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Cultural Property Research Group, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Very happily, I have begun a week-long visit to Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany. I am very fortunate to be the guest of the Cultural Property Research Group. This is a major interdisciplinary project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). I very much recommend their research weblog (here) and the project website (here).

Today I spent time talking to some of the doctoral students in law and in cultural anthropology/European ethnology/folklore studies who are pursuing dissertation projects within the larger research group. They’re all wonderfully smart and very generous in their patience with an American who has never spoken a word of German in his life. In addition to beginning discussions of their interesting projects, they taught me a bit about the changing nature of academic life in Germany and showed me around their beautiful campus and city.

While I will hopefully have something from my own work to offer my hosts, I am enjoying learning about their studies and connecting them with the work of favorite (and very relevant) colleagues back home who are working on similar issues. I was reassured by the familiarity of the topics that we discussed today.  In the usual one-thing-leads-to-another fashion we jumped from geographic indicators to WIPO policy, open source software, cultural appropriation, human rights, heritage lists, and open access.

Thanks to everyone involved in my visit possible.

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