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What Is an Author? Michel Foucault, 1969

Reader's Guide & Discussion Questions

Antia G. Ben

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of What Is an Author? Michel Foucault, 1969

What an Author? Is Michel Foucault, 1969 The notion of “author”
emerged with the
individualization in the
history of ideas, knowledge,
literature, philosophy
and the sciences “today’s writing … is an interplay of signs arranged less accordingly to its signified content than according to the very nature of the signifier” (p. 102) text author reader voluntary of the author effacement Author's privilege is preserved through: 1) The work itself 2) Current notions of writing Author's disappearance gives rise to openings: 1) The author's name 2) The "author function" 1. Linked to systems 2. Contingent 3. It's a construction 4. Refer to several selves One can be the author of much more than a text: Importance
of the essay: 1) Theoretical
reasons 2) Reasons dealing
with the "ideological"
status of the author "I think that, as our society changes, ...
the author function will disappear" (p. 119) Yet there will still be a "system of constraint" in place Let’s talk about the ”researcher’s voice.”
Do you write your scholarly papers
in 1st or in 3rd person? Why do you do so?
What are the assumptions attached to each
of these two possibilities? Let’s try to identify the different selves in this essay. Where can we identify Foucault as an individual? Where can we identify the author as the most recent exponent of a philosophical tradition? Where can we identify Foucault as a “founder of discursivity”? When did the notions of authorship and intellectual property become intermingled? Why did originality shift from being considered as a threat to be valued as a treasure that must be zealously preserved? Discussion questions writer
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