Rosemary Coombe takes York to Harvard

Rosemary Coombe, York University’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Law, Communication & Cultural Studies (Faculty of Arts), has been given special recognition — and a rare opportunity to pursue the transnational research she is currently undertaking as a CRC.

Coombe will assume the Mackenzie King Chair of Canadian Studies at Harvard University for the 2003-2004 academic year. The position, which will take her to Cambridge, Massachusetts,  is designed to introduce Harvard students to Canadian issues. It will involve a year-long non-credit seminar course as well as a spring symposium.

Under Coombe’s leadership, York faculty and students will be centrally engaged. A number of York faculty will visit Harvard to give lectures on new media technologies, global cultural flows, national identities and the public sphere.

Graduate students in York’s Joint Program in Communication & Culture will have the opportunity to take a spring seminar course with Visiting Professor Andrew Herman, from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, entitled National Identities: New Mediations and the Place of the Public. It will run simultaneously with the same seminar that Coombe will teach at Harvard. Students at both institutions will communicate electronically and meet to share their work at a spring symposium in Cambridge.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to create collaborations between York and Harvard and thereby enrich Canada-US academic relations,” Coombe commented. “That is one of the main purposes of the Chair, endowed to celebrate Canada’s centennial in 1967.”

Right: Aerial view of Harvard University’s main campus

York’s VP Research & Innovation Stan Shapson added, “This is both an excellent opportunity and a wonderful honour for Professor Coombe that will allow her to expand and extend her work as one of York’s Canada Research Chairs. It also provides her with the chance to continue to build research collaborations, an important hallmark of York’s research.”

Coombe will be based at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, teaching in the Department of Anthropology, where she will advance her CRC research on the globalization of intellectual property norms and the ethics of intellectual property management, creativity and publicity in digital environments.