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Nathan Coben


Nathan Coben is a second-year Ph.D. student in the department of anthropology at UC Irvine. Nathan received his BA in History from UC Berkeley in 2007 and his MA in Folklore from UC Berkeley in 2011. His folklore research looked at narratives about crime, economic crises, and urbanism in the context of a California “new town”. His current and future research examines property in the Republic of Ireland.

This project explores the socio-legal construction of the estate in the Republic of Ireland. As a category, the estate confounds easy distinctions between public law about sovereignty and private law about property. Understanding the historical development of the estate is crucial in articulating contemporary relationships between property and politics in Ireland. I will study archival material on the granting of estates during the imposition of colonial English Common Law in Ireland. My goal is to produce a study with these archival accounts that emphasizes the legal practices constituting the estate as a problematic site of sovereignty and property. As the state currently attempts to register and tax all the property in its territory as part of austerity measures, it is apparent that the genealogical relationship between property and the state must be rigorously examined. I intend to produce a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary law and society journal.