Pagination36 - 43
PublisherMelbourne University Publishing
Research statementTHEORISING CREATIVITY
Literary culture has recently demonstrated a heightened interest in ethical self-regulation, as apparent in the acceptance of trigger warnings, rules against cultural appropriation, publishing contracts with morality clauses, sensitivity readers, and writers’ festivals promising safe spaces and hugs. Scholars such as Nussbaum and Booth have figured books as akin to friends. However, as scholars such as Felski argue, we live in a time—of climate change, neo-capitalist exploitation, misogyny and racism—that arguably requires books to shock us out of complacency, to motivate us to pay attention and act.
Contributing to knowledge generated in the Field of Research 190402 Creative Writing, this long lyrical essay uses autobiography and humour against dogma and sentiment, reflecting on a history of reading and writing to suggest that the writer’s desire to have an impact on a reader is inherently bound up with power and that what we value about reading is precisely a powerful impact. Unlike my scholarly work theorising creativity—demonstrated in multiple publications, including papers in Q1 journals such as New Writing (UK) and Life Writing (UK)—this essay disseminates knowledge about creativity to a general audience, presenting writing as a far more ambivalent act than contemporary literary culture might allow.
The value of this long lyric essay is attested to by its publication in Australia’s preeminent literary journal, Meanjin, which also profiled the essay on its website and on its front cover.
Publication classificationJO3 Original Creative Works – Textual Work