MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
As much as I miss the Wednesday night seminar class, I am glad that we had this week off because I had the chance to view the theatre production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. It's a very ingenious play that pits two time periods that seem anachronistically different from each other, but eerily similar in the type of intellectual and humanistic struggles each of the characters from the time periods goes through. I highly recommend this play, as the performance and production was amazing.
In regards to Arcadia and authorship, I found connections between authorship and recognition, reputation, authorship as a medium of social hierarchial movement, and the fleetingness of honor that comes with being "penned/published". I don't want to spoil the play for anybody so I won't go into specific detail, but I was also really fascinated about how authorship changed in the play in relation to time. That being said, to me I felt that one unchanging characteristic for both time periods was the definition of authorship as a means of generating pomp and glory through the criteria and judgement of the scholarly and academic reviews. At the same time, I saw how unstable, and thin that line of success was. In the play, you see how an authors reputation was drastically altered in, literally, mere seconds. I don't want to reveal any more information but I encourage you all to see the play. I'd definately like to hear your opinions regarding Arcadia and the way in which it handles authorship.