Call for Papers – « Problematic Professionalism in Eighteenth-century Authorship »

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of « Authorship » :

« Between Geniuses and Brain-Suckers: Problematic Professionalism in Eighteenth-century Authorship »

Guest Editor: Sören Hammerschmidt

This special issue seeks to explore the evolution of authorship across the long eighteenth century. The gradual development of a remunerative literary marketplace – driven by an expanding, economically viable periodical press as well as by authors’ greater abilities to leverage new copyright regimes – led to a process of professionalization that was fundamentally at odds with the traditional ideal of leisured authorship. The eighteenth-century economic realities of professional writers shaped competing conceptions of literary authorship. The stereotypes of the suffering Grub Street hack and of the Romantic genius represent two extremes, but situated and often alternating between these poles, a host of options presented themselves to those who would earn their living by writing.

Some of the topics which « Between Geniuses and Brain-Suckers: Problematic Professionalism in Eighteenth-century Authorship » aims to investigate include, but are not limited to:

– Authorship and the eighteenth-century marketplace; authors and patrons; authors in networks; authorship and intellectual property.

– Eighteenth-century authorship across and within diverse languages, literatures, and geographical locations: colonial, transatlantic, transnational, translated, polyglot.

– Niche authors: dramatists, memoirist(e)s, novelists, poets, journalists, critics, satirists; authors as entertainers, public intellectuals, moralists.

– Gender and eighteenth-century authorship: interrogating putative « feminine » and « masculine » models of writing, self-fashioning, and getting published.

– The growth of the professional author in the eighteenth century: the hack and the pamphleteer; the gentle author; the anonymous author; rogue and radical authors.

– The impact of the new periodical press on (self-)constructions of authors and authorship.

Please send inquiries, expressions of interest, and submissions to the editors at authorshipjournal@gmail.com.

Finished submissions will be due 30 October 2014, and will be double-blind peer reviewed in accordance with journal policy; the issue itself will be published in the spring of 2015. For author guidelines, see www.authorship.ugent.be/about/submissions#authorGuidelines.

About _Authorship_:

The online peer-reviewed, open access journal _Authorship_ was launched in November 2011 and appears twice a year. It aims to offer a venue in which to describe diverse historical and discursive settings of authorship, and to grapple with the complex issues of authorial authority, independence or interdependence, and self-fashioning. The Romantic or New Critical concept of the solitary genius or auteur (if indeed such an entity ever existed at all) has for decades now been the subject of intense critical scrutiny and revision; as a result, what the general public might once have thought of as authorial agency is now submerged in an elaborate tissue of critical feedback, textual instability, editorial intervention, and accidents of publishing, branding, and spin. And yet the Author persists, as a nomenclature, as a catalogue entry, as a biographical entity, as a popular icon, and as an assumed agent of creativity and innovation. In analyzing cultural formations of ‘authoriality’ as they developed historically, over a long period of time and in a variety of geographical locations, in relation to cultural networks and social change, to transformations of the media, as well as to changing perceptions of gender and personhood, _Authorship_ hopes to foster a more refined and precise theoretical and historical understanding of the complex ideological, technological and social processes that transform a writer into an author.

For general issues, we welcome articles on the cultural performance of authorship in any contemporary or historical literary milieu. Submissions are double-blind peer reviewed and if accepted receive careful editorial attention. We try to accommodate all languages, and can handle submissions in Dutch, English, French, German, modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Scandinavian languages. If you have a submission for us in another language, please do contact us, so we may evaluate our ability to process it. For more information, please visit http://www.authorship.ugent.be/.

ISSN: 2034-4643


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