Call for papers – HERMES seminar 2015

Author, Authorship, and Authority in the Age of Cultural Studies and New Media

Charles University in Prague, June 14-19, 2015
Annual International Post-Graduate Seminar
in collaboration with the universities united in the HERMES-network

In the past decades, the interest in textuality, contexts, readership and the historicity and materiality of literary production has tended to overshadow an important area of literary studies, namely research focused on the author, authorship and authority. The present time, marked by the predominance of cultural studies and the profound impact of new media on our understanding of authenticity, originality and intellectual property, invites us to reconsider the status, meaning and potentialities of author-oriented approaches. Starting from the Prague Structuralism discussions of authorship in terms of intentionality and “semantic gesture,” Wayne Booth’s “implied author,” E.D. Hirsch’s hermeneutics and Michel Foucault’s concept of a historically developing, discursive “author-function,” author-oriented approaches can be discussed from various conceptual perspectives and explored in a number of thematic areas, including, but not limited to:

  • positioning and posture
  • identity and psychoanalysis
  • fiction and fictionality
  • literariness
  • intention
  • autobiographical fiction, disease narratives and life writing
  • authorship and intellectual property
  • collective authorship
  • new media studies
  • literary sociology
  • ethical turn
  • gender studies
  • postcolonial and diasporic studies

Papers addressing reconfigurations of authorship in the context of new media are especially welcome. Paper proposals should be sent to Stephan Besser ( by Febr 20, 2015. Selected participants will be notified by March 16, 2015.

Recommended Reading:

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  • Attridge, Derek. The Singularity of Literature, 2004.
  • Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture, 1994.
  • Bromley, Roger. New Belonging: Diasporic Cultural Fictions, 2000.
  • Butler, Judith. Giving Account of Oneself, 2005.
  • Derek Attridge, “Innovation, Literature, Ethics: Relating to the Other,” PMLA 114.1 (1999): 20-31.
  • Dorleijn, Gillis et al (eds.). Authorship Revisited: Conceptions of Authorship around 1900 and 2000, 2010.
  • Eskin, Michael. “Introduction: The Double ‘Turn’ to Ethics and Literature?” Poetics Today, 25.4 (2004): 557-72.
  • Ginsburg, Carlo. History, Rhetoric and Proof, 1999.
  • Gray, Jonathan and Derek Johnson (eds.), A Companion to Media Authorship, 2013.
  • Guertin, Carolyn. Digital Prohibition: Piracy and Authorship in New Media Art, 2012.
  • Hitchcock, Peter. “The Ethics of World Literature,” in The Routledge Companion to World Literature. Ed. Theo D’haen, David Damrosch and Djelal Kadir, 2012, 365-72.
  • Iser, Wolfgang. The Fictive and the Imaginary, 1994.
  • Lanser, Susan Fictions of Authority. Women Writers and Narrative Voice, 1992.
  • Meizoz, Jerôme. Postures littéraires : Mises en scène modernes de l’auteur, 2007.
  • Miller, J. Hillis. The Conflagration of Community, 2011.
  • Ryan, Marie-Laure. Avatars of Story, 2006.
  • Siebers, Tobin. The Ethics of Criticism, 1988.
  • Woodmansee, Martha and Peter Jaszi (eds.). The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature, 1994.
  • Woodmansee, Martha. The Author, Art, and the Market: Rereading the History of Aesthetics, 1994.