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Thursday, October 21 • 5:15pm - 5:25pm
OER, Ownership, Authorship, and Power.

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By being collectively owned by the public, Open Educational Resources are a common good. They are a gift from authors to humanity. By releasing their intellectual property rights and putting their works in the public domain, authors of OER participate in liberating themselves and their audience from what Jean Jacques Rousseau referred to as the “power of ownership”. In the Discourse on Inequality, Rousseau describes this power as the authority to enclose a land and to refuse its use to others, and claimed that such ownership is responsible for “many crimes, wars, murders […] misery and horror”. Drawing a parallel between land ownership and intellectual ownership, I argue that OER can liberate us from the power and concomitant ills of of ownership. Therefore, once we perceive OER as a liberatory movement, we need to look at each and every form of power that might limit this emancipatory intention. Using Michel Foucault ideas stating that “Power is everywhere” and “comes from everywhere,” I explore authorship with the following question: How does the concept of authorship liberate or reinforce power and authority? I argue that authorship reinforce a form of power and would like to invite anyone interested in the liberatory power of OER to think on the other forms of hidden power limiting this emancipation.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • At the end of the presentation, attendees will have a clear understanding of the power dynamic of authorship
  • This presentation will invite attendees to self-reflect on what kind of authorship they want and/or need to use for their work
  • This presentation will invite attendees to think of the different power relationship affecting Open Educational Resources and Open Pedagogy

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Nicolas Simon

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Eastern Connecticut State University

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Thursday October 21, 2021 5:15pm - 5:25pm EDT
Room E