Authors and the World

‘Authors and the World’ research hub:  ‘The Author and the World’ is an AHRC-funded collaboration between researchers in the departments of European Languages & Culture, English & Creative Writing, Linguistics, and History. We also actively encourage the input of both Anglophone and non-Anglophone creative writers, translators, and industry professionals. Our main aim is to interrogate the literary, social, political, linguistic, and historical significance of the literary author as both a cultural artefact and a producer of literary texts. Our work is carried out in academic symposia, practice-focused workshops, and ongoing online debate and artistic experimentation. By pooling different disciplinary approaches to related phenomena such as celebrity, gender, multilingualism, political protest, intellectual communities, and cultural mediation, we show how the study of authors can act as a conduit for exploring the very nature of culture and its associated industries around the world. Questions we are looking at include:

  • How do authors ‘embody’ literature, in their biographical person as well as in their literary texts?
  • How are they attributed importance in wider social debates, and to what extent does their significance vary across different cultural contexts?
  • How do authors ‘circulate’ throughout world literature? Can their image, as well as their text, be translated?
  • What role do the media, old and new, have in shaping authors’ careers and their writing? How do authors themselves shape the media / literary industry?
  • To what extent is ‘literary celebrity’ a product of the contemporary Western world?

Symposia, workshops, and online debate on the topic of ‘Literary Celebrity – Practices of Fame and World Authorship’ will be running late 2014-15. An interactive website with resources for both academics and creative practitioners will be launching here shortly. Any enquiries about the hub should be addressed to the director, Dr Rebecca Braun:

See our new website at

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