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Phil Fitzsimmons

Utilising an approach grounded in the naturalistic paradigm, this qualitative study illuminates the writing development of one child through the transition from home to school. Rather than focusing on a systemic linguistic development, which has dominated the educational language field, this project focused on the child’s sense of ‘agency and component processes.’ The subject of the study, ‘Tim,’ was observed over a four-year period. Data analysis was based on dualistic approach incorporating the inductive processes of ‘Grounded Theory’ and the analytical narrative procedures of ‘Performity Discourse.’ The resulting synthesis revealed the large amount of self-reflective talk involved in the child’s learning to write process, as well as his use of a multi-strategy approach. Rather than moving constantly through successive phases, as described by other researchers, ‘Tim’s’ development was also characterised by a cyclical and recursive pattern, utilising the writing strategies in a staged development of ‘Prephonemic Awareness, Phonemic Awareness and Approximation to Adult Convention.’ It would appear that young children have a heightened sense of the complexity of writing, and given the opportunity make continued ‘approximations’ to attain adult conventionality and complexity. This study also revealed the key role caregivers play in fostering a child’s sense of ‘habitus’ and that writing for young children should be cultivated and not imposed. The study as whole also reveals the means by which a child’s pre-school writing can be supported in the first year of school.

Oliver Bray and Peter Bray

This chapter invites discussion of the uncomfortable, but nonetheless delightful, differences and similarities of interpretation of the discipline-specific methodologies of performance and therapy. Using three case studies we consider the performance of trauma: as the replication of experience; its affect on the maker, the performer, and the audience of the work; and questions that touch upon power, perception, and interpretation; and, the psychological safety and ethics inherent in the reciprocal sharing of such powerful materials.

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Geert Lernout

Abstract

Philology is a historical discipline and as such, it cannot fail to be interested in its own origins. From its earliest forms in Hellenistic Alexandria, philology has attempted to understand and preserve older texts. With the development of a Christian book-body of texts in Greek and later also in Latin, this discipline only became relevant again in the Renaissance, when numerous new texts were rediscovered. In the next few centuries the new culture of the Republic of Letters led to a flowering of classical philology, which stressed the common European culture. Romantic scholars applied the new methodologies to vernacular texts and this in its turn led to ‘national’ philologies which began to lead their own lives.

Joanne Metivier

This chapter is based on PhD research looking at how competing conceptions of creative writing are articulated in an MA Creative Writing workshop. Drawing on observation of workshop sessions and interviews with students and tutors the research explores how participants identify with particular discourses when giving and receiving feedback and disavow certain subject positions in constructing their own. The chapter focuses on three workshop participants, Beth, Peter and Laurie, as they discuss Laurie’s draft chapter. In the chapter, I argue that the ‘creative writing’ subject is discursively produced via psychosocial processes of identification. The chapter explores how within interaction these identifications are articulated around competing signifiers / subject positions. In the context of the writing workshop, differential relations between participants lead to particular articulations of ‘creative writing’ becoming privileged. These privileged subject positions increasingly act as a discursive centre exercising a totalising effect on contiguous positions. In addition, the chapter foregrounds the way complex tussles over meanings identified within the workshop and interview transcripts can be interpreted as both conscious and unconscious identifications with particular subject positions. These identifications interrupt straightforward interpretations of what Celia Hunt has called writer identities and point towards the impossibility of maintaining some kind of ‘pure’ methodological position / identity in relation to creative writing. The research contributes to the theoretical discussion of creative writing pedagogy in the university, and the broader debate about the status of emotion within the academy.

Dominique Hecq

Creative Writing and theory have long had a problematic relationship, one that is arguably based on mutual neglect and one that is complicated by the alleged death of one of the partners. This chapter therefore seeks to reconsider the significance of theory for Creative Writing research. It aims to remedy the misperception of theory instated by Creative Writing scholars and practitioners, and hence to counter theory’s marginalisation from within Creative Writing circles in the academy. It rekindles the debate about the supposed antagonism between these two fields of study and attempts to re-invigorate the conversation by provoking writers to reconsider their understanding of theory’s usefulness to their practice. It argues for a plurality of theories while pointing out that theories grounded in postructuralist conceptions of language may be more conducive to Creative Writing research as these facilitate a deeper understanding of both product and process. This chapter singles out psychoanalysis as a case-study, for psychoanalysis is only at best a work in progress, and therefore not a ‘theory.’ Thus it makes a case for a theory that does not consolidate our certainties, but rather disrupts these, thereby opening up creative possibilities that can in turn be theorised. A psychoanalytic understanding of subjectivity does indeed enable writers to gain insights in their own creative processes. This in turns permits them to scrutinise the very concept of knowledge production in ways that are not envisaged by other models of subjectivity. Psychoanalysis may only be useful in that it suggests that both writing and the subject are constructions in the making, yet by grappling with the theory itself, new teaching methods and methodologies arise.

Phil Fitzsimmons and Edie Lanphar

In the field of children’s literature and narrative research, the notion of the ‘tell tale gap’ or ‘not so obvious ‘gap’ has been a focus point for a considerable length of time. However, with the advent of a multitude of connected narratives that migrate across platforms and modalities, analysis of the ‘gap’, or points of omitted difference, has become even more complicated. While apparently still in its infancy, the developing research base is littered with an array of points of analytic diversification, explication and definition. This chapter seeks to add to this analytic spectrum as it discusses a ‘transmedia’ narrative research project that sought to investigate and analyse the ‘gaps’ embedded in and between the narrative shifts occurring across the graphic novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and the subsequent movie, Hugo. While the project commenced with simply ‘thematizing’ the gaps, closer inspection revealed the need to use an interdisciplinary approach, which employed Goffman’s concept of ‘frame analysis’, ‘Tell Me reader response’ and the ‘tools of visual literacy’. These conjoined points of understanding came into ‘research being’ because of an ideological belief in the research praxis of ‘methodological appropriateness’. Hence, as these versions were primarily ‘visual’ meaning making processes, and because each used ‘paratext’ as a critical entrée point, the interdisciplinary foci became the initial ‘narrative orientation points’. Through an inductive application process the gaps became recognizable as markers of ‘silence and disclosure’ of identity, the ‘liminality of trauma’ and the ‘wholeness and creativity of abandonment’. While on the surface the ‘gaps’ were points of difference and divergence, when pulled together for closer scrutiny it becomes clear that through this set of transmedia narratives, ‘woundedness becomes a visual mouth’.

Stelios Manganis

This paper investigates how mechanical works of art in contemporary galleries can assist in transferring and translating notions of affect, or instantaneous emotional impulses, based on the viewers’ visual literacy levels with regard to specific mechanical parts. In practice, the examination entails associating affective symbols with mechanical forms and functions of exhibited sculptures. During a practice-based study, still mechanical sculptures were exhibited in UK galleries, in an attempt to establish the presence of affective transfer between the works and the viewers. The analysis of data collected from more than 400 participants (using validated psychometric tests, internationally reliable PANAS and I-PANAS-SF scales of affect measure, CCTV recordings and participant observation) reveals that the success of this impulsive transference depends on a number of factors, including the viewers’ visual familiarity with the mechanical parts, properties and functions employed in the sculptures. Parallel case studies on artwork by Francis Picabia have revealed the mechanism’s potential to portray human traits and conditions. Additional studies have exposed the particular characteristics of viewers’ visual thinking processes and emotional responses to specific mechanical parts and mechanical installations, as well as the relation of these responses to their ability to assign meaning to the artwork. The theory forwarded here has been informed by the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari on affect and the encountered sign, whilst emphasis was also placed on recent writings by Jill Bennett and Simon O’Sullivan in terms of rhizomatic connectivity. Through this interdisciplinary study, the research undertakes a novel methodological approach, informed and guided by affective notions, as it attempts to shed light on an affective dynamic between the artwork and the spectator’s sensory and emotional perception.

Agne Matulaite

A pregnant body provides an additional dimension to the embodied experience and the body’s transformation in general. However, there is still a paucity of qualitative psychological research into women’s body experience in pregnancy and in the first year post-partum. In response to this, my PhD study aimed to explore women’s embodied experience of their pregnancy and of their postpartum year with the final task of identifying and describing this phenomenon as it is known through their everyday experience of it. The study was conducted in Lithuania and the UK, using semi-structured interviews and drawings. The data were analysed using the qualitative methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Six women participated, all primigravidae, aged 26-35. Each woman was seen five times; three times during pregnancy and twice after her baby was born. A rich description of the women’s embodied experience emerged from the accounts, supporting the notion of bodily experience in pregnancy being dynamic, complex and firmly embedded in their life-world. In this presentation, I will present the transformation of embodied boundary experience through the eyes of one participant, Silva (pseudonym), adding the experience of other women than appropriate. For Silva her transformation of bodily boundary started with an attempt to clearly perceive and strengthen her external boundaries (interview at the first trimester), but she felt she had lost a clear perception of them (interview at the second trimester). Later Silva gradually experienced her own body boundaries as becoming vague, expanding, or even as disappearing, with external objects and strangers becoming part of her internal self-perception (third trimester and soon after the birth). Finally, a year after giving birth, Silva experienced the formation of new and more definite boundaries again. In this talk, these themes will be examined in light of other research, psychotherapeutic practice and phenomenological thinking.

Rhiannon Firth

This chapter explores geographies of gentrification and resistance in relation to the monstrous through the lens of street-art in post-Olympic London. It takes as a geographic case study Hackney Wick, which has for a long time been a bastion of alternative and creative living due to cheap rents in large, ex-industrial warehouse spaces. The artistic sociality of the area is imbued within its landscape, as prolific street artists have adorned ex-industrial warehouses and canal-side walls with graffiti and murals. Since the announcement of the 2012 Olympic Games, the area has been a site of intense political and aesthetic contestation. The post-Olympic legacy means that the area has been earmarked for redevelopment, with current residents facing the possibility of joining thousands already displaced by the games. The anxiety of dispossession is reflected by monstrous characters and sinister disembodied teeth, eyes and fingers embedded within the landscape, painted by local artists. Using geographically sensitive mobile and visual methodology to document the landscape and artwork, the chapter analyses and interprets the monstrous themes using a range of theorists including Mikhail Bakhtin, Georges Bataille and Nick Land. I argue that monstrous street-art lays visible claim to public territory for aesthetic purposes at odds with the visions of redevelopers and the needs of capital. Whilst street-art and graffiti do not fit easily within frameworks of organized political resistance or collective social movements, they operate as a kind of epistemological transgression that triggers transformative affects in the viewer. This creates conditions for pedagogies of resistance to gentrification by expressing and mobilizing political affects such as anger and anxiety, raising awareness of geographical politics, and encouraging the viewer to question the status quo of the built environment.

Narrating Indigenous Modernities

Transcultural Dimensions in Contemporary Māori Literature

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Michaela Moura-Koçoğlu

The Māori of New Zealand, a nation that quietly prides itself on its pioneering egalitarianism, have had to assert their indigenous rights against the demographic, institutional, and cultural dominance of Pākehā and other immigrant minorities – European, Asian, and Polynesian – in a postcolonial society characterized by neocolonial structures of barely acknowledged inequality. While Māori writing reverberates with this struggle, literary identity discourse goes beyond any fallacious dualism of white/brown, colonizer/colonized, or modern/traditional. In a rapidly altering context of globality, such essentialism fails to account for the diverse expressions of Māori identities negotiated across multiple categories of culture, ethnicity, class, and gender.
Narrating Indigenous Modernities recognizes the need to place Māori literature within a broader framework that explores the complex relationship between indigenous culture, globalization, and modernity. This study introduces a transcultural methodology for the analysis of contemporary Māori fiction, where articulations of indigeneity acknowledge cross-cultural blending and the transgression of cultural boundaries.
Thus, Narrating Indigenous Modernities charts the proposition that Māori writing has acquired a fresh, transcultural quality, giving voice to both new and recuperated forms of indigeneity, tribal community, and Māoritanga (Maoridom) that generate modern indigeneities which defy any essentialist homogenization of cultural difference. Māori literature becomes, at the same time, both witness to globalized processes of radical modernity and medium for the negotiation and articulation of such structural transformations in Māoritanga.