A Companion to Media Authorship
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A Companion to Media Authorship offers 28 groundbreaking chapters which investigate the practices, attributions, and meanings of authorship. Revitalizing the study within media and cultural studies, this diverse and global collection provides the definitive work on the subject.

  • Rethinks cultures of authorship and challenges the concept of auteurism across multiple media forms
  • Moves beyond notions of the individual to focus on how authorship is collaborative, contested, and networked, examining cultures of authorship and the practicalities of how it works
  • Draws on the cutting-edge research of scholars and practitioners whose work has produced significant new insights into the field
  • Examines a wide range of media, including television, social media, radio, videogames, transmedia, music, and comic books
  • Offers an impressive global focus, including pieces on Mexican music, amateur film production in Nairobi slums, tele-serial production in Kinshasa, Hong Kong film, and the marketing of Bollywood


Jonathan Gray is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is author of Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality (2006), Television Entertainment (2008), Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts (2010), and Television Studies (with Amanda Lotz, 2012). He is co-editor of amongst others, Battleground: The Media (with Robin Andersen, 2008), and Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era (with Jeffrey P. Jones and Ethan Thompson, 2009).

Derek Johnson is Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison.  His research focuses on production cultures and creative identities in the media industries. He is the author of Media Franchising: Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries (2013), as well as the co-editor of the forthcoming Intermediaries: Management of Culture and Cultures of Management (with Avi Santo and Derek Kompare, 2014).


Notes on Contributors ix

1 Introduction: The Problem of Media Authorship 1
Derek Johnson and Jonathan Gray

Part I Theorizing and Historicizing Authorship

2 Authorship and the Narrative of the Self 23
John Hartley

3 The Return of the Author: Ethos and Identity Politics 48
Kristina Busse

4 Making Music: Copyright Law and Creative Processes 69
Olufunmilayo B. Arewa

5 When is the Author? 88
Jonathan Gray

6 Hidden Hands atWork: Authorship, the Intentional Flux, and the Dynamics of Collaboration 112
Colin Burnett

Part II Contesting Authorship

7 Participation is Magic: Collaboration, Authorial Legitimacy, and the Audience Function 135
Derek Johnson

8 TellingWhose Stories? Re-examining Author Agency in Self-Representational Media in the Slums of Nairobi 158
Brian Ekdale

9 Never Ending Story: Authorship, Seriality, and the Radio Writers Guild 181
Michele Hilmes

10 From Chris Chibnall to Fox: Torchwood’s Marginalized Authors and Counter-Discourses of TV Authorship 200
Matt Hills

11 Comics, Creators, and Copyright: On the Ownership of Serial Narratives by Multiple Authors 221
Ian Gordon

Part III Industrializing Authorship

12 ‘‘Benny Hill Theatre’’: ‘‘Race,’’ Commodification, and the Politics of Representation 239
Anamik Saha

13 Cynical Authorship and the Hong Kong Studio System: Li Hanxiang and His Shaw Brothers Erotic Films 257
Stephen Teo

14 The Authorial Function of the Television Channel: Augmentation and Identity 275
Catherine Johnson

15 The Mouse House of Cards: Disney Tween Stars and Questions of Institutional Authorship 296
Lindsay Hogan

16 Transmedia Architectures of Creation: An Interview with Ivan Askwith 314
Jonathan Gray

17 Dubbing the Noise: Square Enix and Corporate Creation of Videogames 324
Mia Consalvo

Part IV Expanding Authorship

18 Authorship Below-the-Line 349
John T. Caldwell

19 Production Design and the Invisible Arts of Seeing 370
David Brisbin

20 Scoring Authorship: An Interview with Bear McCreary 391
Derek Johnson

21 #Bowdown to Your New God: Misha Collins and Decentered Authorship in the Digital Age 403
Louisa Ellen Stein

22 Collaboration and Co-Creation in Networked Environments: An Interview with Molly Wright Steenson 426
Megan Sapnar Ankerson

23 Dawn of the Undead Author: Fanboy Auteurism and Zack Snyder’s ‘‘Vision’’ 440
Suzanne Scott

Part V Relocating Authorship

24 Authoring Hype in Bollywood 465
Aswin Punathambekar

25 Auteurs at the Video Store 485
Daniel Herbert

26 Authorship and the State: Narcocorridos in Mexico and the New Aesthetics of Nation 506
Hector Amaya

27 Scripting Kinshasa’s Teleserials: Reflections on Authorship, Creativity, and Ownership 525
Katrien Pype

28 ‘‘We Never Do Anything Alone’’: An Interview on Academic Authorship with Kathleen Fitzpatrick 544
Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson

Index 551


“All in all, an engaging examination of the multiple dimensions of authorship in the 21st century.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Upper-division undergraduates and above.”  (Choice, 1 December 2013)

“Gray and Johnson have brought together a stellar group of authors whose works deftly explicate the complexities of negotiating “authorship” across a range of cultural production sites. This definitive collection is an important and long overdue contribution to contemporary media studies.” 
Serra Tinic, University of Alberta

"Wide-ranging and global, historical and contemporary, brimming with insights enlarging our understanding of media production and reception, this book is an important contribution to the study of authorship."
Michael Z. Newman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee