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News Posted on May 11, 2017

Associate Dean Sunder Presents at Northwestern University

Senior Associate Dean Madhavi Sunder traveled to Northwestern University in Chicago May 5-7 to participate in a conference on “Medical Cultures, Traditions and Law.” She delivered the opening plenary presentation.

In her remarks, Dean Sunder was invited to revisit an influential paper she published 10 years ago called “The Invention of Traditional Knowledge,” published in Law and Contemporary Problems in 2007. The paper is one of her most cited papers to date. In it, she argued that the concept of traditional knowledge, while recognizing the contributions of indigenous peoples to the preservation of biodiversity and knowledge related to that biodiversity, has also come to be an obstacle to recognizing the dynamic, inventive knowledge coming out of the global South—knowledge that could potentially be recognized with full-fledged intellectual property rights. The conference, funded by a Buffett Institute grant, brought together historians, anthropologists, and legal scholars on the beautiful Northwestern campus.

Madhavi Sunder is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at King Hall whose special interests included intellectual property, law and culture studies, women’s rights, and international intellectual property.