Staff – University of Copenhagen

Helle Porsdam

Helle Porsdam

Associate Professor, Professor

HP is Professor of Law and Humanities at the Center for Studies in Legal Culture, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. She teaches American culture and history in the SAXO Department, Faculty of the Humanities, University of Copenhagen, and law and humanities, the culture and history of human rights and cultural rights at the Faculty of Law. She also holds a UNESCO Chair in Cultural Rights. She did her PhD in American Studies at Yale University, has been a Liberal Arts Fellow twice at the Harvard Law School as well as a fellow at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, and the University of Munich.

She received funding from HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) for a project on copyright, creativity and cultural heritage institutions (2010-13) and is currently heading the project, The Past's Future (2015-19), which is funded by the Velux Foundation.

Among her monographs and edited volumes may be mentioned Legally Speaking: Contemporary Culture and the Law (1999), From Civil to Human Rights: Dialogues on Law and Humanities in the United States and Europe (2009), Copyright and Other Fairy TAles: Hans Christian Andersen and the Commodification of Creativity (2006). Her edited volume (together with Lucky Belder), Negotiating Cultural Rights: Issues at Stake, Challenges and Recommendations is in print, and she also has a monograph on cultural rights in print.

Current research

HP is currently writing a monograph with the tentative title, "Law and Humanities: A Cultural Rights Perspective." She is the co-editor of "Negotiating Cultural Rights: Issues at Stake, Challenges and Recommendations" (Edward Elgar: 2017 - in print). Both books and her general research on cultural rights are a part of her Velux-funded project, "The Past's Future: Digital Transformations and Cultural Heritage Institutions" (2015-18; pf.ku). She holds a UNESCO Chair in Cultural Rights and for her UNESCO work, she will focus on gender and on the right to science.



HP teaches American history, American studies, and the role of law in US history and society at the SAXO Institute. As a Professor of Law and Humanities at the University of Copenhagen Law School she teaches courses on law and humanities, human rights, cultural rights, and cultural heritage law.


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