Distributed authorship, literary critics and cultural curators in a socially networked age.

Kiernan, Anna (2018) Distributed authorship, literary critics and cultural curators in a socially networked age. In: Publishing in a changing media environment, 15 Jan 2018, Florence. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

In ‘Literary editors, Social Networks and social networks’ James Curran maps out some of the ways in which the cultural hierarchy bears upon the book world, through his examination of the quality press’s review sections. When Curran interviewed 11 literary editors of national newspapers and weekly periodicals he discovered that a “stock response” was that ‘literary editors merely respond… to the external world’. They deciphered a ‘pre-set agenda shaped by what readers are interested in, and what is being talked about’ alongside a need to cover new works by important authors, with established reputations and track records. More confusingly – and this is the nub of Curran’s findings – literary editors appeared to be unclear about what it was, exactly, that they did, despite believing their roles to be well defined. (Curran, 2000; Kiernan, p127, 2011).

As cultural intermediaries, literary critics have historically influenced the consumer behaviors of prospective readers. But given that distributed authorship has catalyzed a shift in publishing practice and peer-to-peer online reviewing has become a commonplace destination for book seekers, the notion of a triad of production and reception (author-publisher-reviewer) has become singularly eroded.

This paper will examine the evolving roles of cultural intermediaries and cultural curators within social media environments. By examining online interactions about books and literary culture it will consider how digital communities have disrupted traditional power structures within the publishing industry, in terms of both cultural and financial capital. Drawing on James Curran’s methodology in ‘Literary editors, social networks and cultural tradition’, this paper will investigate the changing role, identity and characteristics of the reviewer and the authors’ work that they review, within a digitally networked marketplace.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing
Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing > Professional Writing
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Depositing User: Anna Kiernan
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2018 16:03
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2018 16:03
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3090

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