What is the Place of Intellectual Property?

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What is the Place of Intellectual Property?

A workshop in dialogue with

Putting Intellectual Property in its Place: Rights Discourses, Creative Labor, and the Everyday

by Laura J. Murray, S. Tina Piper, and Kirsty Robertson (Oxford 2014)

SKOL Gallery, 372 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montreal

Putting Intellectual Property in its Place argues for interdisciplinary study of IP law highlighting the cultural practices in which it is embedded or with which it conflicts. We would like to open up further discussion about IP law as experienced, reworked, or ignored within communities of artistic or knowledge production. The types questions we may engage with in our discussions at the symposium, or that you may consider in your paper, are:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying IP from multiple places and perspectives?
  • What are the advantages or disadvantages of bringing IP issues into work on knowledge production and creative process?
  • Are social science and other so-called qualitative and/or humanist research perspectives commensurate?
  • How does the disciplinary language in which we frame our research affect the resulting work and how do we position that clearly and intentionally?
  • How do we speak to those with very different methodological and epistemological commitments?
  • How is research on race/gender/class obliterated or privileged by certain approaches?
  • Can researchers with approaches that privilege heterogeneity and specificity speak with a united voice on critical issues?
  • Are there normative implications of our research or do we wish to emphasize the analytical, historical, or ethnographic?



Friday June 27th

2:00 pm                      Welcome: Tina Piper and Laura Murray

2:15 pm                      Critical overview of the book: Darren Werschler, Concordia University

2:45 pm                      Reply et résumé: Laura Murray, Tina Piper, Kirsty Robertson


3:00 – 5:00 pm                        Gender /Identity and IP

Boatema Boateng, University of California, San Diego, “At Home in the Master’s House: Quilters and Intellectual Property Law in the U.S.”

Kara Swanson, Northeastern University, “Uncomfortable Thinking about IP and Gender”

Larisa Mann, Rutgers University, “Pirate Radio”

Discussant: Kirsten Anker, McGill University


Saturday June 28th

10-11:30 am               IP and the Arts

Nate Harrison, University of California, San Diego, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, “The Notion of ‘Critique’ in Contemporary Appropriation Art and Copyright”

Elena Razlogova, Concordia University

Discussant: Kirsty Robertson, Western University


1:00-2:30 pm              IP and Cultures of Science

Matthew Herder, Dalhousie University, “The Politics of Knowledge & Commercializing Canadian Biomedical Research”

Teresa Scassa, University of Ottawa, “Riding the Interdisciplinary Bus: Transit Data and IP Law”

Tina Piper, McGill University, “Considering the Individual in Intellectual Property Law”

Discussant: Gabriella Coleman, McGill University


3:00-5:00                     Discussion of Shared Questions and Potential Future Projects

Facilitator: Kelly Holloway, Dalhousie University


5:00-5:30                     Wrap up and debrief: Laura, Kirsty, Tina

About Kirsty Robertson

Kirsty Robertson is Associate Professor of contemporary art and Director of museum and curatorial studies at Western University, Canada.

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