Doctoral Student Ghazaleh Jerban Delves into Feminine Forms of Technology Innovation and Wins First Ingenium-uOttawa Fellowship

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018

Faculty of Law doctoral student Ghazaleh Jerban has earned the inaugural Ingenium-University of Ottawa Fellowship in Gender, Science and Technology for her work focusing on the gender aspects of intellectual property law.

Ms. Jerban’s work focuses, specifically, on the areas where gender and patent law intersect. One such area is the issue of protection of feminine forms of innovation under existing patent law. Patent systems are primarily designed to encourage and stimulate innovation. Yet, historically, not all forms of innovation have been considered valuable enough to be worth promoting. Ms. Jerban’s research will examine the issue of protection of feminine forms of innovation such as knitting, making clothing and cooking under the current patent system. She will argue that, historically, technology has been defined in a way that exclusively includes male activities in such a way that many activities that are traditionally performed by women, like knitting, have not fit the definition of technology, despite involving a high degree of manual dexterity and computation. Ms. Jerban is supervised by Common Law’s Professor Elizabeth Judge.

Created through a partnership between Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation and the University of Ottawa, the Ingenium-uOttawa Fellowship provides an excellent opportunity for graduate students to participate in public history projects as they relate to gender, science, and technology. The Fellowship creates a four-month position at a national museum, where students can gain valuable heritage and curatorial work experience, and have unique access to collections that contribute to their research interests.

Ms. Jerban will benefit from having access to the Ingenium collection warehouses and database to document women’s contribution to technology and innovation by examining documents under categories such as “textile working”. She will undertake her fellowship from September to December of 2018.

Congratulations to Ms. Jerban on earning this exciting opportunity!

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