Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Debra Jacobs, Ph.D.

Keywords

Collaboration, Workshop, Invention, Heuristics, Teaching

Abstract

Maintaining composition studies and creative writing as discrete disciplines may not be in the best interests of either field. But so long as the majority of scholars and practitioners of either field remain largely uninformed about one another, it is unlikely that any progress toward conjoining the two fields will occur. Various important and constructive efforts have been made for more than thirty years to establish a scholarly, interdisciplinary community that dedicates itself to examining points of intersection between composition and creative writing. Initially, such efforts appear to attract the attention from the broader communities of each discipline. Before long, however, participation in such scholarly discussions diminishes, as do most prospects for integrating changes inspired by the collaborative exchange-let alone any prospects for merging composition studies and creative writing into a single discipline.

Critical examinations of commonalities between composition studies and creative writing, while crucially important, cannot lead to a greater alliance between the two fields unless each field incorporates aspects of one another's disciplinary identity into its own. Chapter One introduces my study and considers the disciplinary histories of composition and creative writing, histories that reveal when and how they came to be separated even as they consistently were (and are) situated in the same department, the department of English. Chapter Two investigates how inventional techniques that have been conceptualized primarily in the field of composition studies can assist creative writing students in developing insights about their writing. Chapter Three extends this conversation by considering the social and collaborative techniques that can benefit the creative writing workshop.

Chapter Four considers how a writing classroom can integrate genres traditionally associated with either composition or creative writing to allow students to develop a broader writing repertoire and, perhaps, an enhanced commitment to its continued development.

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