Narrating Contemporary Authorship across Genre and Media (Panel)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Jaclyn Partyka (Temple University)

There has been a cultural fascination with authorship for centuries. However, contemporary technologies and media have revived the theorization of authorship with new fervor. While the wake of poststructuralism's "death of the author" has given way to a resurgence of the author's relevance, new forms of media have emerged to further collapse the boundaries between authors and readers. Furthermore, the growing relevance of what Marie Laure-Ryan describes as multi-modal forms of narrative storyworlds stratify a singular conception of authorship. For instance, the traveling text of J.M. Coetzee's authorial doppelganger Elizabeth Costello exists in performance, critical essays, and the novel. Likewise, J.J. Abram's and Doug Dorst's novel S., which functions as both a mass-marketed curated object and an interactive role playing game, presents an extravagantly layered representation of collaborative authorship. And finally, David Mitchell composed Slade House in conjunction with maintaining a Twitter feed for the novel's protagonist. In light of these kinds of cross-medial innovations, this panel seeks paper proposals that address contemporary authorship when the boundaries between genres become muddled.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:
-Authorship as multimodal performance
-Celebrity culture and popular media
-Digital forms of authorship on social media
-Collaborative authorship
-Meta and self-reflexive gestures of authorship
-Life writing and autobiographical authorship
-Authorship as a brand
-Canonical authorship
-Authorship and genre
-The biographical novel
-Authorial paratexts
-Fictionalizing authorship
-Editors and publishers as authors

300-word abstracts by September 30. All submissions will be acknowledged through the NeMLA Paper Proposal System.


Contemporary technologies and media have revived the theorization of authorship with new fervor. According to Marie Laure-Ryan, these multi-modal forms of narrative storyworlds stratify a singular conception of authorship and collapse the boundaries between authors and readers. In light of these kinds of cross-medial innovations, this panel seeks paper proposals that address contemporary authorship when the boundaries between genres become muddled. 300-word abstracts by September 30. All submissions will be acknowledged through the NeMLA Paper Proposal System.