Performing the Scholarly Monograph in Contemporary Digital Culture

Notes Chapter 3

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 [1] A questioning of authorship’s humanist legacy does not necessarily need to be a distancing of humanism. Authorship’s humanist history already provides the seed for a radical self-critique, where an inherent post-humanist authorship has, as can be argued, always already been a part of its proclaimed ‘otherness’. The question is then how we can aid in a practical posthumanist critique of authorship’s humanist notions, if we see posthumanism as ‘humanism’s ongoing deconstruction’ (Badmington 2000: 9–10, Herbrechter 2013).

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 [2] Barthes did however experiment with a different ‘language’, a different style of writing, in his novel Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, published in 1977. Foucault has discussed anonymous authorship in his writings (among others in his essay ‘What is an author?’ (1977: 383) and in his interviews. He has also conducted an anonymous interview with Christian Delacampagne for the French newspaper Le Monde, in which he states: ‘Why did I suggest that we use anonymity? Out of nostalgia for a time when, being quite unknown, what I said had some chance of being heard. With the potential reader, the surface of contact was unrippled. The effects of the book might land in unexpected places and form shapes that I had never thought of. A name makes reading too easy’ (Foucault 1990: 323–324). He also expressed his disappointment with the fact that, due to his fame and the immense popularity of his Collège de France seminars, he couldn’t discuss and develop his work in-progress further in a more interactive and collaborative (and less one-dimensional) setting (Foucault 2003: 1–3).

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 [3] Ted Nelson coined the term hypertext in the early 1960s.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 [4] For the difference in the way authorship is constructed and functions within biomedicine and HEP, for instance, see Cronin (2001).

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 [5] See for an extensive overview of collaboration in the (digital) humanities see Spiro (2009) http://digitalscholarship.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/examples-of-collaborative-digital-humanities-projects/.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 [6] As Bethany Nowviskie describes it: ‘Alt-ac is the neologism and singularly-awkward Twitter hashtag we use to mark conversations about “alternative academic” careers for humanities scholars. Here, “alternative” typically denotes neither adjunct teaching positions nor wholly non-academic jobs’ (2011a: 7).

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 [7] On the development of this image and the continued importance of the myth of the lone genius and creativity in present day culture, see Montuori and Purser (1995).

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 [8] For a survey of social media use in research, see Rowlands et al. (2011).

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 [9] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia#Expert_opinion

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 [10] Similarly David Berry (2008: 42) and James Boyle (2009) have argued that contemporary authorship and related notions of ‘creativity’ are being ‘reconfigured to meet the needs of capital’.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 [11] It would be interesting to extend this analysis to the academic publishing industry, and the role authorship plays here in commodification processes, something I touched upon earlier but will not discuss further in this context.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 [12] For an overview of this controversy and the ensuing debate see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia#Comparative_studies

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 [13] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki_etiquette

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 [14] For more on Jimmy Wales push towards a flagged revisions moderation system, see: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/wikipedia-may-restrict-publics-ability-to-change-entries/

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 [15] See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ and http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 [16] See for instance: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/08/28/the-digital-revolution-and-higher-education/2/

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 [17] In Uncreative Writing Goldsmith lists projects that have engaged with what in other circles or contexts might be seen as plagiarism:

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 Over the past five years we have seen works such as a retyping of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in its entirety, a page a day, every day, on a blog for a year; an appropriation of the complete text of a day’s copy of the New York Times published as a nine-hundred-page book; a list poem that is nothing more than reframing a listing of stores from a shopping mall directory into a poetic form; an impoverished writer who has taken every credit card application sent to him and bound them into an eight-hundred-page print-on-demand book so costly that even he can’t afford a copy; a poet who has parsed the text of an entire nineteenth-century book on grammar according to its own methods, even down to the book’s index; a lawyer who re-presents the legal briefs of her day job as poetry in their entirety without changing a word; another writer who spends her days at the British Library copying down the first verse of Dante’s Inferno from every English translation that the library possesses, one after another, page after page, until she exhausts the library’s supply; a writing team who scoops status updates off social networking sites and assigns them to names of deceased writers (‘Jonathan Swift has got tix to the Wranglers game tonight’), creating an epic, never-ending work of poetry that rewrites itself as frequently as Facebook pages are updated; and an entire movement of writing, called Flarf, that is based on grabbing the worst of Google search results: The more offensive, the more ridiculous, the more outrageous the better. (2011b: 3)

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 [18] Although it was actually Geoffrey Gatza, the editor of Day’s publisher BlazeVox Books, who made the book, according to the production video that accompanied the publication, and Johnson retracted his claims to authorship and originality of Day as a work completely. As reviewer Bill Freind writes in a review of Day in Jacket Magazine: “In fact, Johnson emailed me to say: ‘After viewing Geoffrey Gatza’s video, I realized that Day was no longer mine. I now fully disown my ‘original’ idea and separate myself completely from the book. Day now belongs to Geoffrey Gatza.’ However, Gatza himself doesn’t seem particularly eager to claim ownership of the text, since BlazeVox Books has a special Goldsmith-to-Johnson conversion kit. It’s a free PDF file that includes the fake jacket blurbs and Johnson’s name that you can download here” (Freind 2010).

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 [19] Google Poetics consists of poems based on Google autocomplete suggestions. See: http://www.googlepoetics.com/post/35060155182/info; Flarf poetry has been described as the ‘heavy usage of Google search results in the creation of poems’. See: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/brief-guide-flarf-poetry; The Postmodernism Generator is a computer program which automatically creates random ‘postmodernist essays’, written by Andrew. C. Bulhak, using the Dada Engine. See: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

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