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Shun-ling Chen

Shun-Ling Chen

S.J.D. 2014

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The Haunting Author in the Distribution of Ownership and Authority: An Exploration Through Collaborative Cultural Production

My S.J.D. dissertation examines how authorship is constructed in copyright law (both in the courts and in legislature), and how different constructions of authorship have helped to legitimize the way copyright interests are distributed. In particular, I show how professionalism is ingrained as part of copyright law, and suggest that the distribution of symbolic resources — prestige, credibility, and authority — is connected with the distribution of material resources in cultural production. I look at two kinds of communities that are engaged in collaborative cultural productions — the “wikiborg” and Wikipedia, and the indigenous/marginalized communities with oral traditions and their songs. These two kinds of communities normally do not have any kind of symbolic resources that are often associated with an “author” in copyright law. I inquire how the “wikiborg” and “folk” challenge the copyright system and its imagination of authorship by asserting themselves as viable and credible producers of culture and knowledge.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Theories and History of Property and Intellectual Property Law with Professor William W. Fisher, Harvard Law School, Overall Faculty Supervisor
  • Political Economy and Critical Legal Studies with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School
  • Norms and Science and Technology Studies, with Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Kennedy School of Government

Additional Research Interests

  • Internet Law
  • Free Speech
  • Political and Social Theories
  • Human Rights
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Advocacy
  • Science, Technology and Law


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2006 – 2014, with a PhD Secondary Field in Science, Technology and Society, Harvard University
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. 2005
  • National Taiwan University, Graduate Institute of Law, LL.M. 2002
  • National Taiwan University, College of Law, LL.B. 1999, with a minor in Political Science

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard College, Department of Sociology, 2013, Teaching Fellowship
  • Harvard Law School, 2010, Summer Academic Fellowship
  • Harvard Law School, 2007-2008, 2010-2011, Graduate Program Fellow, Coordinator of the Visiting Scholar and Visiting Researcher Colloquium
  • Harvard Law School, 2008-2009, Graduate Program Fellow, Law Teaching Colloquium Coordinator
  • Academia Sinica, 2007, 2008, Institute of Information Science, Doctoral Student Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
  • Harvard Law School, 2005-2006, Graduate Program Visiting Researcher
  • Taiwanese Government Overseas Studies Fellowship, 2005-2007

Representative Publications

Additional Information

  • CV
  • Languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, German

Last Updated: March 12, 2015