Pink Pirates: Contemporary American Women Writers and Copyright

Pink Pirates: Contemporary American Women Writers and Copyright

by Caren Irr
     
 

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Today, copyright is everywhere, surrounded by a thicket of no trespassing signs that mark creative work as private property. Caren Irr’s Pink Pirates asks how contemporary novelists—represented by Ursula Le Guin, Andrea Barrett, Kathy Acker, and Leslie Marmon Silko—have read those signs, arguing that for feminist writers in particular

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Overview

Today, copyright is everywhere, surrounded by a thicket of no trespassing signs that mark creative work as private property. Caren Irr’s Pink Pirates asks how contemporary novelists—represented by Ursula Le Guin, Andrea Barrett, Kathy Acker, and Leslie Marmon Silko—have read those signs, arguing that for feminist writers in particular copyright often conjures up the persistent exclusion of women from ownership. Bringing together voices from law schools, courtrooms, and the writer's desk, Irr shows how some of the most inventive contemporary feminist novelists have reacted to this history. 

 Explaining the complex, three-century lineage of Anglo-American copyright law in clear, accessible terms and wrestling with some of copyright law's most deeply rooted assumptions, Irr sets the stage for a feminist reappraisal of the figure of the literary pirate in the late twentieth century—a figure outside the restrictive bounds of U.S. copyright statutes. 

 Going beyond her readings of contemporary women authors, Irr’s exhaustive history of how women have fared under intellectual property regimes speaks to broader political, social, and economic implications and engages digital-era excitement about the commons with the most utopian and materialist strains in feminist criticism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Irr brings together compelling readings of contemporary American women writers, controversies over copyright, and feminist theory; it is also an impressive review and analysis of intellectual property law over the past two centuries. The readings of Le Guin, Barrett, Acker, and Silko are smart, meticulously well versed in the secondary literature and largely successful. Her argument is entirely convincing and the book is learned, lively, smart, and timely and should appeal to a wide array of readers in literary studies, law, and the general public.”—Michael Bérubé, author, The Left at War

“Caren Irr's clever readings of intellectual property cases and fictional texts expose the complexity of copyright, what it means not only legally but also metaphorically. By examining how women writers have grappled with the concept and significance of ownership, Irr reveals their feminist critiques of market logic and their endorsement of what she calls ‘positive piracy.’ Pink Pirates’s creative, interdisciplinary approach gave me new ways of thinking about motherhood, sexual pleasure, domesticity, and the commons.”—Alison Piepmeier, author, Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587299124
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
10/28/2010
Edition description:
1
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Caren Irr is professor in the Department of English at Brandeis University. She is the author of The Suburb of Dissent: Cultural Politics in the United States and Canada during the 1930s and coeditor of On Jameson: From Postmodernism to Globalization and Rethinking the Frankfurt School: Alternative Legacies of Cultural Critique.

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