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Curriculum Vitae


Valerie Gay Kerruish
22767 Hamburg

Born: 26.11.1943
Nationality: Australian
Married: to Uwe Petersen (1999)
Children: Joseph Charles McAuliffe and Timothy James McAuliffe
Daughter in Law: Joan Kimberley McAuliffe
Grandchildren: Alexandra Gayle McAuliffe and Sophie Claire McAuliffe


Qualifications: BA, LL.B (University of Western Australia)
Employment: 1993-1999 Associate Professor, School of Law, Macquarie University, Sydney.
1965-1992 Tutor, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, Law School University of Western Australia
1976-7 Lecturer, Wadham College, Oxford University
1977 Visiting Professor, University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale

Publications (1990 - )

Jurisprudence as Ideology, New York and London, Routledge, 1991.

Articles and Notes

`But what's it got to do with law?' Dilemmata - Jahrbuch der ASFPG 4 (2009) 81-124.
`Imperatives of Extinguishment: Kartinyeri v The Commonwealth of Australia' Dilemmata - Jahrbuch der ASFPG 3 (2008) 2-35.
`Commodity Fetishism: Marx's Dialectic of Content and Form' Dilemmata - Jahrbuch der ASFPG 2 (2007) 19-55.
`Philosophical Sanity, Mysteries of the Understanding, and Dialectical Logic', (with Uwe Petersen)
Dilemmata 1: Jahrbuch der ASFPG 1 (2006) 61-91.
'On Re-staging the Universal: Butler, Hegel and Contesting the Closure of Logic', Dilemmata I: Jahrbuch der ASFPG, (2006) 23-60.
'At the Court of the Strange God', Law and Critique 13 (2002) 271-287.
'Epistemology and Oppression', Social and Legal Studies 11 (2002) 387-393.
`Reconciliation, Property and Rights' in E. Christodoulidis and S Veitch (eds) Lethe's Law: Justice Law and Ethics in Reconciliation, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2001, 191-205.
`Awash in Colonialism' (with Colin Perrin), Alternative Law Journal 24 (1999) 3-8.
`Responding to Kruger: the Constitutionality of Genocide', Australian Feminist Law Journal 11 (1998) 65-82.
'Him look honest, Big White Thief' (with Jeannine Purdy), Law Text Culture 4 (1998) 146.
`Persons and Available Identities: Gender in Hegel's Philosophy of Law', Law and Critique 7 (1996) 153-172.
`Worthy Hearts of Gold: Ideology and Intentions' Oxford Journal of Legal Studies' 15 (1995) 141-151.
`Dworkin's Dutiful Daughter: Gender Discrimination in Law's Empire' (with Alan Hunt) in A. Hunt (ed) Reading Dworkin Critically Oxford, Munich, New York, Berg Publishers, 1992.


Book Review: Law, Anthropology, and the Constitution of the Social: Making Persons and Things, Social and Legal Studies 15 (2006), 614-615.
Review of Looking at You, Looking at me...: Aboriginal Culture and History of the South-East of South Australia by Irene Watson, Australian Feminist Law Journal 18 (2003), 180-186.
Review of Emile Durkheim: Law in a Moral Domain by Roger Cotterrell, Australian Journal of Law and Society 15 (2000-2001), 230-236.
Review of Justice All of Their Own by Ted Egan, Australian Journal of Law and Society 13 (1997), 211-216.
Review of The Mythology of Modern Law by Peter Fitzpatrick, Australian Journal of Law and Society 10 (1995), 263-8.
Review of Postmodern Legal Feminism by Mary Joe Frug, Sydney Law Review 16, 554-6.


Law teaching took me across a wide range of legal subjects principally Private International Law, Property Law and Jurisprudence. For the last couple of years at the University of Western Australia, I taught a Philosophy of Law course at the Philosophy Department there. The School of Law at Macquarie University offered (then) an opportunity to take an interdisciplinary approach to law teaching. Participation at that University in programmes for Aboriginal Studies and Australian Studies extended my experience of interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship. I left Macquarie 1999 in protest at an unprincipled restructuring of the School of Law but with the prospect of moving to Germany and continuing my research and writing outside institutionalised academe. Moving to Germany promised the occasion for gaining the perspective of distance on the political issue that has accompanied much of my professional life: the foundation of white Australian society, its state and its law on the violent appropriation of the continent and its adjacent islands and waters from aboriginal peoples. Moving outside institutionalised academe promised more time for researching and thinking through the questions of law and politics that had accumulated.

Research Profile

No doubt legal doctrine can be an intriguing research field, but my research interests turned early to philosophy. It seemed - somehow - to be more open to Marx and socialist politics than law. Then, after Vietnam and from the USA and the UK came Critical Legal Theory. Marxism, sociology, feminism, critical race theory, and then a second wave Foucault, discourse theory, deconstruction: the critique of jurisprudence arrived as a wide and open research agenda with a `left' politics. Jurisprudence as Ideology aimed at a theory of the fetish character attaching to rights. It took three schools of Anglophone jurisprudence as its research object and argued, by analogy with Marx's idea of commodity fetishism, that each school dissembled the value of law. It stands up, I still think, in many ways, but I quickly realised that I had not conceptualised rights fetishism and turned to Hegel in an intended short foray into Marx's philosophical background. Hegel, however, turned my philosophical ideas on their head and lead me to think that also Marx lacked a concept of fetish phenomena: that indeed, so cunning is reason as to present in this guise its own being at odds with itself. That then poses the question of the realm and the method for researching this antinomical dimension of `pure reason'. One road leads back to Kant and further into philosophy. The other to logic in its modern mathematical form. The privilege of freedom from teaching and administration has given me the time to venture down both roads as well as to continue researching the common law's response to the claims put to it by aboriginal peoples.

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