SUMMER 2010: Owning Culture – Intellectual Property as Cultural Politics

SUMMER 2010: Owning Culture – Intellectual Property as Cultural Politics

CMCT 6318 3.0 credits
Professor Rosemary J. Coombe
Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture
TEL x30157 (York)
Office Hours: TEL Building 2017, Wednesdays 5-7 pm or informally, after class.
Class Meets: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4 – 7 pm
Room: TEL Building 2008


The course explores the ways in which law shapes popular culture, with emphasis upon the intellectual property regimes of copyright, publicity rights, and trademark, with final reference to some new forms of intellectual property that are still matters of political negotiation. Copyright will serve as our primary area of extended study but materials are provided for doing a similar study in trademark. We consider how law creates rights to control meaning and effect forms of censorship, while provoking particular forms of resistance and the emergence of alternative community norms. We work with the constructivist assumption that law is a socially productive force and so begin the course by addressing particular themes, such as the subject positions that law constructs, affords and invites, as well as the politics it engenders.

This course may also be counted as a Media & Culture elective. A course substitution form must be submitted to the program office.

Student Section

Course Number: CMCT6318
Field: Communication & Culture
School: York University
Date Published: May 3, 2010