DepositExile and Petrarch’s Reinvention of Authorship

This article demonstrates a systematic connection between the novelty of Petrarch’s authorship and his self-definition as an exile. Petrarch employs the unusual term exilium/esilio to substantiate his unprecedented claim that literature is a legally valid officium (civic role). Following Dante, Petrarch grounds his exilic authorship in the Christian discourse of peregrinatio: life as pilgrimage through exile. But Petrarch’s new officium allows him a measure of control over literary creation that no prior Italian writer had enjoyed. This is especially true of the “Canzoniere,” Petrarch’s compilation of his vernacular lyrics, whose singularity functions as a proxy for its author’s selfhood.

DepositConfronting Authorship, Constructing Practices (How Copyright is Destroying Collective Practice)

In this chapter I investigate the coercive relationship between authorship and copyright from the perspective of intersectional feminist and de-colonial knowledge practices. Examining three artistic strategies (Richard Prince, Cady Noland and the Piracy Project) which all try to challenge the close ties between copyright and authorship – although with very different outcomes – I will show how the concept of authorship grounded in possessive individualism creates considerable blockages for critical art, education and collective practice. Trying to politicise individual authorship and to escape its construction through legal, economic and institutional frameworks, I discuss how this chapter would circulate in current systems of dissemination, validation and authorisation, if I did not assign my name to it, if it went un-authored so to speak. From a de-colonial feminist perspective, however, authorship after all marks the positionality of the speaking subject in order to account for the often unacknowledged eurocentrism of western philosophy (Gayatry Spivak). Acknowledging this double bind, I wonder, how we might eventually be able to invent modes of being and working together that recognise the difference of the ’who’ that writes, and at the same time might be able to move on from the question ‘how can we get rid of the author’ to inventing processes of subjectivation that we want to support and instigate.

DepositBefore Authorship: Solomon and Prov. 1:1

How should we understand the naming of legendary figures like Solomon in biblical titles? The ancient practice of attribution is often obscured by scholars committed to the modern construction of authorship. Texts such as 11QPsa XXVII (“David’s Compositions”) demonstrate an altogether different understanding of this ancient practice. Using Prov. 1:1 as a test case, this essay examines how biblical authors and editors assigned texts to legendary figures, and how this kind of attribution evokes a set of imagined associations in the broader literary tradition. The essay presents a description and categorization of biblical titles and textual frames, and compares these titles and frames to textual frames of ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean collections of instruction and poetry. The essay argues that Prov. 1:1, like other textual frames, uses attribution to imaginatively stage the text in the broader literary tradition.

DepositDigging into Image Data to Answer Authorship Related Questions

An international, multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Sheffield (UoS), UK; Michigan State University (MSU), MI, USA; and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), IL, USA jointly propose the exploration of authorship across three distinct but in some respects complementary digital dataset collections: 15th-century manuscripts, 17th- and 18th-century maps and 19th- and 20th-century quilts. The datasets, freely available to the investigators, represent very large and diverse collections of digitized scans or photographs in standard image file formats. The US team will consist of members from UIUC (applying to NSF) and MSU (applying to NEH). The UIUC team led by Peter Bajcsy (as US NSF project director), the MSU team led by Dean Rehberger (as US NEH project director), and the UK team led by Peter Ainsworth (as UK JISC project director). The topic of authorship serves as a common question at the intersection of humanities, arts and social sciences research that unites the proposed exploration of image analyses.

DepositThe Son as Collaborator in Paradise Regained

In the beginning of Paradise Regained, Milton states that the Son will “publish his God-like office.” I argue that the connotations of publication in this statement allow us to read the Son’s construction of his kingship as an analogue for Milton’s construction of his own authorship, and vice versa. By exploring a few aspects of Milton’s conceptions of authorship, inspiration, and vocation, I will show that Milton constructs the Son as a type of author and publisher with whom he sees himself collaborating, and that the discussion of kingship in the poem provides a model for political engagement through authorship.