Call for Papers: Conference on Law, Authorship, and Appropriation



Event Date: 

10/28/16 to 10/29/16

Location name: 

Baton Rouge, LA


LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts, LSU School of Theatre, the LSU Law Center, LSU’s ORED (Office of Research and Economic Development) and the Law and Humanities Institute

Call for Papers

By Any Other’s Name: A Conference on Law, Authorship, and Appropriation
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
October 28-29, 2016

On October 28-29, 2016, the LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts, LSU School of Theatre, the LSU Law Center, LSU’s ORED (Office of Research and Economic Development) and the Law and Humanities Institute will co-sponsor a conference on law, authorship, and appropriation on the LSU A and M campus in Baton Rouge, LA. This conference will bring together scholars, performers, and students to discuss law and authorship in the face of challenges issued by artists who engage in appropriation—the practice of taking the works of others to rethink or recreate new works.

Some artists who engage in appropriation may describe their activities as parody, sampling, or remixing. Some artists whose work is appropriated may describe the result as misappropriation. Writers might describe the use or reuse of words variously as hommage or plagiarism. Lawyers weigh in both sides of the issue, interpreting such reuse as fair use or infringement, depending on the circumstances.

Digital technology creates a host of new considerations, from the opportunity for a creator to license rights up-front (or not at all) to opportunities for users to create content cooperatively, either on the Web or in face-to-face settings.

What do such changes, in law and in aesthetics and art, mean for our understandings of authorship and the relationship between creator and audience? Do words like “author” and “creator” even continue to have meaning?

General areas for possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Appropriation, theft, or something else
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Defenses to copyright infringement
  • Digital sampling and the law
  • Fair use and specific forms of artistic expression (parody, fan fiction, other)
  • History and concept of authorship
  • Plagiarism and originality in creation
  • Wearable technology and IP
  • We encourage proposals that engage all geographic areas and historical periods.

Together scholars and performers in the areas of free speech, copyright, and the arts to examine conflicts that arise between traditional creators of content and artists who use and/or re-use existing content to remake, remix and develop new works. In addition, the event will begin to examine some ways that the academy and the professions can educate young artists, attorneys, and students to understand these issues.

The conference will provide opportunities for discussion, student engagement, and active learning with leading scholars and professionals in the industry in the areas of freedom of expression, intellectual property law, and the creative and performing arts. We also envision opportunities for performances that demonstrate some of the ways artists work proactively and thoughtfully in these areas.

To that end participants should be willing to engage with attendees in break-out and discussion sessions.

Performers are encouraged to submit proposals. If your proposal includes a performance, please indicate what kind in the abstract.

Paper Submission Information

  • Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words in PDF or Word format to Christine Corcos at or Kristin Sosnowsky at by July 6, 2016. We will make decisions by July 13, 2016.F

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