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Science, Colonialism, and Indigenous Peoples The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge by Laurelyn (Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada) Whitt

Science, Colonialism, and Indigenous Peoples The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge

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Science, Colonialism, and Indigenous Peoples The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge by Laurelyn (Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada) Whitt

At the intersection of indigenous studies, science studies, and legal studies lies a tense web of political issues of vital concern for the survival of indigenous nations. Numerous historians of science have documented the vital role of late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century science as a part of statecraft, a means of extending empire. This book follows imperialism into the present, demonstrating how pursuit of knowledge of the natural world impacts, and is impacted by, indigenous peoples rather than nation-states. In extractive biocolonialism, the valued genetic resources, and associated agricultural and medicinal knowledge, of indigenous peoples are sought, legally converted into private intellectual property, transformed into commodities, and then placed for sale in genetic marketplaces. Science, Colonialism, and Indigenous Peoples critically examines these developments, demonstrating how contemporary relations between indigenous and Western knowledge systems continue to be shaped by the dynamics of power, the politics of property, and the apologetics of law.

About the Author

Laurelyn Whitt is a Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Integrated Studies at Utah Valley University. She has also held visiting appointments at the Department of Maori Studies, University of Auckland; the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University; the University of Notre Dame Law School; and Osgoode Hall Law School. Professor Whitt is the co-author of The Bitter Fruit of American Justice (along with Alan W. Clarke) and the author of Interstices, a collection of poetry that won the 2005 Holland Poetry Prize.

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Book Info

Publication date

20th November 2013


Laurelyn (Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada) Whitt

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Cambridge University Press


284 pages


Intellectual property law
Law & society



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