This provocative collection of essays—a series of case studies in cultural ownership by scholars from a range of fields—explores issues of cultural heritage and intellectual property in a variety of contexts, from contests over tangible artifacts as well as more abstract forms of culture such as language and oral traditions to current studies of DNA and genes that combine nature and culture, and even new, nonproprietary models for the sharing of digital technologies. Each chapter sets the debate in its historical and disciplinary context and suggests how the approaches to these issues are changing or should change.
One of the most innovative aspects of the volume is the way each author recognizes the social dimensions of group ownership and demonstrates the need for negotiation and new models. The collection as a whole thus challenges the reader to reevaluate traditional ways of thinking about cultural ownership and to examine the broader social contexts within which negotiation over the ownership of culture is taking place.
In addition to Laetitia La Follette, contributors include David Bollier, Stephen Clingman, Susan DiGiacomo, Oriol Pi-Sunyer, Margaret Speas, Banu Subramaniam, Joe Watkins, and H. Martin Wobst.
"The essays in this collection take on the subject of ownership and culture in an innovative interdisciplinary context that challenges the reader and forces a reevaluation of thinking about cultural disputes."—Patty Gerstenblith, author of Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Law
"This volume brings together fresh perspectives on exciting new developments in the important (but often confusing) aspects of culture listed in the subtitle. . . . Three parts neatly link the seven well-written, tightly documented papers' widely diverse subjects, methods, and conclusions. Highly recommended."—Choice
"A well-edited compilation of complementary, though diverse, case studies . . . Whereas other edited volumes often have a fractured and disparate quality, this text is rich with well-chosen topics that expand on existing literature in new and thought-provoking ways."—Journal of Anthropological Research