Thursday, March 26, 2009

Podcast: Authorship, Appropriation, and the Fluid Text: Versions of the Law

Recently, at my day job, I emceed a colloquium featuring textual scholar and Melville specialist John Bryant and intellectual property and First Amendment expert Wendy Seltzer. Over the course of the colloquium, these amazing scholars covered Moby-Dick, Edward Said, Shepard Fairey, fan fiction, Creative Commons, YouTomb, and how they talk about plagiarism and fair use with their students. This was a fun and fascinating conversation, and well worth the listen. I'm posting John's and Wendy's bios below.

To listen to the podcast, go to the link at MIT's Comparative Media Studies page (

Pictured above, left to right: Media scholar Henry Jenkins; Jenna McWilliams, blogger and Curriculum Specialist for Project New Media Literacies; textual scholar and Melville Specialist John Bryant; and Wendy Seltzer, attorney and intellectual property and First Amendment expert.

John Bryant teaches at Hofstra University. His work explores the larger applications of the notion of fluid text to culture, and in particular identity formation in a multicultural democracy. He is a textual scholar and Melville specialist, whose works include The Fluid Text and Melville Unfolding: Sexuality, Politics, and the Versions of Typee. He is the editor, with Associate editor Wyn Kelley, of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies and of the Melville Electronic Library (MEL). He is a Co-editor of the Longman Critical Edition of Moby-Dick and is currently working on a critical biography of Melville.

Wendy Seltzer is a Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and is a visiting professor at American University. She has taught Internet Law, Copyright, and Information Privacy at Brooklyn Law School and was a Visiting Fellow with the Oxford Internet Institute. Previously, she was a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property and First Amendment issues. She founded and leads the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, helping Internet users to understand their rights in response to cease-and-desist threats, and to research the effects of these threats on free expression.

Wendy serves as an advisor to the Citizen Media Law Project and on the Board of Directors of the Tor Project, supporting privacy and anonymity research and technology.

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