Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Joseph Moxley, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Fleming, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Hunt Hawkins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patrick Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Keywords

creative writing studies, pedagogy, workshop, theory, history

Abstract

The discipline of creative writing is charged "as the most untheorized, and in that respect, anachronistic area in the entire constellation of English studies (Haake What Our Speech Disrupts 49). We need only look at its historical precedents to understand these intimations. It is a discipline which is unaware of the histories that informs its practice. It relies on the tradition of the workshop model as its signature pedagogy, and it is part of a fractured community signaled by its long history of subordination to literary studies, its lack of status and sustaining lore, and its own resistance to reform. These factions keep creative writing from achieving any central core.

I argue for the advancement of creative writing studies. As a scholarly academic discipline, creative writing studies explores and challenges the pedagogy of creative writing. It not only supports, but welcomes intellectual analyses that may reveal new theories.Such theories have important teaching implications and insights into the ways creative writers read, write, and respond. My study explores the history of creative writing, its workshop model as its primary practice, and the discipline's major pedagogical practices. Through its pedagogical and historical inquiry of the field, this study has important implications to the development of creative writing studies. Its research includes a workshop survey of undergraduate creative writing teachers as well as scholarship in the field. My argument envisions a more robust, variable, and intelligent workshop model. It considers how an understanding of our pedagogical practices might influence our teaching strategies and classroom dynamics and how we might provide more meaning to the academy, our profession, and our diverse student body.

At a curricular level, my study offers course and program development, and it justifies the importance of including graduate level training for teacher preparation to further explore the field's history and pedagogy. Through my inquiries and research, I advance creative writing studies, define its academic home, and better position the discipline to stand alongside composition studies and literary studies as a separate-but-equal entity, fully prepared to claim it own identity and scholarship.

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