Property and Subordination: The 2017 Porter Wright Symposium

Nationally-known scholars will speak at "Property and Subordination: A Symposium" Friday, March 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Heck Courtroom of the University of Dayton School of Law.

Participants have been invited to consider the way that property law, both in theory and practice, has contributed to the subordination of particular groups of people.

Keynote speaker Orlando Patterson will kick off the Porter Wright Symposium at 8:45 a.m. with his lecture on “Slavery, Property and Social Death.” He is the John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.

Eleanor BrownVisiting professor of law Eleanor Brown organized the symposium at the request of Dean Andrew Strauss. She is director of the Institute for Immigration Studies at George Washington University.

“Eleanor took incredibly strong ownership of the symposium, and she succeeded in gathering the top professors from around the country in this field,” Strauss said.
Patterson, a renowned historical and cultural sociologist, is the author of five major academic books, including the classic “Slavery and Social Death.”

“The symposium is a good opportunity to create an interdisciplinary conversation with a broad range of scholars from across the country,” Brown said. “This is the first major conversation between Orlando Patterson and property law professors, and that in and of itself makes it historic.”

Other participants include Eduardo Penalver, professor of law at Cornell Law School; Claire Priest, Yale Law School; and Al Brophy, University of North Carolina School of Law.
Brown is scheduled to speak at 3:05 p.m. on the topic, "From Furs to Farmers Who Were Enslaved: What Can Demsetz Tell Us About Slave Ownership?"

Blake WatsonUDSL professor Blake Watson will conclude the symposium at 3:45 p.m. by speaking on his book, "Buying America From the Indians."
“It is well known that property law was once used to sanction slavery – the ownership of people," Watson said. "Property law has also been utilized to subjugate indigenous native Americans."

Strauss said the Law School is grateful for the longstanding support of the Porter Wright law firm and the Herbert and Gladys Estabrook trust. "Their generosity allows us to bring in renowned scholars on important topics to share with our students and a broad general audience," he said.
The event promises to leave a lasting legacy.

“This will be a seminal symposium,” Strauss said. “I don’t think there is any doubt that it will help re-frame the academy’s understanding of how conceptions of property further oppression.”
For more information and a full list of speakers, click here.

                                                         -- Mary McCarty


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