Department of European Languages and Cultures
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'Authors and the World' research hub

‘The Author and the World: New Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship’ is an AHRC-funded collaboration, starting 2014, between researchers in the departments of European Languages & Culture, English & Creative Writing, Linguistics, and History. The research hub is directed by Dr Rebecca Braun. It is housed within the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research, where it benefits from the input of both Anglophone and non-Anglophone creative writers and translators. Its main aim is to interrogate the literary, social, political, linguistic, and historical significance of the literary author as both a cultural artefact and a producer of literary texts. Our work is carried out in academic symposia, practice-focused workshops, and ongoing online debate and artistic experimentation. By pooling different disciplinary approaches to related phenomena such as celebrity, gender, multi-lingualism, political protest, intellectual communities, and cultural mediation, we show how the study of authors can act as a conduit for exploring the very nature of culture and its associated industries around the world. Questions we are looking at include:

  • How do authors ‘embody’ literature, in their biographical person as well as in their literary texts?
  • How are they attributed importance in wider social debates, and to what extent does their significance vary across different cultural contexts?
  • How do authors ‘circulate’ throughout world literature? Can their image, as well as their text, be translated?
  • What role do the media, old and new, have in shaping authors’ careers and their writing? How do authors themselves shape the media / literary industry?
  • To what extent is ‘literary celebrity’ a product of the contemporary Western world?

Symposia, workshops, and online debate on the topic of ‘Literary Celebrity – Practices of Fame and World Authorship’ will be running 2014-15. Any enquiries about the hub should be addressed to Rebecca Braun.

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