Chapter 15 - Abstract and author bios

15. Cultures of Property: African Cultures in Intellectual and Cultural Property Regimes

Boatema Boateng

Intellectual and cultural property laws do not only protect culture, but also reflect specific cultures of property or ways of conceptualizing property. This chapter places such laws in the context of wider historical and political processes and argues that those processes are important for understanding how the culturally specific norms of intellectual and cultural property laws have become universal. Using legislative and policy examples from Ghana, the chapter argues that intellectual and cultural property laws are inadequate for protecting the culture and knowledge of the South.

Boatema Boateng is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, University of California San Diego. Her research interests include critical legal studies, cultural studies, transnational gender studies, and African diaspora studies. She has published several articles and book chapters on the political and cultural dimensions of intellectual property law and her book, The Copyright Thing Doesn’t Work Here: Adinkra, Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2011.