Finding Teo

  • Marjorie Morrissey

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Finding Teo has two components, an original creative work and an exegesis which both
encompass research-led practice and practice-led research. Finding Teo, the creative work, is
presented first and explores fictional private lives and multicultural, intergenerational silence
around war and trauma in a contemporary Greek-Irish Australian family.
The research was developed, and knowledge was built through the practice of creative writing,
informed and supported by analytical readings of sociological, historical and literary texts and
through the consideration of the ethics of representation.
While key historical and social research has centred on the Greek-Australian migration
experience, the literature review showed substantial literary intertextual silence around the
Greek Civil War (1946-49) which is generally not found in English-language fiction works by
Australian writers, including those of Greek origin.
The creative work does not attempt to take the place of Greek writing and/or break Greek
silence on this topic, but engages with the history of the Greek Civil War through the
complexities and permeabilities of cross-cultural heritage.
My writer’s freedom to dwell in different others came with the obligation of navigating the
ethics of representation to explore: firstly, how a contemporary, multicultural,
intergenerational family traverses its experience of war and trauma; and secondly, how this is
woven with issues of authority, responsibility and authenticity in contemporary fiction.
The cross-cultural experiences of my characters mirrored my cross-cultural experience of
writing them where creative and ethical difficulties, with the risks of cultural appropriation, sat
alongside possibilities and the prospect of learning about and honouring others’ experiences
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJennifer Crawford (Supervisor) & Jen Webb (Supervisor)

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