tea: Considering ‘the Political’ in the London Riots”. Canadian Dimension. 25 October. http://canadiandimension.com/articles/4247.
2011. “Torontonian in London”. Metro Morning. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 August. <http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/08/10/torontonian-in-london>.
2011. Co-authored with Moira Gatens. “Revisiting the Continental Shelf: Moira Gatens on Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Eliot, Feuerbach, and Spinoza”. Interview. Feminist Legal Studies. Vol. 19, Issue 1. 75-82.
2012. Contesting the Cartography of Sovereignty: Mark Rifkin’s Erotics of Sovereignty. Theory and Event. Vol. 15, Issue 3.