Anna di Robilant

Anna di Robilant

Anna di Robilant

S.J.D. Candidate

Graduate Fellow, Visiting Scholars/Researchers Colloquium Coordinator

University of Turin (Italy), Lecturer

anicolis at



An Intellectual History of Italian Property Law (1865-2000)

The aim of the dissertation is to trace the history of Italian property law from 1865 to the present by emphasising a series of transitions among stages and substages. My work will be an intellectual voyage across 150 years of Italian legal thought, charting the succession of three different models of property and exploring their mutual interrelation, the ruptures and disjunctions as well as the regularities and continuities. I will investigate the uneasy transition from the Pre-Classical to the Classical mode of thought; the rise to prominence of Classical conceptualism and its successful neutralization of the social “heretics”; and, finally, the ultimate demise of the Classical paradigm under the sway of a second wave of social thought leading to a Post-classical mode of consciousness reaching out to the present.The dissertation will explore the meaning and structure of the concept of property forged and developed by legal science. Rather than attempting to elucidate the cause or the outcomes of a set of positive rules, I will focus on the structure of legal thought, trying to shed light on the conceptual operations and the rhetorical devices employed by legal scholars.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Private Law Theory, with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School, Overall Faculty Supervisor
  • European Legal History, with Professor Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School
  • Comparative Law, with Professor Amr Shalakany, American University Cairo/Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Property Law
  • Intellectual Legal History
  • Critical Theory


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2003-Present
  • University of Trento (Italy), P.h.D. in Comparative Private Law 2004
  • Harvard Law School, L.L.M. 2003
  • University of Turin (Italy), Law Degree 1999

Appointments and Fellowships

  • University of Turin (Italy), 2004, Lecturer
  • Harvard Law School, 2004-2005, Graduate Program Fellow, Visiting Scholars/Researchers Colloquium Coordinator
  • Harvard Law School, 2003-2005, ELRC, European Law Reading Group, Coordinator with Fernanda Nicola
  • University of Turin, Department of Economics, 2003-2005, Research Fellow
  • Fulbright Student, 2002-2003

Representative Publications

  • "A Genealogy of Soft Law", forthcoming on American Journal of Comparative Law, Summer 2005.
  • Book Review, Wendy Brown, Janet Halley (editors), Left legalism/Left Critique (2003) (with Fernanda Nicola), "Il liberalismo alle prese con identitá e redistribuzione", Rivista Critica del Diritto Privato, December 2004.
  • “Scuole e Movimenti Post Realisti negli Stati Uniti d’America”, in Novissimo Digesto, appendice, UTET, Torino, (2002).
  • “The Art and Science of Critical Scholarship. Postmodernism and International Style in the Legal Architecture of Europe”,(with Ugo Mattei), in 75 Tulane Law Review, 1053, (2001)

Additional Information

  • Languages: English, Italian (native), French



Page last updated: March 26, 2005

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