Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies, New York University


Jane Anderson is a legal scholar, a consultant and an advocate on intellectual property and Indigenous/traditional/local knowledge resources. Jane Anderson holds a PhD in Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Heritage and Society, Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Her work is focused on the philosophical and practical problems for intellectual property law and the protection of Indigenous/traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. In addition to her theoretical work in this field, Jane has worked on a range of intellectual property and Indigenous knowledge in practice projects with Indigenous communities and organizations in Australia, Indonesia, Canada and the United States.

In Australia these projects have focused on addressing Indigenous interests in access, control and ownership of ethnographic and cultural materials within libraries, archives and museums and the digital repatriation of this material back to communities. In Indonesia as part of an inter-disciplinary research team, Jane worked with local artists and community leaders, non-governmental organizations and Indonesian government officials to develop alternative legal strategies for the protection of traditional artistic expressions across the Indonesian archipelago. Since 2007, Jane has worked as an Expert Consultant for the World Intellectual Property Organization on a number of policy proposals for the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions including the development of an international alternative dispute resolution/mediation service for intellectual property and Indigenous/traditional/local knowledge disputes.

With Kim Christen and Michael Ashley, Jane has co-founded localcontexts.org. This is an online platform for the delivery of Traditional Knowledge Licenses and Labels–a combined legal and non-legal strategy enabling community attribution and recognizing culturally specific conditions for accessing and using Indigenous cultural materials.

Her book Law, Knowledge, Culture: The Production of Indigenous Knowledge in Intellectual Property Law was published in 2009 with Edward Elgar Press, UK. She is currently working on her next book - Intellectual Property, Dispossession and Decolonial Futures.