Renisa Mawani is Professor of Sociology and recurring Chair of the Law and Society Program at the University of British Columbia. She works in the fields of critical theory and colonial legal history and has published widely on law, colonialism, and legal geography.
Her first book, Colonial Proximities (2009) details a set of legal encounters between indigenous peoples, Chinese migrants, “mixed-race” populations, and Europeans in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century British Columbia. Her second book, Across Oceans of Law (Duke University Press, 2018), is a global and maritime legal history of the S.S. Komagata Maru, a British-built and Japanese-owned steamship. Drawing on oceans as method, the book traces the vessel’s 1914 route across the Pacific and Indian Oceans and figuratively through Atlantic worlds.
With Iza Hussin, she is co-editor of “The Travels of Law: Indian Ocean Itineraries” published in Law and History Review (2014); with Antoinette Burton, she is co-editor of Animalia: An Imperial Bestiary of Our Times (under contract with Duke University Press). In 2015-2016, she received the Killam Prize for Graduate Instruction, a Dean of Arts Faculty Research Award, and was a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.