Authorship and Community on Digital Platforms (2020-)
Paul Wolff, RA 4: "Literary Currencies"
Doctoral Research Project
In his project, Paul Wolff is investigating the different and sometimes contrary writing styles and practices of authorship that emerge on popular digital platforms. By contrasting platforms such as Wikipedia, 4chan or Reddit with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a trend towards personalization becomes apparent. This speaks to the ›return of the author‹ in the digital age. Different models of singular, collective, anonymous, pseudonymous or marginalized authorship determine not only the conditions of subjectivation but also processes of community building on digital platforms. Wolff's research probes historical tendencies as well as the synchronous coexistence and mutual influence of different author models: Collectivity can be subject to strategies of staging that marginalize singular practices; singular positions also leave their mark on digital collectives and communities. Thus, it is always necessary to distinguish between concepts of authorship and the practices that are in use. Last but not least, Wolff is exploring how the circulation of texts on and between digital platforms as well as transfers to analogue formats generate new attributions of authorship and literary value.