The Pirate Function lecture now available on the UI YouTube channel

On 23 November 2022 Professor Kavita Philip, President’s Excellence Chair in Network Cultures, University of British Colombia, delivered the second lecture in the Sheffield Urbanism series ‘Co-production and the Future of Urban Epistemics’.

The pirate function

You can now watch the full lecture on our YouTube channel.

The lecture was a tour de force of Kavita’s interdisciplinary works, building from pirate studies
towards an historically-grounded racial ecology of theft.

Providing an exceptional insight of how histories of race intersect with the ecology of pirates, Kavita delivered an analysis of the racialisation of intellectual property law, copyright and digital piracy - concluding with a fascinating framing of the differences between white, Asian and Black piracy.

Speaking from outside urban studies, Kavita’s lecture left us much to think about: how digital piracy is a ‘revenge’ for years of under-development; how localised piracy is variably valued as either innovative or dismissed as simply ‘non-creative’ copying; and how current debates on knowledge capitalism and the enclosure of the commons find antecedents in colonial trading of scientific objects and assets.

The lecture leaves us asking: who is engaged in urban piracy or banditry? Where and how is urban piracy taking place? And how are terrains of local creativity, innovation, knowledge production and circulation shaped by global regulations and laws well beyond the traditional concerns of urban studies?

Find out more about Kavita’s work here.

If you’d like to continue to follow the Sheffield Urbanism series, you can still sign up for the final session on ‘The future of urban epistemics’ online and in-person here.

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