Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hemmungs Wirtén to speak in Wisconsin

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén gives a talk Oct 29 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her book, Terms of Use: Negotiating the Jungle of the Intellectual Commons, is a fascinating history of the public domain. In it she argues that the history of the public domain is connected to the history of imperialism - that there is an "unbroken liaison between imperialism and the public domain". (141-142) She argues that the concept of a 'commons' allowed the enclosure of land in the name of colonial expansion, improvement, and development. (23-25) While in general agreement with those who value the public domain, Hemmungs Wirtén takes a critical - and very creative - look at its history.

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