Feb 22 2024

OSI 2024: We’re back!

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Since 2009, the OSI has successfully encouraged and promoted the interdisciplinary study and research of the interrelations between law and culture, based on the idea that the extended cultural study of the law will foster profitable scholarly exchange and dialogue between legal studies and the humanities. We are committed more than ever to build on and continue these efforts, especially in the face of the current challenges to democratic and open societies.

The Institute will offer a combination of thematic workshop sessions, small group seminars and a final conference for up to 20 international participants (doctoral, post-doctoral and advanced M.A. – see below for eligibility). The introductory workshop will address the range and potential of interdisciplinary studies and approaches in the field of law and the humanities. The remaining thematic sessions and small group seminars will focus on key issues and debates in current cultural legal studies which touch on questions of property, ownership, appropriation etc

The main objective of the OSI is to encourage scholarly exchange across disciplines and the critical debate of current research projects as well as work in progress. Participants will have the opportunity to present and discuss their own work both within the larger group and in individual sessions with members of the OSI faculty. The program will be concluded with a two day conference on the topic of the institute with invited speakers and panel sessions.

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Feb 21 2024

OSI 2024: “Rights without Borders? Subjects, Precarity, Agency”

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We are pleased to officially announce the call for applications for the 9th International Osnabrück Summer Institute (OSI), Rights without Borders? Subjects, Precarity, Agency, that will take place July 06 to 14, 2024. Hosted by the Institute of English and American Studies (IfAA), the Summer Institute seeks to promote and examine the interdisciplinary study and research of law and culture.

Applicants should submit:

  • An application form.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • A curriculum vitae.

Both PhD students and post-docs interested in taking part in the OSI should submit their applications by April 1st, 2024.

Information on eligibility, the application process and fees are available on our application page. Questions about the OSI may be directed at the Summer Institute Coordinators via email: lawandculture@uos.de.

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Jul 23 2022

Concluding Keynote: Gesa Mackenthun “Ghostly Gardeners: America’s Ambivalent Discourse on Indigenous Land Tenure.”

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We are so excited to announce that the concluding keynote of our conference will be held by Gesa Mackenthun!

Gesa is professor of American Studies at Rostock University, Germany. Her books include Embattled Excavations. Colonial and Transcultural Constructions of the American Deep Past (2021), Metaphors of Dispossession. American Beginnings and the Translation of Empire (1997), Fictions of the Black Atlantic (2004), and many edited volumes, among them Decolonizing ‘Prehistory’. Deep Time and Indigenous Knowledges in North America (with Christen Mucher, 2021), Sea Changes. Historicizing the Ocean (with Bernhard Klein, 2004), Entangled Knowledge. Scientific Discourses and Cultural Difference (with Klaus Hock, 2012), and DEcolonial Heritage: Natures, Cultures and the Asymmetries of Memory (with Aníbal Arregui, 2017). Her current research deals with representations of the transatlantic history of enclosures, evictions, and ecocide.

She will be holding a Keynote on the topic “Ghostly Gardeners: America’s Ambivalent Discourse on Indigenous Land Tenure.” Join us on the 24.07. at 10:30 am to listen to her exciting talk! Please note that there has been a change in venue! The talk will take place in room 11/212!


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Jul 22 2022

Keynote Announcement: Anjali Vats “The Being and Doing of Critical Race Intellectual Property: A Ten Year Reflection on Method and Praxis”

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We are proud to announce that Anjali Vats will be joining our conference this year and hold a keynote on the topic The Being and Doing of Critical Race Intellectual Property: A Ten Year Reflection on Method and Praxis.”

Anjali Vats, JD, PhD is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law with a secondary appointment in the Communication Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in issues related to race, law, rhetoric, media studies, and popular culture, with particular focus on intellectual property. Her book, The Color of Creatorship: Intellectual Property, Race and the Making of Americans (Stanford University Press, 2020), examines the relationship between copyright, patent, and trademark law, race, and national identity formation. She has published in law reviews and academic journals, including the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Communication, Culture & Critique. She also recently co-edited a special issue of First Amendment Studies on race and free speech. From 2014 – 2021, Vats was Associate Professor of Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College and Associate Professor of Law at Boston College Law School (by courtesy), where she taught Critical Race Theory and studied questions of Critical Race Intellectual Property. In 2016-2017, while on an AAUW Postdoctoral Fellowship, she served as a Visiting Law Professor at UC Davis School of Law. She was also previously a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, where she was affiliated with the Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Maurer School of Law. Before becoming a professor, Vats clerked for the now retired Chief Justice A. William Maupin of the Supreme Court of Nevada.

Join us on the 23.07. at 10:00 am to listen to her exciting talk in room 11/212!

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Jul 21 2022

Opening Keynote: Ravit Reichman “Possessive Cases: The Propertied Imagination in Modern Times”

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We are so excited to announce that the opening keynote of this Institute’s concluding conference will be held by Ravit Reichman on the topic of “Possessive Cases: The Propertied Imagination in Modern Times”! Check out our convener introductions to read up on her full bio and see the abstract in the following:

“How do we come to feel possessive over intangibles—memory, identity, history, citizenship—that, strictly speaking, we cannot own? In taking up this question as a way to understand the modern condition, this lecture examines the propertied imagination: the psychic life of property through which we experience the world as a series of possessive cases, and through which we make claims to repossess what we believe to be ours. Navigating the psychic terrain of possession, I propose that property in the modern era comes into view predominantly through loss rather than acquisition, and that this loss is accompanied by an expanded sense of property that shapes relations of ownership beyond the law. Drawing particularly on examples from law and literature, I suggest that this propertied imagination calls for a particular mode of reading, one attuned to property’s affective registers like grief, possessiveness, self-possession, or entitlement, and to its rhetorical turns—those moments when language alerts us to the existence of a propertied relationship that law is often at pains to address.”

The Keynote will be held on the 22.07.  at 4 pm. Join us in room 11/E08!

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