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The Author and the world: New interdisciplinary approaches to authorship

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

6/01/14 → …

What does it mean to be an author in the contemporary Western world?

In line with the expanding remit of literary studies, this project assesses how authors function as cultural artefacts in a variety of different geographical locations and cultural contexts. Its key tenet is that authorship – ‘being an author’ – must be understood not just as a literary practice, but as an ever-evolving process of construction undertaken by multiple players, in multiple contexts and to multiple ends. Consequently, the research questions underlying this project intersect with such issues as celebrity, gender, the digital media, political identity formation, translation, and transnationalism, to name but a few.

The research hub, ‘Authors and the World' has been founded together with colleagues in European Languages & Cultures, History, Linguistics and English & Creative Writing as a long-term venture at Lancaster University. The hub aims to become a federating point for researchers working on authorship-related issues from different disciplines across the Arts and Humanities and in different linguistic and geographical contexts. Throughout 2014-15 we piloted our first research strand, 'Literary Celebrity' with a series of linked events and research outputs, and established a significant web and social media presence: www.authorsandtheworld.com; @AuthorsWorld