Relations of power and competing knowledges within the academy: creative writing as research

  • Sue North

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The aim of this thesis is to explore the politics of discourse within Australian universities with particular reference to the position of creative writing as a research discipline. My thesis argues that some discourses have more power than others, with the effect that some forms of knowledge are seen as valid research and others as invalid, at least in research terms. Academic research has been increasingly dichotomised in the short history of research in Australian universities through issues of public versus private funding, and university concern for sector autonomy. The growing influence on university research, stemming from a global market economy, is one that privileges applied research. Creative writing's position within a basic/applied dichotomy is tenuous as its practitioners vie for a place in the shrinking autonomous research sector of universities. I show the philosophical understanding of creativity (with specific reference to creative writing) from a historical perspective and explore this understanding in the current climate. This understanding of creativity confounds creative writing's position as research, for this highlights the obstacles faced in certifying it as a valid form of knowledge. I investigate the current status of creative writing in the area of university research in relation to research equivalence, and examine the terminology, the social structures and individual experiences surrounding creative writing as a form of research.
    Date of Award2004
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJen Webb (Supervisor), Hazel SMITH (Supervisor) & Bethany Anne Turner (Supervisor)

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