Narrating Contemporary Authorship across Genre and Media (NeMLA 2017)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association - Jaclyn Partyka

NeMLA Annual Convention - Baltimore, MD 23-26 March 2017

There has been a cultural fascination with authorship for centuries. However, contemporary technologies and media have revived the theorization of authorship with new fervor. While the wake of poststructuralism's "death of the author" has given way to a resurgence of the author's relevance, new forms of media have emerged to further collapse the boundaries between authors and readers. Furthermore, the growing relevance of what Marie Laure-Ryan describes as multi-modal forms of narrative storyworlds stratify a singular conception of authorship. For instance, the traveling text of J.M. Coetzee's authorial doppelganger Elizabeth Costello exists in performance, critical essays, and the novel. Likewise, J.J. Abram's and Doug Dorst's novel S., which functions as both a mass-marketed curated object and an interactive role playing game, presents an extravagantly layered representation of collaborative authorship. And finally, David Mitchell composed Slade House in conjunction with maintaining a Twitter feed for the novel's protagonist. In light of these kinds of cross-medial innovations, this panel seeks paper proposals that address contemporary authorship when the boundaries between genres become muddled.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:
-Authorship as multimodal performance
-Celebrity culture and popular media
-Digital forms of authorship on social media
-Collaborative authorship
-Meta and self-reflexive gestures of authorship
-Life writing and autobiographical authorship
-Authorship as a brand
-Canonical authorship
-Authorship and genre
-The biographical novel
-Authorial paratexts
-Fictionalizing authorship
-Editors and publishers as authors

Please submit 300 word abstracts alongside a short bio before September 30th (confirmation will be sent by October 15th) through the NeMLA submission page:

Applicants are not required to be NeMLA members at the time of submission but accepted speakers will have to become members by December 1st, 2016.

For further information contact Jaclyn Partyka at or consult