Program Archive
Viewing convention Program information from 2009

Session Details

Wednesday, 30 December

643. New Models of Authorship

8:30–9:45 a.m., Grand Ballroom Salon K, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology

Presiding: Carolyn Guertin, Univ. of Texas, Arlington

1. “Authors for Hire: Branded Entertainment’s Challenges to Legal Doctrine and Literary Theory,” Zahr Said Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia

2. “The Digital Archive in Motion: Data Mining as Authorship,” Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia

3. “Scandalous Searches: Rhizomatic Authorship in America’s Online Unintentional Narratives,” Andrew Ferguson, Univ. of Tulsa

For abstracts, visit

Author Comment
Subject: Author as Data
I couldn't attend the excellent panel, but I wanted to say, based on the abstracts, that the models of authorship seem to pull in two different directions. The entertainment industry's corporate author and maybe even fanfiction authors seem to operate using collaborative models -- did Zahr Stauffer see them as at all similar?

But the papers presented by Paul Benzon and Andrew Ferguson -- while revising notions of authorship from the originator of a particular style posed by copyright -- at some level seem to fetishize individuals, both discussing genres that save every trace of a person's marking on screen.