Projects per year
I am a socio-legal property scholar contributing to related but distinctive research areas:
- Cultural property: This work has been mainly developed around legal anthropology and I have developed new understandings of legal pluralism and customary law of indigenous peoples in the area of cultural property. I have conducted for over 15 years multi-site ethnography in 4 Southern African countries across 6 different San language groups. My recent empirical work has been funded by several SFC GCRF grants and focuses on cultural heritage and legal pluralism in Zimbabwe.
- Property theory and ethics: I have developed a Levinasian based property theory which is conceptualised as property as generosity. In this work, I engage extensively with continental philosophy, besides Levinas, I also draw upon Jacques Derrida. Methodologically, I use phenomenology through literary studies with a strong focus on postcolonial literature which I apply to different concepts of property.
- Property frontiers: I critique the extension of liberal property discourses into new and accelerated property regimes with a specific focus on outer space and the common heritage principle. This research is methodologically strongly embedded in literary studies with a very strong focus on AfricanFUTURISM, ecocriticism and science fiction. Increasingly this work also extends to visual and performative art, including curating, commissioning and developing site-specific arts. Some of this research has been funded through a Leverhulme research fellowship (2019-2021). Together with the expertise I have gained in the area of legal pluralism, my arts-based enquiries around resource frontiers, have also shaped the methodology and focus of the One Ocean Hub.
- Materialities of property: This body of work engages methodologically with feminist posthumanism, eco-philosophy and speculative philosophy and I apply this to new property regimes in the area of microbes, deep seabed and fugitive natural resources. This research is funded by an AHRC project on rights of rivers and I will soon be hosting a Marie Curie Fellow working on a common property regime for microbes.
My teaching in the areas of legal theory and environmental justice and ethics is inspired by border pedagogy and epistemologies from the South.
I am also passionate about research supervision and I am currently the PGR co-director in the law school.
Visiting Fellow, Rhodes University1 Sep 2020 → …
Visiting Scholar, University of Edinburgh1 Sep 2014 → 23 Dec 2014
Visiting scholar, University of California, Berkeley15 Aug 2013 → 23 Dec 2013
MICROB-COM Microbial Commons: Building a legal instrument for farmers rights on agricultural microbial resources H2020 MCSA-IF2019
1/05/20 → 30/04/22
Project: Research Fellowship
Vermeylen, S., Lotz-Sisitka, H. & Khutsoane, T., 30 Mar 2021, Queer Ecopedagogies: Explorations in Nature, Sexuality, and Education. Russell, J. (ed.). Switzerland: Springer, (International Explorations in Outdoor and Environmental Education).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter