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The Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies

The Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies

is a collaboration of doctoral schools in Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, France, and USA that seeks to further an understanding of the European presence in the fields of literature, art and culture in an era of globalization, to promote interdisciplinary thoughts in the fields of literary and cultural studies, to explore changes in European self-understanding and self-criticism across the cultures and disciplines in and beyond Europe, and to develop co-operation between European as well as between non-European research environments.


Hermes 2015: Author, Authorship, and Authority in the Age of Cultural Studies and New Media


Hermes seminar 2015


Charles University in Prague, June 14 to June 19, 2015

In the past decades, the interest in the textuality, contexts, readership, historicity or materiality of literary production has overshadowed an important area of literary studies focused on the author, authorship and authority. The present time, marked by the predominance of cultural studies and profound changes effected by the new media, their interactive nature and their impact on our understanding of authenticity, originality and intellectual property, invites us to reconsider the status, meaning and potentialities of author-oriented approaches.

Starting from the Prague Structuralism discussions of authorship in terms of intentionality and “semantic gesture,” Wayne Booth’s “implied author,” E.D. Hirsch’s hermeneutics and Michel Foucault’s concept of a historically developing, discursive “author-function,” the author-oriented approaches can be discussed in view of a number of thematic areas and from various conceptual perspectives, for instance:

  • literariness
  • rhetoric and transformation of humanistic philological agenda
  • fiction and fictionality  
  • gender studies
  • identity and psychoanalysis
  • autobiographical fiction, disease narratives and life writing
  • postcolonial and diasporic studies   
  • authorship and intellectual property
  • constructivist approaches
  • collective authorship
  • new media studies
  • ethical turn
  • autobiographical studies
  • historical approaches
  • literary sociology


Papers confronting the approaches based on the notions of intention, literariness, identity, gender, posture, etc., with the reconfiguration of authorship in the age of the new media are especially welcome.

Paper proposals should be sent to Professor Martin Prochazka ,Head, Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Charles University in Prague.

The submission deadline is December 31, 2014; selected participants will be notified by February 28, 2015.

Recommended Reading:

Ruth Amossy, La présentation de soi, 2010.

Derek Attridge, The Singularity of Literature, 2004.

Derek Attridge, “Innovation, Literature, Ethics: Relating to the Other,” PMLA 114.1 (1999): 20-31.

Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 1994.

Roger Bromley, New Belonging: Diasporic Cultural Fictions, 2000.

Judith Butler, Giving Account of Oneself, 2005.

Gillis Dorleijn, Ralf Grüttemeier and Liesbeth Korthals Altes, Authorship Revisited: Conceptions of Authorship around 1900 and 2000,2010. (This book contains some translations of the important French sociological work on the author, most notably Jerôme Meizoz and his notion of posture)

Michael Eskin, “Introduction: The Double ‘Turn’ to Ethics and Literature?" Poetics Today, 25.4 (2004): 557-72.

Carlo Ginsburg, History, Rhetoric and Proof, 1999.

Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson (eds.), A Companion to Media Authorship, 2013.

Carolyn Guertin, Digital Prohibition: Piracy and Authorship in New Media Art, 2012.

Peter Hitchcock, “The Ethics of World Literature,” in The Routledge Companion to World Literature, ed. Theo D’haen, David Damrosch and Djelal Kadir (London: Routledge, 2012) 365-72.

Wolfgang Iser, Fictive and Imaginary, 1994.

Susan Lanser, Fictions of Authority. Women Writers and Narrative Voice, 1992.

Jerôme Meizoz, Postures littéraires : Mises en scène modernes de l’auteur, 2007.

J. Hillis Miller, The Conflagration of Community, 2011.

Marie-Laure Ryan, Avatars of Story, 2006.

Tobin Siebers, The Ethics of Criticism, 1988.

Martha Woodmansee, The Author, Art, and the Market: Rereading the History of Aesthetics, 1994.

Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jaszi (eds.), The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature, 1994.

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Revised 2015.06.27

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