On April 4, 2008, American University Washington College of Law will host its 5th Annual symposium on IP/Gender: Mapping the Connections. The symposium will take place at the WCL campus, 4801 Massachusetts Ave NW , room 528, 10am-4pm. Lunch will be served to all registered participants.In the Spring of 2004, the WCL Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Women and the Law Program and Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law sponsored the initial effort to bring scholars together to focus interdisciplinary attention on the interplay between intellectual property and gender. In that first year, a group of scholars who study intellectual property law or feminist theory, most of whom had not previously analyzed the connections between their disciplines, began a process of mapping the contours of a path of exploration. The workshop primarily occurred behind closed doors and operated as an intense brainstorming session abut what future work in this area might become.
The following year, we built on the discussions from that first workshop by holding a public program highlighting the work of two scholars writing in this emerging area, Ann Bartow and Sonia Katyal. These two scholars published their work in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law, which has remained a steady partner of the symposium in the years since. In 2006 and 2007, the symposium expanded into full-day workshops with multiple presentations by scholars applying feminist theory insights to the full range of intellectual property doctrines and policies. Scholars have used the forum to develop ideas on the impact on intellectual property on gender-related imbalances in wealth, cultural access, political power, and social control; to explore relations between creative production and gender; to analyze the effects of stereotyping and feminization and masculinization of intellectual property stakeholders; to uncover the gendered development of IP doctrines and doctrinal categories; and to apply feminist jurisprudential insights to the teaching and practicing of intellectual property law. This year, the IP/Gender: Mapping the Connections Symposium will be the grandest yet, featuring fifteen presenters or commenters from two continents, open to the public and webcast live here. The full schedule of panels, links to past articles and other information can be found here.