Strange directions in future research

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    The following three short pieces constitute policy interventions into my other disciplinary home, which is Australian cultural studies. I write and teach poetry, but otherwise am located there. As for the three texts, their aim is to open that discipline up to more creative research modalities, on the grounds that cultural studies should capitalise on its sometime role as the experimental wing of humanities and social sciences research, and make it central. While initially geared to a cultural studies audience, I think that these three interventions can be usefully read in dialogue with Jen Webb and Donna Lee Brien's recent call in TEXT 10:1 for writing academics to contribute to the large and growing body of scholarship on the topics of creativity and innovation (Webb and Brien 2006). I fully concur with this strategy, though I'd like to put a little spin on it, as follows: I would like to see writing academics taking the current research imperative as an opportunity to address traditional intellectual questions, whether in cultural studies or elsewhere, precisely as writers; i.e., with the same sorts of freedoms and licences we allow ourselves in our creative work. Jen and Donna's suggestion that we turn to theorists such as de Certeau, Deleuze, Derrida, Adorno, Barthes and Blanchot to further the design of our research projects is heartening in this regard. These are all writers who push the formal possibilities of academic prose to the extreme. Obviously there are pragmatic problems with trying to mount ARC and similar supported research in such terms, and we will always need to engage in a more formal style of research, not just out of pragmatic considerations but out of the inherent interest of its results. But there are also ways of getting such projects through. I discuss some of them below. What most excites me is the possibility that we take the spaces that are opening up here and use them to write with the same freedom as Derrida, as de Certeau, as Kierkegaard. In sum, creative writing research (just like cultural studies, and even in alliance with it) could be a space for people to write philosophy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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