Drawing on the linguistic concept of 'entextualization', this panel explores the moral assessment of replication and adaptation. How do objects of knowledge become bounded in anticipation of their replication, and how are they then evaluated as an consequence of this initial anticipatory move?
This panel asks: when do replication, repetition, reiteration and adaptation become an issue of moral evaluation? We ask how various objects travel, be they utterances, artefacts, a sequence of actions, or some other form of embodied knowledge. The panel draws its inspiration from the linguistic concept of entextualization, in which people produce bounded interactions that are potentially separable from their social and cultural contexts of production. In this panel we will investigate how one creates these objects, texts or bodies of knowledge with an intention to circulate, that is, how they become bounded in a way that anticipates appropriation and adaptation. What moral assumptions are presupposed or entailed when one structures things, texts or knowledge for the purpose of travel between contexts? The aim here is to ask how replication and adaptation are morally evaluated, depending upon how the recontextualization of the entextualized form was anticipated. Subjects in which this issue appears may range from plagiarism in academia, to sampling in music, to forms of evidence in legal and scientific arguments, to concerns about how relationships are mediated through digital technologies, to gossip and rumour. Why is replication evaluated as a form of creativity in some instances, a form of theft in others, and sometimes both at once?
Melissa Demian (University of St Andrews)