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2013 May College English, v75.5

Non-Member Price: $12.50

NCTE Member Price: $4.25

Special Issue: Western Cultures of Intellectual Property

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 0010-0994


College English

Volume 75, Number 5, May 2013

Special Issue: Western Cultures of Intellectual Property

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Introduction to the Special Issue
Krista Kennedy and Rebecca Moore Howard
Abstract: This special issue of College English brings together well-established scholars of intellectual property as they present fresh work to the field. Their essays offer wide-ranging, provocative explorations of intellectual property as a cultural artifact over the past three centuries.

College Writing, Identification, and the Production of Intellectual Property: Voices from the Stanford Study of Writing
Andrea A. Lunsford, Jenn Fishman, and Warren M. Liew
Abstract: When, why, and how do college students come to value their writing as intellectual property? How do their conceptions of intellectual property reflect broader understandings and personal engagements with concepts of authorship, collaboration, identification, and capital? We address these questions based on findings from the Stanford Study of Writing, a five-year longitudinal cohort study that examined students’ writing, writing development, and attitudes toward writing throughout their college years and one year beyond. Drawing in particular from interview data, we trace relationships between students’ complex and creative negotiations with intellectual property and shaping tensions within the academy, arguing for renewed pedagogical approaches that affirm students’ writerly agency as consumers and producers of intellectual property.

1967: The Birth of “The Death of the Author”
John Logie
Abstract: Roland Barthes’s “The Death of the Author” is a foundational text for scholars who are addressing questions of authorship and textual ownership in English studies and its neighboring disciplines. Barthes’s essay is typically presented without significant attention to the circumstances and context surrounding its initial English publication in 1967 (not in 1968, as is often stated). This project works to better understand that context, and thereby to better understand Barthes’s argument. Although it has often been claimed that Barthes’s essay has a “revolutionary spirit,” this spirit is not directly political in nature. Rather, it is grounded in an artistic revolution that was producing sophisticated multimedia well before digital tools made multimedia commonplace.

User Data on the Social Web: Authorship, Agency, and Appropriation
Jessica Reyman
Abstract: Social web services catalog users’ activities across the Internet, aggregating, analyzing, and selling a vast array of user data to be used largely for consumer profiling and target marketing. This article interrogates the tacit agreements and terms-of-use policies that govern who owns user data, how it circulates, and how it can be used. Relying on problematic assumptions about the authorship of social data, data-mining practices and technology policies unquestioningly place ownership in the hands of technology companies and compel users to surrender control over their own contributions on the social web. This article explores the implications of the practices and policies surrounding data management for composition and participation on the social web and argues for a more balanced distribution of rights to user data.

Intellectual Property in College English—and English Studies
Dànielle Nicole DeVoss
Abstract: In this review, I look back to the first issue of College English, and then across the years to trace the ways in which Intellectual Property (and this distinction from intellectual property is important) has been addressed by authors in the pages of the journal. I distinguish two periods of time marked by different approaches to IP issues, and conclude the review by drawing across the literature to situate implications, recommendations, and conclusions for the field to consider.

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