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Issue Details: First known date: 2020... vol. 24 no. 1 April 2020 of TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs est. 1997 TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Since the last issue of TEXT in October 2019, the world changed. During Covid-19 lockdowns, arts practitioners worldwide responded with web-based music sessions, comedy performances and art exhibitions. None of these outputs sound or look like products in conventional industry spaces. There has been a discovery of the home as stage and gallery, the desk as broadcast studio, and creative arts work as a commodity related to personal space. This links us to the idea of creative work at its origin: a home-grown and personal thing given legitimacy.' (Nigel Krauth Editorial introduction)


  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2020 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Vale Professor Brian Dibble, Julienne Van Loon , single work obituary
Alternative Futures for the Creative Writing Doctorate (By Way of the Past), Paul Magee , single work criticism
'This paper contributes to the project of mapping alternative futures for the creative writing doctorate, by way of deep excavation into the history of scholarly forms. A key aim is to undermine the apparent necessity of an exegetical component to any current creative writing doctoral portfolio. To this end, the paper attempts to think through those traditions of humanities scholarship that have long assumed the presentational forms of novelistic and poetic art. It has a specific eye to works in the post-structuralist tradition, in particular those of Michel Foucault, the scholarly writer whom Georges Canguilhem saw fit to label a ‘poet’ in the course of examining the doctorate that we would come to know as Histoire de la folie. The paper asks why that naming makes intuitive sense. A philosophical engagement with Anthony Grafton’s work on the form and origins of the footnote suggests that normative scholarly texts are ruled by a bifurcation between what is said and the story of how one came to say it, a story offered there at the bottom of the page, or in some other like apparatus or mode. The self-justificatory functions associated with the footnote are minimised in Foucault’s and his peers’ work, just as they are banished from art itself. In their place, if anything, we find strategies devised for the fomenting of doubt, that have the emotional and intellectual effect of making knowledge the responsibility of the reader. In other words, a form of creative intellectual work without exegetical documentation is not only possible in humanities scholarship, it is a feature of some of the most valorised work in the field. Could we not take our bearings from there?' (Publication abstract)
‘No Additional Information Required’ : Creative Writing as Research Writing, Andrew Cowan , single work criticism
'The question of whether artistic practice might be construed as a research practice is one that has been pursued extensively since the 1990s. Much in the discourse remains open to contention, though a degree of consensus has emerged on certain key themes: that art is indeed productive of knowledge, that this knowledge is to be understood experientially and non-conceptually, but that it must be framed in a form consistent with established academic procedures. Jen Webb’s several contributions to this discourse provide a valuable context for considering whether it may be possible to overcome the conceptual and practical separation between art and the academy. Using Webb’s work as a frame, this article engages with the debate about the knowledge status of art through a consideration of its contradictions, and suggests that a pragmatic solution is to be found in the operations of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), which now accepts the research credentials of creative writing as being self-evident.' (Publication abstract)
The Uses and Enchantments of the Writer’s Notebook, Delia Falconer , single work criticism
'This paper examines the writer’s notebook to ask: why does it persist as such an effective generative tool? Drawing primarily on the work of Michael Taussig and Roland Barthes, while focusing on the ways in which writers have themselves described their experience of using journals, it examines the notebook as a remarkably polyvalent and talismanic text. In its first part it explores the difference, often strongly marked by writers, between the journal and diary, arguing that it is exactly the notebook’s ‘album’-like quality of fragmentation and interchangeability, which bothered Barthes, that creates its value for writers. In its second half, it examines the different discursive or formal strands typically found within the notebook: its ‘extractive realist’ (Gibson 2009) techniques for briefly recording the ‘real’ in ways that transform it for creative use; its curation of quotes, which descends from the Renaissance commonplace book, as a means of professional self-fashioning; and its appeal as a physical object representing an enchanted promise of creativity. It concludes that the notebook’s longevity and energy derive from the constant juxtaposition of these often contradictory elements, which create the ongoing quality of ‘something else’ that writers so often remark upon.' (Publication abstract)
Memoryscope Experiments on the Bunurong Coast, Rees Quilford , single work criticism
'This essay performs that restless search, undertaken in countless iterations across the globe, for meaning in the places that are important to us. By engaging with the everyday historical forces and currents that shape localities, it examines the intimate associations and connections that exist between people and the places they inhabit. Experimenting with the use of Ross Gibson’s notion of the memoryscope – an aesthetic form created to ‘contain, focus and direct the forces of the past’ (Gibson 2015b: vi) – as a framework to inform place-based historically informed storytelling, it offers a series of speculations on an unruly strip of the southern Australian bush, the Bunurong Coast. In doing so, the paper explores how disparate echoes of the past plucked from various sources – the archives, memories, reflections, and the landscape itself – might be cajoled to form coherent reflections on personal connections to a specific place. Speculating on local stories, objects and experiences, it examines how an aesthetic and forensic creative practice might be used to develop intimate narratives about our complex associations to places and their past.' (Publication abstract)
The PhD by Prior Publications in the Creative Arts at Deakin University: Advancing Industry Engagement and Social Justice Outcomes in the Doctoral Degree (Research), Patrick West , single work criticism
'In late 2016 Deakin University’s School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA) added the PhD by Prior Publications in the Creative Arts (Portfolio Creative Product plus Exegesis) to Deakin’s existing complement of PhD by Publication offerings. Candidates from several Creative Arts disciplines, pre-eminently Creative Writing, have enrolled in the PhDPriorPubs. Commencements have included nationally and internationally based artists, including some current Deakin staff members. This article contextualizes the PhDPriorPubs’ origins, describes its inner workings, and provides data on candidate enrolments, graduations and thesis outcomes as of November 2019. It also elaborates on the planning and thinking stages behind the degree’s development, its relationship to the cognate Practice-Led Research methodology, and future prospects and threats. The present-day relevance of PhDs by prior publication is sometimes disputed. This article argues for the ongoing value of degrees like the PhDPriorPubs in pollinating ‘PhD of the Future’ debates and in advancing industry engagement and social justice outcomes in the doctoral degree (research).' (Publication abstract)
Incoherence/coherence in Narratives of Illness or Trauma : On the Necessity of Challenging Conventional Narrative Structures, Maria Papas , single work criticism
'Informed by my own experience of bearing witness to and being made vulnerable by a life threatening event in a loved one, this essay draws on philosophical, psychological and narratological underpinnings to investigate the gap that exists between conventional narrative structures and the narratives employed by those with lived experience of trauma or critical illness. Overall, I argue that writers and other creative artists have a responsibility to represent trauma or illness in ways that resist the temporal unification, neat closures and trajectories that often present such events as disruptions to be overcome. Following this line of thinking I argue that narrative coherence is not dependent on the cohesion of a whole. Instead it relies on the shared understandings and the process of recognition that forms between the teller and recipient of a story. In other words, coherence is dependent on the recipient’s ability to read structural characteristics such as fragmentation, discontinuity, irresolution and uncertainty not as aberrations to narrative stability, but as potential signifiers of the trauma itself. As such I suggest creative professionals can do more to experiment with the language of trauma. I conclude with a personal reflection that illustrates how knowledge of this language allows for coherence even in the most fraught narratives.'

 (Publication abstract)

Structural Whiteness and the Business of Creative Writing in Australia : Developing Reflexive Pedagogy, Bonny Cassidy , single work criticism
'Two decades in my academic discipline have accreted a strata of assumptions within my practices. Most of these are about knowledge: its source in me and my informants, its places and modes of production, and methods or processes for its communication. From these have grown assumptions about myself within the discipline: the extent of my expertise, and others’ expectations of it; and its relationship to other elements of my life. I take responsibility for these assumptions, however, I also understand them to be intimately connected to the cultural systems of knowledge in which I have been brought up as an Australian academic. In this discussion I contextualise how, when provoked, our discipline of creative writing reveals its local, systemic contingencies. Using my experiences within RMIT University’s Bundyi Girri program as a launching point, I reflect on the ways that non-Indigenous awareness of historically excluded sovereign knowledges provokes the discipline and how recognition of these might look through the practices of the academy. I argue that reflexivity is a tool for structural change, and that it can be focused and fostered through pedagogy. To illustrate this, I share some process notes from my own recent teaching and learning. The questions that preoccupy me are: What is the readiness of creative writing as an academic discipline towards acknowledgement of sovereign knowledges? How does working within sovereign relationships differ or distinguish itself from cultural awareness or from ‘Indigenising’ curriculum? How is my expertise and authority as a creative writing practitioner challenged by this acknowledgement?' (Publication abstract)
Avoiding It : Writing Fiction about Place Without Writing about It, Rhett Davis , single work criticism
'Writing about place is not always writing what is ‘real’. Writers often avoid specific, named and recognisable places in fiction – using literary devices and forms to write around them – and yet still manage to evoke a sense of place. In an exegetical reflection on my PhD novel, Hovering, this article explores my own journey in writing about my home town of Geelong by avoiding it. It discusses writing around place by employing an absurdist approach and explores how physical space intersects with virtual space in ways that invite formal modification and polyphony. The methodology I adopt is autoethnographic and mirrors my creative approach, but I also intersperse case studies of writers who have been central to my creative thesis, and who have represented place through defamiliarising strategies such as absurdism and disguise, multiplicity of individual perspectives and the voice of the crowd. Ultimately this article reflects on how we might write fiction about our places – our homes, towns, cities, streets; places that deserve to be seen; places that are tangible or virtual or a strange mixture of both – when we want to avoid reducing them.' (Publication abstract)
Today Is Tomorrow, Julia Prendergast , single work prose
Gone Fishin’, Peter Nash , single work prose
Smoking Guni"Spreading on the mattress", Andrew Leggett , single work poetry
Lazarusi"Few men who stink as I do", Andrew Leggett , single work poetry
Simpson and His Donkey, 1915i"As I pace the memorial", Andrew Leggett , single work poetry
Looking for the Cormoranti"in a mirror flash of setting sun", Judy Durrant , single work poetry
The Build upi"It’s just the thing to settle dirt", Judy Durrant , single work poetry
Learning to Flyi"can you conceive of an actuality", Judy Durrant , single work poetry
Brando, Joshua Baird , single work prose
Skulli"Just beyond your sideways glance there are always suspended constellations.", Lucy Alexander , single work poetry
Pinchi"Never relative the ones you love, never love the ones you study, never open", Lucy Alexander , single work poetry

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 13 May 2020 11:43:22