Tag Archives: Appropriation

Appropriately Approaching Appropriation (via IP Osgoode)

Tied into one of the conference’s main concerns of how appropriation could be used in a positive context, the keynote focused on advocating for a more nuanced approach that preserved the uniqueness of postcolonial societies and the “need to protect the ‘we’ with more humility.” It provided a worthy segue into the conference’s second and final day, where many of the questions raised by Professors Coombe and Craig were discussed and debated, and created the background for further dialogue on feminism and the politics of appropriation.

IP Osgoode Blogger & Osgoode JD student Mekhala Chaubal

Over at IP Osgoode, you can read Osgoode JD student Mekhala Chaubal on Appropriately Approaching Appropriation: Osgoode Professors On Feminist Alternatives To Postcolonial Intellectual Property Issues.

Fittingly, given Prof. Craig’s love of alliteration, this is a report on the keynote given by Professors Craig and Coombe at the Feminism and the Politics of Appropriation Conference last Friday night (back off, Katy Perry, academics have last Friday nights too you know).  Thanks to Mekhala and IP Osgoode for the share!  More info about the conference here.

Feminism & the Politics of Appropriation Conference (now!)

Feminism & the Politics of Appropriation | | Women & Gender Studies InstituteWomen & Gender Studies Institute. November 11-12, 2011

Keynote: Rosemary Coombe and Carys Craig


This conference is animated by the question of how feminisms are shaped by the politics of appropriation.  It brings together feminist scholars from across Canada to collectively deliberate over how contemporary appropriation works and what alternative forms of exchange can be imagined.   Following Marx, appropriation is often theorized as a violent act of taking, producing alienation and property from acts of creation.  Yet, within contemporary arts and new media, acts of digital appropriation are also performed as radical interventions that seek to subvert property regimes and authorial relations.  Within anti-colonial and indigenous struggles, cultural appropriation is a form of epistemic violence that has accompanied material acts of theft and injury. Moreover, to appropriate can also mean to make proper and suitable, and thus to ethicize.

Given these multiple meanings of appropriation, this conference invites participants to track how feminisms and other political projects have also been appropriated, dis-assembled, remade within transnational circuits and new (as well as old) imperialisms.

  • How to theorize the work of appropriation today?
  • How does appropriation condition politics, as well as feminism?
  • What might feminist alternatives to appropriation look like?

I am looking forward to a guest post on Sunday about this Conference – stay tuned.