MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
History of Authorship Studies: Categories to Representatives
Wow! I did not realize how much time and effort academics have put into studying this idea of authorship! Janet Staiger's article sums up seven approaches taken so far in these studies, and I find the last three particularly interesting (author as reading strategy, site of discourses, technique of the self.) They seem to explain the transition that happened from our first week's readings to our second week's readings, namely from the structuralist idea that the author is dead to the more post-structuralist idea that a plurality of voices must be recognized. They take it one step further, though, by making a distinction that I think we were getting at last time; we go from having no author ("insistent unconscious writing by material discourses" ) to having an author as a representative, a performative that is "the repetition of [individual] statements" (51). This is powerful in that it acknowledges voices without putting too much emphasis on them. This approach is helpful in addressing issues of agency for minorities, which we brought up with bell hooks and Marchessault.