Monday, November 19, 2012

New Books Noted: International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Graber Book PhotoThree years of thoughtful work have finally culminated in a new book on "International Trade in Idigenous Cultural Hertiage: Legal and Policy Issues."  The book is about to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing (United Kingdom).  The book examines how international law can better contribute to promoting trade and development in indigenous cultural heritage while at the same time respecting indigenous people's values, traditions, and rights. 

The book is edited by Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht, and Jessica C. Lai, all members of i-call, the Research Centre for Communication and Art Law at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). Authors include Christoph Antons, Francesco Bandarin, Catherine Bell, Kathey Bowrey, Duane Champagne, Paul L.A.H. Chartrand, Rosemary Coombe, Susy Frankel, Martin Girsberger, Carole Goldberg, Christoph Graber, Karolina Kuprecht, Jessica C. Lai, Federico Lenzerini, Fiona Macmillan, Benny Müller, John Scott, Kurt Siehr, Rebecca Tsosie, Joseph Turcotte, and Brigtte Vézina. 

Because I have had the chance to hear Professor Graber lecture on the topic, and because of my own personal interest in the protection of traditional knowledge and culture, I have very high expectations for the quality of the book.  And I'm not disappointed with what I've been able to see so far -- this is an outstanding piece of work that is both a useful reference work as well as providing thoughtful commentary on the global difficulties with protecting traditional knowledge.  And it is rare to find a book so deeply devoted to transdisciplinary research methodology.

The 17 chapters in the book includes international law perspectives, methodology, and social context, as well as country reports on the protection of cultural heritage in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  I'm looking forward to spending some significant time with the book.  The publication launch date is set for January 30, 2013 for the United States and a bit earlier (November 30, 2012) for the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.  You can, of course, pre-order a copy now for your personal or institutional library.  It is 509 pages (including the index).  

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

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