Graeme Harper and Jeri Kroll ( 2008)
Creative Writing Studies: Practice,Research and Pedagogy
. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.ISBN-13: 978-1-84769-020-3 (hbk)ISBN-13: 978-1-84769-019-7 (pbk)Margaret Anne Clarke
Creative writing, both as a practice and discipline, occupies a somewhatambiguous position within the context of higher education. It is a boom subject interms of student recruitment, but one that has yet to be completely defined as anacademic discipline, and establish its full tenure in the academy. There havetraditionally even been doubts as to whether the discipline can be ‘taught’ at all.The edited collection of essays,
Creative Writing Studies: Research and Pedagogy
addresses as comprehensively as possible the questions, dilemmas and ideasregarding the ongoing establishment of creative writing as an academic field, andfocussing specifically on the university sector.The editors present in the introduction an overview of the field of creativewriting, and the two fundamental dilemmas which inform present considerations onits current position within higher education. Firstly, creative writing is a practice-ledand process-based discipline, the fundamental characteristic that differentiates itfrom the study of literature oriented towards the study of finished artefacts with(usually) a named author, and belonging to a specific genre. As such, the disciplinegenerates multiple meanings and interpretations concerning its definition, and inparticular, the relation between practice, pedagogy and theory.Secondly, as the editors point out, up till now, the establishment of creativewriting at higher education level, as both taught course and degree programme, hasprincipally focussed on provision at undergraduate level. The strength of creativewriting within the academy derives from its popularity with students and its capacityto recruit. Thus the agenda for creative writing has been principally driven byconsiderations which are primarily pedagogical in nature: innovations in teaching andworkshop-based practice have been the principal focus of the discipline. Theagenda for research is less clear, or has yet to be fully established in certainaspects. This is especially the case at doctoral level, where the balance of theoryand practice has yet to be fully defined, and also the related questions of appropriatebenchmarks and methodologies for assessing both creative artefacts andresearched study produced by post-graduate students.