About Race + IP

Race + IP emerged through scholarly conversations about the need to build a conference space dedicated to discussions of the social justice issues at the intersections of race and intellectual property. The goal of the conference and subsequent events is to cultivate sustained scholarly conversation about the relationship between race and all types of intellectual property as well as their intersectional implications for knowledge production, knowledge protection, and knowledge development. We hope that Race + IP will offer a starting point for such conversations to grow.

2016-2017 Conference Planning Committee

Anjali Vats is Visiting Law Professor at UC Davis School of Law where she teaches a course entitled “Race, National Identity & Intellectual Properties.” She is also Assistant Professor of Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College and Assistant Professor of Law, by courtesy, at Boston College Law School. Her research is focused on rhetorics of race in law and popular culture.

Professor Vats is currently working on a monograph entitled Created Differences: Intellectual Properties and Racial Formation in the Making of Americans which considers how political, popular, and legal discourse about copyrights, trademark, and patents shape our understandings of race, citizenship, and the capacity to engage in valuable intellectual labor. She has published articles in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication, Culture & Critique, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Southern Communication Journal. She has also co-authored law review articles in the Duquesne Law Review and Wayne Law Review.

In 2016, Professor Vats was awarded an AAUW Postdoctoral Fellowship and an Exemplary Diversity Scholar Citation from the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Prior to teaching, she clerked for the Honorable A. William Maupin of the Supreme Court of Nevada.

keller-2 Deidré Keller joined the Ohio Northern University (ONU) Claude W. Pettit College of Law faculty in August 2010 as an assistant professor. She has taught Property I and II, Law and Literature, Internet Law, Legal Problem Solving and Analysis, and the Intellectual Property survey course and seminar. Professor Keller has also taught in the LSAC DiscoverLaw.org PLUS program at ONU. Professor Keller writes at the intersection of intellectual property, personhood theory, and the Constitution.

Prior to teaching, Professor Keller practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, with the firms of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP and Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. She specialized in intellectual property with an emphasis on trademarks and copyrights.


Jessica Silbey is a Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. She teaches in the areas of intellectual property and constitutional law. Professor Silbey’s intellectual property research focuses on the empirical and humanistic dimensions of the legal regulation of creative and innovative work. Her most recent book is The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators and Everyday Intellectual Property (Stanford University Press 2015), a qualitative empirical investigation of diverse mechanisms and motives for engaging in creative and innovative work challenging the economic analysis of intellectual property law. Other recent publications include Progress Evaluated: A Qualitative Analysis of “Promoting Progress” through IP, in IP Handbook (Halbert and David eds., Sage 2014); “Patent Variation: Discerning Diversity Among Patent Functions,” 45 Loy. U. Chi. L. Rev. 441 (2013); “Comparative Tales of Origins and Access: The Future of Intellectual Property Law,” 61 Case Wes. Res. L. R. 195 (2011), and “Mythical Beginnings of Intellectual Property,” 15 Geo. Mason L. R. 319 (2008).

Professor Silbey also writes and researches in the field of law and film, exploring how film is used as a legal tool and how it becomes an object of legal analysis. Representative publications include Law and Justice on the Small Screen (Hart 2012) (with Peter Robson); “Picturing Moral Arguments in a Fraught Legal Arena: Fetuses, Phantoms and Ultrasounds,” 16 Geo. J. Gender & Law (2016); Images In/Of Law, 57 N.Y.L.S. L. R. 171 (2012/2013); “Evidence Verité and the Law of Film,” 31 Cardozo L. R. 1257 (2010); “Cross-Examining Film,” 8 U. Md. J. Race, Religion & Gender & L. 101 (2009); “Filmmaking in the Precinct House and the Genre of Documentary Film,” 29 Colum. J. L. & Arts. 107 (2005); and “Judges as Film Critics: New Approaches to Filmic Evidence,” 39 Mich. J. L. Reform 493 (2004). Jessica earned her BA from Stanford University and her JD and PhD (in comparative literature) from the University of Michigan. She is also Faculty Affiliate at the Klein Berkman Center at Harvard and an affiliate fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project. Prior to teaching, she clerked in the federal courts and worked in private practice focusing on intellectual property and reproductive rights.


Amit Basole is Associate Professor of Economics at the School of Liberal Studies, Azim Premji University, Bangalore. He was previously Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University.  Professor Basole holds a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research addresses poverty and inequality, political economy of the informal sector, and the economics of informal knowledge. His work has been published in several edited volumes and in journals such as Economic and Political Weekly, World Development, Development and Change, Rethinking Marxism, Journal of World Intellectual Property, and International Review of Applied Economics. He also writes for general audiences at ideasforindia.in, populareconomics.org, dialog.in, sanhati.org, and other online fora, and has recently edited a book titled Lokavidya Perspectives: A Philosophy of Political Imagination for the Knowledge Age published by Aakar Books, New Delhi. Prior to switching to economics, he completed a PhD in Neuroscience from Duke University where his research on the neurophysiology of the mammalian visual system was published in journals such as Nature and Progress in Brain Research.