Dialogues J. Sanford Rikoon It is a great pleasure to read Valdimar Hafstein's essay, and I applaud the Journal of American Folklore for publishing an article that raises critical issues at the intersections of folkloristics, cultural conservation, political economy, and social justice. Hafstein's essay nicely echoes the conclusion of Peggy Bulger's recent AFS presidential address (2003:388) in focusing attention on an international debate and arena of great importance to the cultures folklorists study and champion. I believe Hafstein's most significant contribution is his emphasis on the political and economic ecologies of formalized agendas in fora on cultural conservation and protection. National and international governmental agencies, as well as nongovernmental organizations, have attended to legal issues regarding the commerce and protection of traditional culture for at least the past seventy years; however, the number of actors and institutions, as well as the levels (especially national and international) at which this debate occurs, has greatly increased over the past two decades (Drahos and Mayne 2002). The history and arenas vary according to particular categories of knowledge and folklore, but today an overview of even relevant United Nations groups would include not only the target of Hafstein's essay--the World Intellectual Property
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
Published: Jul 26, 2004
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