Human rights, comparative constitutional law, social movements, LGBT rights, intersectionality
Europe, South America
Stefano Osella is a Research Fellow in the Law & Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. Previously, he was a Post-Doctoral Global Fellow at NYU Law School in New York. He holds a Magister Juris from the University of Oxford, and an LLM and a PhD in Law from the European University Institute in Florence. His doctoral dissertation is a theoretical and comparative study of legal gender categories in the law and how such categories are imposed on individuals. He has published in the fields of human rights and comparative constitutional law, with a focus on queer theory and LGBT rights.
Osella’s main research interest relates to how individual identity is constructed in and through the law. Inspired by his academic and activist experience and personal interests, his investigations focus on how the law defines discrete gender and sexual identities, and how such definitions impact, practically and emotionally, the lives of people for whom such definitions are coined, primarily LGBT and intersex people. Geographically, he concentrates on continental Europe, specifically Germany, Austria, France, and Italy. In light of the constitutional developments taking place in Latin America, however, he is developing a keen interest in the area – especially in Colombia.
Why Law & Anthropology?
My research deals with feelings, sensations, emotions, and how the law interacts with them. I am trying to get at the root of how people understand and express themselves, feel, and love, and how the law defines – and even influences – all of it. The only way to do this is to listen to the people concerned. I need to give voice to those human experiences, and the combination of law and anthropology – more so than any other legal or socio-legal methodology – gives me the instruments to do precisely that.