Creativity, Inc.: Intellectual Production as Capital (ACLA 2014 @ NYU)

full name / name of organization: 
Yonina Hoffman, Torsa Ghosal, Michael Harwick (English, Ohio State University)
contact email: 

One of the decade's more contentious theories concerning the reformulation of capital in (post)industrial America was the denomination of the so-called "creative class." United by a tendency toward transient "gigs," labor that blurs the line between art and technology, and innovation, its members traffic in intellectual property and abstract skill sets while seeking venues that grant them legibility. Though much debate surrounds the validity of the term, this coinage proves useful for thinking about the dialogic relationship between capitalism and creativity. In this seminar, we invite discussions about precisely this link โ€“ how capital's reflexivity, plasticity, and "creativity" has helped enable its longevity, as well as how the abstract quality of "creativity" becomes fixed, valued, and realized at different moments in its history. As such, we welcome engagements with objects defined as capital within the "marketplace of ideas" โ€“ intellectual property, invention, innovation, and derivation โ€“ to explore questions regarding ownership, indebtedness, and the value of thought. Submissions are welcome from any period and critical orientation.

Possible questions addressed might include:
-What happens to our understanding of capitalism when its primary token becomes "creativity"?
-What counts as creative or intellectual labor?
-How do thinkers and artists remain creative within the constraints of inherited modes/frameworks of thinking?
-How does capital accommodate the radical potential of creativity?
-How are ideas and artworks transformed by their reception?
-Should we consider derivations (translations, adaptations, exegeses) to be creative products?
-What role does the body play in a system of intellectual labor and property?

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Creativity, Inheritance, Influence, Appropriation, (Dis)embodiment, Translation, Reception, Meta-theory, History of Ideas, (After)Life of Ideas, Commodification

NYU is hosting ACLA 2014 over the weekend of March 20-23. Please submit paper proposals (max. 250 words) through ACLA's website and select this seminar from the drop-down list: Extended deadline is November 15, 2013 (midnight PST).