Ghostly Collaboration: the Authorship of False Criminal Confession



Drawing on a body of confession scholarship, “Ghostly Collaboration” defines “coercive ghostwriting,” an authorship-inspired term for collaborative practices enacted between custodial criminal suspects and professional police interrogators resulting in coerced, potentially false confession. Within the United States, still-prominent notions of a Romantically-influenced autonomous Author problematically intersect with public perception of collaborative texts; the coercive ghostwriting label is intended to draw explicit attention to co-authorship via coercive collaboration, hopefully contributing to the ongoing efforts of researchers working to challenge inaccurate views of false confessions.

Keywords: collaborative authorship, criminal confession, language, the autonomous author

How to Cite: Laughlin, M. (2014) “Ghostly Collaboration: the Authorship of False Criminal Confession”, Authorship. 3(2). doi: