Graduate Courses: Update to Dr. Geller’s Course Description

English 170
Authorship, Ownership, Appropriation and the Remix
Tuesday, 7:10-9:10pm

In Authorship, Ownership, Appropriation and the Remix we will consider why everyone inside and outside of education seems so concerned about plagiarism.  Central to developing a critical and theoretical stance on plagiarism is an understanding of authorship and textual ownership. We will consider how the boundaries of authorship are maintained or expanded as texts are created, owned, and exchanged. To fully explore authorship and plagiarism in education we’ll read My Word: Plagiarism and College Culture, which explores students’ varied experiences with texts inside and outside of school, and Who Owns This Text: Plagiarism, Authorship, and Disciplinary Cultures, which explores faculty experiences with authorship and plagiarism. Plagiarism: Alchemy and Remedy in Higher Education will prompt us to consider high profile plagiarism cases and the technology and the socioeconomics of plagiarism and cheating — students pay to have their papers written by paper mills, institutions pay corporations to police students’ writing, and the public pays the media to distribute tantalizing stories of textual appropriation. And we’ll ask if plagiarism is the best lens for evaluating textual practices like remixing, sampling, Creative Commons licenses, appropriation in poetry and fiction, and piracy. Throughout the semester we’ll consider the responsibility educators at all levels have for starting and facilitating conversations about the ethical, moral, and socio-cultural-historical issues that always attend the creation and sharing of texts.

Writing during the semester will include investigation of the plagiarism policies on course syllabi and in institutional documents and a short position paper on plagiarism detection software.  Students will also each contribute at least one article annotation to CompPile (  Final projects may take on issues ranging from and including pedagogy (from all levels of classrooms to writing centers and libraries), creative writing, technologies, identity and authorship. This course is for students interested in texts and intertextuality, textual ownership and authorship (academic and creative), technology and research, and education.
About Steve Mentz 1264 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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