Law M514 - Cultural Property
Angela R. Riley
Director, MA/JD Joint Degree Program in Law and American Indian Studies
Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center
J.D., Harvard, 1998
This course explores the identity, ownership, appropriation and repatriation of both tangible and intangible cultural property – those items which are of great significance to the cultural heritage and cultural survival of a people. The course considers the importance of the preservation of cultural property as a means of maintaining group identity, self-determination, and collective rights. It examines both international and domestic law governing these issues, and addresses such questions as: How should cultural property be defined? Can cultural property be protected under the existing intellectual property and cultural property regimes? How can we balance the protection of cultural property against the need or desire for its use in creative expression or scientific advancement? Although the course examines the cultural property of groups in general, it maintains a particular emphasis on the cultural property of indigenous peoples, including folklore, traditional knowledge, burial grounds, sacred sites and ancient ceremonies and traditions.