James Leach is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.
He has undertaken long term field research in Papua New Guinea, and also in the UK. James&undefined;s research interests include intellectual property and notions of creativity, knowledge production and exchange in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary contexts, the development of new technologies and their implications for social form, and the relation of law (specifically intellectual property law) to artistic practice. He is currently working on a book addressing contemporary constructions of "the owner" and "the creator" in different contexts. These interests all draw upon and extend collaborative anthropological research with Reite villagers from the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea.
James was trained as a Social Anthropologist in Manchester (B.Soc.Sci 1992, PhD 1997). His first publications focused on kinship, creativity, place/landscape, and art in Reite. Since then, he has written on Intellectual and Cultural Property, and on interdisciplinary collaboration. He has recently been engaged in comparative research on creativity and ownership in the UK (artists&undefined; placements in Research and Industrial contexts), in directing research on gender in Free/ Open Source Software Development, and on artist&undefined;s relation to laws of Privacy and Defamation. Two new initiatives are currently being developed: one a collaborative research project on Institutions, Audit, Value and Personal Relations in Papua New Guinea; the other, Open Objects Initiative (with Matt Ratto and Dawn Nafus) develops a critical forum for research on new technologies and design-for-redesign.
James was Awarded the Royal Anthropological Institute J.B. Donne Prize in the Anthropology of Art for 1999, and The Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2004.
Contact: Dr James Leach, Dept. of Anthropology, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3QY, UK. T: + 44 (0)1224 274354, E: [email protected]
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