Author:Adam Reed (St. Andrews University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper aims to explore the nature of intellectual debt and influence; specifically my own debt to the work and person of Marilyn Strathern. This is achieved through an exploration of the literary idea of inspiration and an engagement with my ethnography of English fiction readers.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper I aim to explore the nature of intellectual debt and influence; specifically my own debt to the work and person of Marilyn Strathern. But rather than assess this relationship through a reflection upon ideas of intellectual property, kinship and knowledge transmission [typical domains of Strathernian deployment], I wish to use the literary concept of 'inspiration'. This will involve an engagement with local theories of creativity from my ethnography of English fiction readers and webloggers. Part of the task of the paper will be to explore the dynamics and attributions of agency around this interaction. What does it mean for Strathern to inspire? What does it mean to claim to be inspired by Strathern? Finally, I reflect on what a Melanesian counterpart to the notion of inspiration might be.
Routing knowledge through persons