Cultural Property

From looted Iraqi artifacts to Native American ceremonies, national monuments to corporate logos, the concept of cultural property is expanding. The legal relationship between culture and ownership, however, remains subject to controversy. This seminar examines the broad legal dimensions of cultural property, starting with the values expressed through claims to ownership of culture: multiculturalism, communal authorship, collective identity, authenticity, social status, contested meaning, and access to knowledge, among others. In particular, the course will consider the theoretical tensions between cultural heritage and property, especially as they relate to concepts of progress and preservation, the fluidity of culture, and the interests of indigenous peoples. Against this background, students will be invited to evaluate the ongoing efforts to assign ownership of and/or protect cultural properties. Transnational institutions, multinational and regional treaty agreements, domestic laws, diplomatic efforts, and local custom all play a role in this legal matrix. Ultimately this course seeks to analyze the fit between our legal culture and the legally recognized ownership of culture.
Credits: 2

Type: SEM