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Monday, May 18, 2009

Writing about Diverse Scholarly Interests

Similar to many law professors, I do most of my research and writing in the summer.  One challenge I often face in the summer is determining in which field I want to write.  I research, write and teach in the areas of property, immigration and citizenship.  My publications reflect these varied scholarly interests.  (To read what I have written in property, see here; those interested in reading an article I wrote on immigration law, see here).  In fact, a number of students have asked me why I am interested in property, immigration and nationality law, which they view to be completely unrelated to each other. 

Admittedly, property, immigration and citizenship are distinct areas of law.  Yet, I see these different areas interconnected in a number of ways.  To me, on a broad level, property law and immigration law are conceptually related because they both deal with the regulation of access and exclusion from a particular place.  Conflicts about citizenship/membership and identity eventually emerge in the legal, economic, social and political negotiations concerning the entry and exit of people, whether the place being contested is the nation-state or someone's private property.  Indeed, I explore the ways in which these three areas overlap in my most recent law review article, Broadening the Narrative of Property Law's Racialized History (forthcoming in the Washington University Law Review, Spring of 2010).

Although I maintain that they intersect in ways that have been underappreciated, I do recognize the importance of exploring more fully some issues unique to each area.  The problem, of course, is that there are so many interesting legal questions I want to examine and simply not enough time in the summer to write all of them. 

For those of you who also have varied scholarly interests, how do you decide on which writing project to pursue in the summer?   

Posted by Rose Cuison Villazor on May 18, 2009 at 05:24 PM | Permalink


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