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Lecture by Michael Clune: What Is an Author?

Friday, March 25, 2022 at 2:00pm

Virtual Event

Sponsored by the Literature Program.

On Friday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m., Professor Michael W. Clune will be delivering a talk entitled “What Is an Author?”

To participate in the virtual talk on Teams, please click here at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 25.


The ancients believed that a person becomes a poet through inspiration, in which inhuman breath and perception enters the human host. I explore how this classical tradition has been renewed and transformed in two twentieth-century poems by Sylvia Plath and Jorie Graham. These poems reflect on the experience of authorship, and discover within it an alien mode of consciousness. By attending to these poems, we discover how the subject of artistic creation opens up philosophical perspectives that have been neglected in literary studies’ turn to sociology.


Michael W. Clune is the critically acclaimed author of the memoirs Gamelife (Farrar, Straus, 2015) and White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin (Hazelden, 2013). His academic books include A Defense of Judgment (Chicago, 2021), Writing Against Time (Stanford, 2013), and American Literature and the Free Market (Cambridge, 2015). Clune’s work has appeared in venues ranging from Harper’sSalon, and Granta, to Behavioral and Brain Sciences, PMLA, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His work has been recognized by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Baker Nord Center, and others. Clune is currently Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University.

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed below) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

Event Type

Lectures & Workshops

Target Audience

Undergraduate Students, Faculty & Staff, Alumni, Graduate Students, International Students


Arts & Culture



Arts, Humanities, and Technology
Contact Information
Charles Hatfield
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