Ottawa renews $1.4-million Canada Research Chair at York

The federal government has renewed a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Law, Communication & Culture at York enabling Professor Rosemary Coombe of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies to advance her research in the field of socio-legal studies.

As a Tier 1 CRC, Coombe will receive $1.4 million over seven years. The CRC is part of a package of CRC appointments announced yesterday at the University of Guelph by Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science & technology).

“Canada’s government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy, improve Canadians’ quality of life and create the jobs of tomorrow − today,” said Goodyear. “The Canada Research Chairs program helps attract and retain the best researchers from the country and around the world to Canadian universities, which has direct benefits for our communities.”

In all, the government announced an investment of $159.1 million to fund the appointment of 181 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs, including $7.4 million in infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation essential to the research being conducted by 46 of the Chairs.

Right: Rosemary Coombe

"This CRC renewal provides opportunities for Professor Coombe to further develop her leading research in the social and cultural impact of emerging global intellectual and cultural property laws," said Stan Shapson, vice-president research & innovation at York. "The CRC program allows York to keep building on its research strengths and graduate training in niche social science areas such as law and society.”

Coombe is an internationally recognized scholar and leader in the field of interdisciplinary approaches to intellectual property. The diffusion of her research in anthropology and legal scholarship has successfully situated the field of intellectual property within a larger human rights tradition.

The CRC will enable Coombe to continue to work on interrelated research initiatives in the fields of socio-legal studies, legal scholarship, legal and cultural anthropology and public policy research involving the internationalization of cultural rights. These will be furthered by the simultaneous development of her research infrastructure, the Digital Archives of Canadian Culture Online and the Centre for Canadian Digital Policy & Cultural Rights Initiatives.

Coombe’s forthcoming book about the resurgence of cultural rights and the public life of intellectual property synthesizes her recent work on the development of information capital, indigenous peoples’ rights, the proliferation of property in cultural intangibles and its contestation in new social justice movements.

For more information, visit the Canada Research Chairs Web site.