I am Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. My scholarship lies in the intersection between law, geography, anthropology, and posthumanism. Drawing on these perspectives, I have researched illegal houses, trees, checkpoints, public toilets, animals in the city, doors, police dogs, zoos, the wild-captive divide, hunting and conservation, and threatened species lists. My research focuses on several common themes: the imbrications between law, space, and power, with an emphasis on materiality; the governance of populations through natural (e.g., trees, animals) and unnatural (e.g., flushometers, turnstiles) things; the role of low-level bureaucrats, especially inspectors, in the construction of particular legal geographies; the physical and symbolic manifestations of the public/private divide (e.g., at the checkpoint, the public toilet, and the zoo); and the heightened role of seeing and vision in various legal and material constructions (tree landscapes, checkpoints, zoos, doors and dogs in U.S. criminal procedure). More recently, I am interested in animality and am exploring the possibility of "more-than-human" legalities.
My first book, House Demolitions in East Jerusalem: "Illegality" and Resistance (Hebrew, 2006), focuses on the bureaucracy that fostered and facilitated the construction of discriminatory urban landscapes in East Jerusalem. In Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine (Cambridge University Press, 2009), I explore how acts of planting and uprooting trees are employed in the struggle over land and identity in Israel/Palestine. Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (Stanford University Press, 2012) draws on more than seventy interviews with zoo managers and administrators to offer a glimpse into the otherwise unknown complexities of managing zoo animals. This book received the Independent Publisher Book Award in Current Events. My co-edited collection of legal geography essays, The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography (Stanford University Press, 2014), illuminates the dynamic relationship between law and space. Finally, my latest book, Wild Life: The Institution of Captivity (Stanford University Press, 2015), documents the intensifying management of imperiled species in what is typically referred to as wild nature. I am currently editing a collection entitled Animals, Biopolitics, Law: Lively Legalities (forthcoming, Routledge) that brings together anthropologists, geographers, and legal scholars to contemplate the possibilities of more-than-human law.
Before joining SUNY Buffalo Law School, I was an Associate with the Humanities Center at Harvard University, a visiting fellow with the Human Rights Program at Harvard University Law School, a junior fellow with the Center of Criminology at the University of Toronto, and a visiting fellow with the Geography Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I also served as a public prosecutor and as an environmental lawyer, both in Israel. In 2013-4, I held a dual fellowship at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities and its Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. In spring and fall 2014 I was Ryskamp fellow of the American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS). In May 2015 I will be a visiting professor at UNSW in Sydney, Australia.