Impostor – a campus novel; creative writing and English: frictions, histories and pedagogies in the Anglo-American academy

Mills, Geoffrey Douglas (2019). Impostor – a campus novel; creative writing and English: frictions, histories and pedagogies in the Anglo-American academy. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Impostor, a fiction, draws on the traditions of the campus novel to paint a satirical portrait of academic life in a feuding department of English and Creative Writing. The action is fuelled by a series of oppositions – cultural, intellectual, personal – embodied predominantly in the collegial rivalry between recently disgraced playwright, William Wisper, a reluctant lecturer in creative writing, and du Mortier, a prominent critic with an astringent line in post-structuralism. The supporting critical strand draws on my background in adult education and English literature to examine the contemporary creative writing landscape, specifically in relation to its history, pedagogy and disciplinary identity within the Anglo-American academy. In particular I pursue two lines of enquiry. The first examines the perception shared by many that creative writing courses are academically insular and indulge a ‘culture of self’. The second takes this as a cue to examine the shifting relationship between Creative Writing and English, and how this has manifested itself at a curricular and institutional level within the US and the UK. I conclude with the observation that an increasing number of creative writing degrees are taking on hybridised ‘fictocritical’ forms, with important implications for the way in which creative writing pedagogy might evolve into the future.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of Film and Creative Writing
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LA History of education
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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