Please note: the conference is in BUILDING 2 on the UC Bruce campus. 
Watch this space for information updates. 

DAILY FORECAST (care of Describing Things in Canberra):  

Wednesday Canberra weather: regardless of any thing Neil Finn may have said, you don’t really have your own personal weather bubble. You can easily test this by travelling from the Woden Valley to the northside on foggy morning. Or getting on a plane in December and flying to Helsinki.

So those of you who are in Canberra today will probably experience much the same weather as each other. Warm to hot and slighty sticky. The weather equivalent of spilling cocoa on your new trousers.

Chemical interventions such as deodorant, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and anti-histamines are strongly indicated. Consider long before you commit to opaque tights, however hairy your legs are. Once the sun is over the yard arm, applications of gin and tonic may be beneficial.



Monday, November 28 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
To Write or Not to Write :: 2A14

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Willo Drummond: 

“Pressed between the mind’s pages”: Denise Levertov’s ‘Rilke Index’ and practices of artistic cognition.

This paper speaks to the ‘cognitive turn’ in creative writing research (Freiman 2015). Reflecting upon a recent period of archival research examining the early notebooks of mid-Twentieth Century American poet Denise Levertov at Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University, it considers the poet’s various ‘notebooking’ practices during the years 1946-58 through the lens of ‘4E’ (or distributed) cognition. Specifically, via Richard Menary’s second wave extended mind thesis: ‘Cognitive Integration’.

A lifelong keeper of a range of journals and notebooks, in the early years of her career Levertov also created and maintained a personal and idiosyncratic index to the Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke 1902-1926 (Trans., R.F.C. Hull, 1946), a text she noted on several occasions as playing a formative role in her artistic development. Several concepts and passages from the Selected Letters

would appear in Levertov’s notebooks and published writings throughout her career and as such this ‘index’ not only prompts consideration of the role of homage (or theft?) in the creative writing process, but also suggests a new negotiation of the line between influence studies and intertextuality, one which does not jettison the embodied writer for the sake of the text. Rather, Cognitive Integration takes a hybrid, systems view of mind in which the keeping of notebooks (and related artefacts) is viewed as an example of extended cognition. By this view, ‘artistic cognition’ (Sutton 2002) is constituted by bodily manipulation of word on page by a situated writer in a practice of cognitive-material looping. Such a perspective allows for a dynamic view of creative writing ‘thinking’ as ‘embodied’, ‘embedded’, ‘enacted’ and ‘extended’, and of influence as a feature of a cognitive practice comprised of embodied writer actively engaged in a coupled dance with the materiality of language. 


Amelia Walker: Why I don’t write (much): a self-case study in homage to Orwell and Rilke  

In a ‘publish or perish’ culture’, not writing and/or publishing extensively in one’s main creative writing genre or genres can for creative writing academics seem a terrifying prospect (Krauth, Gandolfo & Brien 2015, n.p.). In addition to individual stress, ‘not writing’ leaves our field vulnerable to challenges from those who question creative writing’s place in academia, thereby undermining the ongoing stability of creative writing pedagogy and research. This paper confronts the ‘not writing’ problem via a self-case study entailing discussion of two keystone texts – Orwell’s Why I Write (1946) and Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet (1945). Following Orwell’s lead (1946, n.p.), the study initially considers situated forces that nineteen years ago prompted my first poetic forays. It then traces subsequent shifts in my writerly motives, style and practices. These shifts reflect multiple attempts at or approaches to perennial dilemmas of writerly ethicality, particularly regarding authorship as theft or usurpation of cultural authority. Through analysis of the self-case study, this paper generates an explication of my present ‘not writing’ as an engaged, reasoned practice, and thereupon argues the oft-overlooked merits of ‘not-writing’ – the active, often ethically-driven non-writing and/or non-publishing of texts in one’s primary genre, paired with strenuous engagement in other, complementary but perhaps less-visible literary activities. Exploration into not-writing can, I contend, valuably illuminate benefits of creative writing practices in and beyond contemporary universities. This paper thus concludes with a call for greater attention to, and respect for, not-writing as something able to richly inform ongoing creative writing pedagogy and research.

Dominique Hecq: Crimes of letters: the crow, the fox and me

All aesthetics of appropriation entail acts of transgression predicated on the art of citational writing, from mere allusion to punning, quotation, pastiche, parody, sampling, remix and homage. ‘Citational writing underscores the double movement of quotation,’ writes Della Pollock in a now famous paper on performativity (Pollock 1998: 94), affirming that ‘it stages its own citationality, re-sighting citation, displaying it in an accumulation of quotations or self quotations…with the primary effect of reclaiming citation for affiliation’ (Pollock 1998: 94. My emphasis). As such, aesthetics of appropriation presuppose the existence of both Other and other and cannot be deemed nihilistic as has been suggested, especially in the context of critiques of postmodernism. Notwithstanding their intent, aesthetics of appropriation tacitly attribute to language both an evocative and communicatory dimension. But what lies beyond the drive for ‘affiliation’ intimated by Pollock? ‘Crimes of letters: the crow, the fox and me’ explores the kinship between textuality and felony—real or imagined—within the authorised context of the reader-response contract, however misprisioned. The wager of this ‘creative artful fact,’ otherwise called artefact,  is for ‘authorised theft’ to exceed what one might be reluctant to call ‘original’ material after Harold Bloom returned the course of philological forays into textual begetting back to anxieties of influence (Bloom 1973).

Jeri Kroll: The Author as Originator, Adaptor or Thief: Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

When authors publish under their own names they make a social contract with readers, declaring that the work is original. Foucault (1977), Bourdieu (1996), Sawyer (2006) and Sennett (2008), among others, have problematised the concept of authorship by focusing on its cultural and economic functions in a complex marketplace. The copyright page in a printed text or online publication confirms to the world that the writer claims ownership, with statements such as ‘all rights reserved.’  Authors, therefore, cannot but be aware of a continuum inhering in the literary process that begins with unattainable originality and ends with intentional theft. Along this continuum exist varying degrees of unconscious and conscious borrowing of another’s words or ideas. The terms original, plagiarised and self-plagiarised can be both descriptive and emotive. This paper interrogates the practices of plagiarism, self-plagiarism and double-dipping in order to clarify the dangers of misappropriation and violation of copyright; it also considers forms of intellectual and creative theft. The manner in which writers integrate literary and critical influences to produce authentic work has become more challenging in the twenty-first century where so much of the past and the present exist online. An understanding of concepts such as originality, creativity and plagiarism can help practitioners and students to negotiate this mercurial educational and cultural environment.

avatar for Debra Wain

Debra Wain

Deakin University
Debra Wain holds a BA(hons) in Creative Writing. She is a current PhD candidate and sessional academic in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University. Debra is undertaking creative practice research into women, food and culture through her creation of a collection... Read More →


Willo Drummond

PhD Candidate, Macquarie University
Willo Drummond is a poet, PhD candidate, and tutor in Creative Writing at Macquarie University. She writes about human and non-human animals, gender, and the fragile landscapes of identity. Recent publications include Cordite, Meniscus, AustralianPoetry Anthology 2015, Mascara and... Read More →

Dominique Hecq

Associate Professor, Writing, Swinburne University of Technology
Dominique Hecq  has a background in literary studies, psychoanalysis and translation. Towards a Poetics of Creative Writing (2015) explores creative writing in the academy as an avenue for investigations of creativity while examining the relevance of psychoanalysis for the arts... Read More →

Jeri Kroll

Flinders University
Jeri Kroll is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Flinders University and an award-winning writer for adults and young people. Recent creative books are Workshopping the Heart: New and Selected Poems (Wakefield 2013) and a verse novel, Vanishing Point (Puncher and Wattman... Read More →

Amelia Walker

University of South Australia
Amelia Walker completed her PhD in early 2016 through the University of South Australia, where she now works teaching courses in creative writing and literature.

Monday November 28, 2016 1:30pm - 2:30pm
2A14 Building 2, UC

Attendees (10)