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Boatema Boateng

Associate Professor

Dr. Boateng’s research interests include Critical Legal Studies, Critical Race Studies, Cultural Studies, Transnational Gender Studies, and African Diaspora Studies.

Her research projects focus on the regulatory dimensions of knowledge and its production, as embedded in legal (and other) regimes and in cultural objects and practices. In her book, The Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana, she examines the ways that intellectual property law converges with histories of subjugation along lines of nation, gender and race to produce and regulate both subjects and knowledge. She argues that the status of different kinds of knowledge and culture within the law is a function not only of their inherent qualities but also of their location in such histories. In addition, she examines devalued conceptions of knowledge and subjectivity as resources for challenging and critically rethinking intellectual property law. Her current research takes a similar historical perspective in examining U.S. copyright law in relation to the categories of "art" and "craft"; and the racial and gendered consequences of that relation for cultural production.

Ph.D. in Communications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2002)

“Cultures of Property: African Culture in Intellectual and Cultural Property Regimes” in Jane Anderson & Haidy Geismar (eds). The Routledge Companion to Cultural Property. New York: Routledge, 2017.

“Women Out of Africa: Naming, Knowing, and the Conditions of Being” Cultural Studies<-> Critical Communication. Special edition on “Gender, Nation(alism), and Colonialism: Twenty-first Century Connections,” Vol. 16 No. 4, 2016: 400-413.

“The Hand of the Ancestors: Time, Cultural Production and Intellectual Property Law.” Law and Society Review Vol. 47 No. 4, 2013.

“Authoring Cloth: The Copyright Protection of Fabric Designs in Ghana and the U.S.” in Cynthia Chris and David Gerstner (eds). Authorship and Media New York: Routledge, 2013.

The Copyright Thing Doesn’t Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

“Whose Democracy? Rights-based Discourse and Global Intellectual Property Rights Activism” in R. Mansell and M. Raboy (eds.) The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy. Blackwell, 2011.

Graduate Courses

  • COGR 275: Feminisms in Critical Dialogue
  • COGR 201B: Ethnographic Methods
  • COGR 294: History of Communication Research

Undergraduate Courses

  • COMM 138: Black Women in Feminism and the Media
  • COMM 190: Knives and the Gendered Body: The Social and Cultural Meanings of Cosmetic and Other Surgeries
  • COMM 190: Fibers of Communication: The Language and Politics of Fabrics, Clothing, and Other Material Culture
  • COMM 10: Introduction to Communication