Nancy J. Knauer
I. Herman Stern Professor of Law
Director of Law & Public Policy Programs

Nancy J. Knauer is the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law and Director of Law & Public Policy Programs. She is an internationally recognized scholar writing in the areas of identity, sexuality, and gender. Professor Knauer was selected as one of 26 law professors from across the nation to be featured in the book What the Best Law Teachers Do, published by Harvard University Press in 2013. Selections were made from more than 250 nominees teaching at more than 100 law schools. She teaches in the areas of Law & Public Policy, Political & Civil Rights, Property, Taxation, and Trusts & Estates.

Professor Knauer received a Dukeminier Award and the Stu Walter Prize from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School for her article LGBT Elder Law: Toward Equity in Aging, 32 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 1 (2009). Her book, Gay and Lesbian Elders: History, Law, and Identity Politics in the U.S. (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. 2010) focuses on the unique challenges facing gay and lesbian elders. Professor Knauer’s current scholarship involves the temporal locality of identity – the unspoken fourth dimension of intersectionality. It argues that identity, as it is lived and experienced, is not only multivalent, but also historically contingent.

Professor Knauer is also the co-founder of the Aging, Law & Society Collaborative Research Network of the National Law & Society Association and serves on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Institute of the National LGBT Association. She organizes an annual “Theory Meets Practice” Conference that brings together academics, advocates and policy makers to engage cutting-edge legal issues dealing with changing concepts of equality, liberty, and identity.

In 2012 Professor Knauer created the Temple Law & Public Policy Program (LPP Program) based in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Designed as an integrated learning community, the LPP Program combines theory, practice, and professionalism. Law & Public Policy Scholars begin the LPP Program in their first or second summer in Washington, D.C. where they secure an internship, take a course on institutional decision making, and participate in leadership training. The Scholars also write a policy paper related to their internship. When the Scholars return to Philadelphia in the Fall, they shift their focus from the federal to the municipal level. In Law & Public Policy II, they work collaboratively on policy projects identified by our liaison to Philadelphia City Council as among the most pressing issues facing the City. Scholars are also encouraged to present their papers at conferences and seek other outlets for their work, such as publications, blog posts, and op-ed pieces. Law & Public Policy Scholars have written quest blog posts for, op-ed pieces for regional newspapers, and presented their papers at national and international academic conferences. In addition to traditional law reviews, they have published in The Atlantic, Tax Notes International, and City Journal.

Professor Knauer has been named a University “Great Teacher,” the highest honor bestowed by Temple University. She received the first annual CPR Dispute Resolution Award for teaching problem solving in the law school for her Transactional Practice Materials. Professor Knauer is also a four-time recipient of the George P. Williams Award for excellence in teaching. She received the Friel-Scanlan Award for scholarship for her article Science, Identity and the Construction of the Gay Political Narrative, 12 Law & Sexuality 1 (2003) and has received the Outstanding Faculty Service Award. She has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and is the former Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law. Professor Knauer's most recent publications can be accessed through her publications page.


J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School
B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Teaching Areas

Law & Public Policy I & II, Political and Civil Rights, Property, Religion and the Law, Taxation, Trusts and Estates

Select Publications

  • Critical Tax Theory: A Pathway to Reform? 9 Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy (forthcoming 2014). [more]
  • Identity/Time, 2 Laws 362 (2013) (Special issue: Legally Constructed Gendered Identities). [more]
  • Legal Consciousness and LGBT Research: Law and the Everyday Lives of LGBT Individuals, 59 Journal of Homosexuality 748 (2012). [more]
  • Gay and Lesbian Elders: History, Law, and Identity Politics in the United States (Ashgate 2011).[more]
  • LGBT Elder Law: Toward Equity in Aging, 32 Harv. J.L. & Gender 1 (2009).[more]

Nancy J. Knauer 

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fax: 215.204.1185

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Selected Conferences