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Nan Seuffert

Professor Nan Seuffert

Position: Professor of Law,
Director, Legal Intersections Research Centre

Qualifications:  BA Virginia JD Boston LLM Well LLM JSD Columbia

Contact Details

Office: 67.227
Phone: +61 2 4239 2550


Nan Seuffert joined UOW in 2012 as a Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC). She teaches and researches in the areas of critical legal theory, law and history, race, gender, sexuality and the law, and securities regulation. Nan has published in refereed law journals and book collections in England, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 

Nan has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley Law Center for the Study of Law and Society, a resident fellow at the University of California Humanities Research Institute and a visitor at the University of Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, as well a number of other Research Centres. She has been on teams successful in attracting grants from public funders such as the National Bank of Australia, the New Zealand Fund for Science Research and Technology, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and others. The analysis of gender, race, sexuality and the law has been the focus of her work in a number of international projects, including at Monash University and the Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law. She has also been the recipient of research funding from the New Zealand Legal Services Board and the JR McKenzie Foundation.

As Director of the Legal Intersections Research Centre Nan has oversight of an active program of seminars, symposia, visiting scholars and early career researcher and graduate student mentoring and other programs.

Nan is currently engaged in two sole research projects and four collaborative research and community projects.

Nan's project titled ‘Haunting National Boundaries: Refugee Law and Policy and Asylum Seekers who are Sexual Minorities’ asks what a more concerted focus on colonial genealogies of ‘sexuality’ can bring to: 1) analysis of the stories of origin of international law; 2) the operation of concepts such as ‘discretion’ and ‘credibility’ in the jurisprudence determining refugee claims; and 3) critical understandings of Australia’s controversial asylum seeker detention policies and practices.

'Contract and Colonisation in the Age of Modernity' is the first study to investigate the connections between modern contract law and the formation of settler colonial societies in Australia and New Zealand. It investigates how contract law and ideas such as individualism, freedom and consent, developed in those societies. It asks whether, and how, contract law and these associated ideas became integral to what it means to be an ‘Australian’ or a ‘New Zealander’ today. Significantly, it places this analysis within a trans-colonial and transnational perspective, analysing how contract laws and ideas circulated among settler colonial societies in the British Empire. The resulting book and other scholarly publications will highlight complex exchanges across colonial sites, rather than movement from the centre to periphery.

As the Director of LIRC Nan leads four collaborative research and community projects. With Dr Trish Mundy, in partnership with the YWCA of NSW, she in conducting the YWCA Domestic Violence Intervention Service (DVIS) Evaluation, which is externally funded by a National Australia Bank Community Impact Grant. The project has developed and applied ‘best practice methodologies’ for evaluating integrated domestic violence service provision. A pilot project, also with Dr Trish Mundy, in partnership with the Women Lawyers Association of NSW (WLANSW) is focused on documenting best practices for the advancement of women in law firms. Nan spoke about the project at Ashurst law firm in 2016, and the project report was launched by the Honourable Acting Justice Jane Mathews AO and the WLANSW in September 2017. She is also leading a project on ‘LLB Curriculum Innovation: UOW Law at the Leading Edge’ which includes seven LIRC members and investigates innovative methods and pedagogies, including cutting edge technology, for LLB teaching that maintains UOW Law’s award winning student-centred curriculum and pedagogy, and student success. Finally, she initiated a student volunteer project on ‘Supporting Family Reunification of Refugees (SURF)’ with Dr Niahm Kinchin, in partnership with the Wollongong City Council and the Illawarra Multicultural Services (IMS). 

Nan is on the editorial and advisory boards of Law and Literature, Law Text Culture, Feminist Legal Studies, the Routledge book series Laws of the Postcolonial: Ethics and Economy, Australian Feminist Studies and the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Professor Seuffert is an elected member of the University of Wollongong Council, the Unisuper Consultative Committee and the UOW Senate. She also serves on the Faculty of Law, Humanity and the Arts Research Committee, the Law School Leadership Team and the School of Law Research Advisory Group. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at Wollongong, as Professor at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, Nan held a number of Faculty and University administrative and management roles, including Acting Dean, Acting Associate Dean, Acting Deputy Dean, Associate Dean Research and Graduate, Director of Graduate Programmes, Director of Undergraduate Programmes and Director of International Relations. She was also one of four Professorial representatives elected by academic staff University-wide to Academic Board. 

Current research and supervision areas

My current areas of research, in which I am interested in supervising higher degree research projects, include refugee and asylum seeker law and policy, contract law and history, domestic violence and the law, financial regulation after the GFC and financial regulation and gender. I also am willing to supervise in the areas of critical legal studies, race gender and sexuality and the law, law and history, law and postcolonial theory (including law and national identity), securities regulation and contract.

Recent publications include: 

  • ‘Advancement of Women in Law Firms: Best Practice Pilot Research Project’ Women’s Law Association of New South Wales (August 2017)(Commissioned Research Report)(lead author, Dr Trish Mundy).
  • ‘Diversity Policies Meet The Competency Movement: Towards Reshaping Law Firm Partnership Models For The Future’ (2017) International Journal of the Legal Profession DOI: 10.1080/09695958.2017.1359613 (with Trish Mundy and Susan Price).
  • ‘Queering International Law’s Stories of Origin: Hospitality and Homophobia’ in Dianne Otto (ed) Queering International Law: Possibilities, Alliances, Complicities, Risks (London: Routledge, 2017) 213-235.
  • 'Sexual Minorities and the Proliferation of Regulation on Australia's Asylum Seeker Detention Camps' (2015) 19 Law Text Culture 39-83.
  • 'Contract, Consent and Imperialism in New Zealand's Founding Narratives' (2015) 2 Law & History 1-31.
  • 'Culinary Jurisprudence and National Identity: Penny Pether on 'The Taste of Country Cooking' (2015) 60.3 Villanova Law Review 629-666.
  • ‘Engagement, Resistance and Restructuring: A Legal Challenge’ 4.2 Somatechnics (2014) 272-287.
  • ‘Appellant S395/2002 v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs: A Feminist Judgment’ in Heather Douglas, Francesca Bartlett, Trish Luker and Rosemary Hunter (eds) The Australian Feminist Judgments Project: Righting and Re-writing Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014) 120-130.
  • 'Occupy, Financial Fraternity and Gender Ventriloquism' (2014) 10(3) Law, Culture and the Humanities 380-396.
  • ‘Haunting National Boundaries: LBGTI Asylum Seekers’ (2013) 22(3) Griffith Law Review 752-784.
  • 'Systemic Risk after the global financial crisis: Covered bonds and retail contracts for difference' (2013) 31(4) Company and Securities Law Journal 237-260.
  • ‘Civilisation, Settlers and Wanderers: Law, Politics and Mobility in Nineteenth Century New Zealand and Australia’ (2011) 15 Law Text Culture 10-44.
  • ‘Time to Tame the Wild Beast in the Wild West?: The Regulation of Disclosure of Equity Derivatives in New Zealand’ (2011) 29(1) Company and Securities Law Journal 5-29.
  • ‘The Transpacific Partnership Agreement and Financial Services’ in Jane Kelsey (ed) No Ordinary Deal (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2010)(first author, co-authored with Jane Kelsey) 231-245.
  • ‘Reproducing Empire in Same Sex Relationship Recognition and Immigration Law Reform’ in Kim Brookes and Robert Leckey (eds) Queer Theory: Law, Culture, Empire (New York: Routledge, 2010) 173-190.
  • ‘Shares and Caring: Stories of Law, Identity, Culture and Enterprise’ (2010) 2 NZSA Bulletin of New Zealand Studies 53-70.
  • 'Same Sex Immigration: Domestication and Homonormativity' in Simone Wong and Anne Bottomley (eds) Changing Contours of Domestic Life, Family and Law: Caring and Sharing (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2009)
  • ‘Reflections on Transgender Immigration' (2009) 18(2) Griffith Law Review 429.
  • Jurisprudence of National Identity (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).
  • ‘Nation as Partnership: Law, “Race,” and Gender in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Treaty Settlements’(2005) 39(3) American Law and Society Review 485-526.

Click through for a full listing of publications and research

Research Students

Dylan Amy Davis:  Bisexual Erasure in Law and Culture

Michelle Edgely: Sentencing of mentally impaired offenders using therapeutic jurisprudence

Rajendra Ghimire: Improving Access to Justice: A Study of Traditional Justice Systems (A Case Study of Nepal)

Simone Hargreaves: Mentoring and the advancement and success of women in the legal profession: An empirical study 

Annette Hennessy: Domestic Violence In The Land Of The Thunder Dragon; How A Buddhist Culture Protects Women And Children From Domestic Violence

Marium Jabyn: A Right to Public Life After CEDAW?: A Case Study of the Republic of Maldives (University of Waikato)

Last reviewed: 15 August, 2018