21 May 2012

Inventions of the Text: Texts in Progress

Please join us for the forthcoming seminar featuring two papers on: 

Reading the Internet:

Google and the Decline of Obscurity
John Clegg, English Studies, Durham


A work of art in the age of digital reproduction: contemporary limits of literary (mis)appropriation
Kaja Marczewska, English Studies,  Durham


23rd May 2012
5:00- 6:30
Department of English Studies, Hallgarth House, Hallgarth St., Durham



Google and the Decline of Obscurity
The rise of Google over the last decade has led to a substantial change in how we approach and apprehend poetry. My paper examines this change through the prism of George Steiner’s work on ‘contingent’ and ‘ontological’ difficulty. How has contingent difficulty been employed by poets over the last century, and for what purposes? How have readers responded, and how will the practice of reading change in an era in which contingent difficulty continues to decline? And what does Geoffrey Hill make of all this?
John Clegg is a PhD student in the Department of English at Durham, working on the Eastern European context of several contemporary English poets. His first poetry collection, Antler, was published by Salt in May 2012.

A work of art in the age of digital reproduction: contemporary limits of literary (mis)appropriation

This paper looks at the influence new technologies have on the way we currently approach concepts of originality, appropriation and plagiarism. Does the ease of accession and appropriating information online shift our understanding of what it means to plagiarise? Or are the margins of what is considered a creative activity gradually expanded to include the artistic potential the Internet offers? The talk will focus on two recent literary controversies, Michelle Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory (2010) and Helene Hegemann’s Axolodtl Roadkill (2010), to address these questions and offer an overview of the contemporary legal an literary debate on limits (of lack of thereof) of textual appropriation/adaptation/plagiarism.


Kaja Marczewska is a PhD student in the Department of English at Durham. Her research is funded by Durham Doctoral Scholarship and focuses on concepts of authorship, originality and plagiarism in contemporary literature.

Forthcoming seminars in the series:
30 May: Professor Jonathan Hart (Durham University)
CANCELLED: 6 June: Dr Sarah Wasson (Edinburgh Napier University) [please note that due to unforeseen circumstances this seminar had to be cancelled.]
For more information, find us on facebook, follow us on Twitter (@inventionsSem) or check our blog: inventionsofthetext.blogspot.com

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