Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory – Fall 2020


Fall Semester 2020

All classes take place on Fridays from 12:00 pm-2:00 pm. Due to the current cancellation of in-person events and classes, the workshop will be taking place online via Zoom for the Fall 2020 semester.  Instructions on using Zoom can be found at their website here.  The Zoom link to join each workshop is  The meeting passcode is 999268.  Please note that to attend meetings, you must be signed in to a Zoom account.

Papers for upcoming talks are available to download in the table below.  Alternatively, copies of papers may be requested by contacting Adele Perera at  The full Fall 2020 workshop schedule is available for download here.

Course description:

This course is a workshop for discussing work-in-progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The central aim is to enable students to engage directly with legal scholars, philosophers, and political theorists working on important normative questions. Another aim is to bring together scholars from different disciplines and perspectives, such as economics, history, sociology, and political science, who have normative interests. In Fall 2020, the workshop will focus on the theme of “property and justice”. 

The format of the course is as follows. For the sessions with guest presenters. A designated student commentator will lead off with a 15-minute comment on the paper. The presenter will have 5-10 minutes to respond and then we will open up the discussion to the group. The first part of the course will be open to non-enrolled students, faculty, and visitors who wish to participate in the workshop discussion. We’ll stop for a break at 2:00 and those not enrolled in the course will leave. Enrolled students will continue the discussion with the guest until 3:00.

This is a cross-listed/room-shared course with the Philosophy and Political Science Departments. Students may enroll through Law (Law 210.2), Philosophy (Philosophy 290-09), or Political Science (PS 211). The first class will begin on Friday, August 28.


Aug. 28

First session (for enrolled students only)

Prof. Joshua Cohen

Prof. Desmond Jagmohan

Sept. 4

Burke Hendrix, Political Science, University of Oregon

Ownership, Reciprocity, and Indigenous Territoriality: Land as a Matrix for Responsibilities

Sept. 11

Hannah Carnegy-Arbuthnott, Philosophy, University of York

A Body of One’s Own: The Institutional Point of Self-Ownership

Sept. 18

Leif Wenar, Philosophy, Stanford University 

Coercion in Cross-Border Property Rights 

Sept. 25
Caitlin Rosenthal, History, UC Berkeley

Capitalism when Labor was Capital: Slavery, Power, and Price in Antebellum America 

Oct. 2

Talha Syed, Law, UC Berkeley

Law and Political Economy Today: Reshaping Markets or Embedding Them?

Background Reading: Building Blocks of Property

Oct. 9

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, History, UC Berkeley

“She had…a Womb Subjected to Bondage”: The Afro-Atlantic Origins of British Colonial Descent Law 

Oct. 16

Robert Nichols, Political Science, University of Minnesota

Colonization and the Recoding of Land in Classical Political Economy

Oct. 23

Christopher Essert, Law, University of Toronto

Equality Regulating Property

Oct. 30

Zac Zimmer, Literature, UC Santa Cruz

An Internet Built of Books

Nov. 6

Katrina Wyman, Law, New York University

 The Public/Private Divide in Property

Nov. 13

Desmond Jagmohan, Political Science, UC Berkeley

 Peculiar Property: Harriet Jacobs on the Nature of Slavery

Nov. 20

Larissa Katz, Law, University of Toronto

Ownership and Offices: The Building Blocks of the Legal Order
Passcode: 999268