Examining Authorship in English Studies

full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic MLA Conference (SAMLA)

The diverse fields within English studies often create boundaries that few cross, but this proposal aims to bridge those established boundaries. The focus of this panel looks at authorship and how authorship is theorized within English studies. An example of authorship's function in English studies occurs in Creative Writing. Often in creative writing workshops the Platonic view of authorship becomes a philosophy and focus of the pedagogy, but an instructor often requires assignments where students mimic established authors creating what Gilbert and Gubar have termed an "anxiety of authorship." Another unintended consequence of the creative writing workshop was termed by Jonathan Lethem as the "ecstasy of influence," which is created by the intense pressure to be original while embracing and being influenced by the established, "great" writers. By studying the rhetorical situation through the roles of the author, creative writing students would better write for an intended audience.

In short, this session would examine authorship through creative writing, rhetoric, and/or other fields in English studies. What I am especially interested in are proposals that seek to examine authorship as a way to bridge two diverse fields within English Studies, such as creative writing and rhetoric. To be considered for this special session, please send an abstract or proposal of no more than 300 words to Jessica.R.Jorgenson@my.ndsu.edu no later than May 30th, 2013. Please send all attachments as a Word document or in .rtf.