Spring 2021

Law and Waste

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-221


Michaela J. Brangan (Section 01)


The term "waste" is used so widely in common parlance that it hardly seems necessary to consider its meaning. Yet, it is not always clear who has the authority to decide what is useful or efficient, and what is waste. This course takes up this problem of authority and examines how different concepts of waste relate to the law. “Waste” historically has been linked to the legal right to own and manage property. But the determination of whether an act, a thing, or a person is "waste" has implications not only for private law, but for public laws regulating labor, health and welfare, education, global trade, and the environment. Descriptions of certain bodies, cultures and lands in terms of waste justify exploitation and violence by states and other powerful actors. How do we reconcile the imperative to avoid waste with the demands of order and justice? We will look closely at this question as we consider the social and legal construction of waste.

Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Brangan.

If Overenrolled: Priortiy given to LJST Majors


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021