ABSTRACT

A sense of ‘self’ and an ability to articulate in the first person, as an ‘I’ through which authority and identity are constituted, are the privileges of unified subjecthood, privileges which, in the west, accompanied the historical preeminence of individualism. But the centrality and empowerment of this individual ‘one’ were bought at the expense of its ‘others’, defined through excluded modalities of difference. Culturally, this had significant ramifications for the development of concepts of authorship and creative agency. Simply, the authoritative ‘I’ who authored texts, the intellectual subject capable of rational thought and the genius who created high art, was not a neutral subject, but masculine, heterosexual, white, Euro-ethnic, middle-class and able-bodied – the normative subject of western epistemology and ontology.