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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.



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Monday, November 28 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Teaching Creative Writing :: 2B11

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Pip Newling: ‘Teaching writing, teaching whiteness with Fiona Nicoll and Kim Scott’ 

This paper retells the semester-long experiment I ran teaching a subject titled ‘Writing across borders’ at the University of Wollongong in 2016. Using Kim Scott’s novel That Deadman Dance as the spine of the course, students addressed the literary techniques of cross-cultural writing, magical realism, metafiction, creative nonfiction and cross-platform writing. With the focus on Scott’s novel came the focus on race and on Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships in Australia and the stories told of these relationships. I employed Fiona Nicoll’s approach to race discussions in the classroom by utilising her concept of critical whiteness theory and the significance of Indigenous sovereignty to discussions of this ilk. I also used her 2004 essay ‘Are you calling me a racist?’ (Nicoll, 2004) as a guide and companion across the course. Was it a success? Depending on the measure – student engagement, experimenting with the course ideas in their work, richness of the classroom discussions – the outcomes were a mixed bag. But was it fruitful, challenging and rewarding? Yes. Would I do it again? Of course. 

 Denise Beckton (Donna Lee Brien, Margaret McAllister, and Alison Owens): Robbing from Peter to Pay Paul?: Insights from a study investigating Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Training Opportunities 

Recent studies on the contemporary PhD report that conventional approaches to doctoral preparation do not always effectively produce graduates who are confident researchers, and call for effective approaches to meet training needs. Yet within the higher education sector there are pockets of innovation that, because of the separation of disciplines, do not reach the wider community. Moreover, discipline-based competitive research evaluation processes deplete incentives for cross-fertilisation and exchange of ideas. This paper reports on a recent pilot project involving interdisciplinary collaboration between research higher degree supervisors from the seemingly very distinct disciplines of creative writing and nursing. This paper explains how we took from varied sources from within the same institution – and indeed from the same campus – to use it for other purposes and how, in this practice, although we were transgressing disciplinary boundaries, we were also yielding superior outcomes. The paper begins by identifying contemporary Doctoral candidate academic training needs and will describe how, in gathering strategies that were effective in overcoming impasses encountered by both RHD candidates and supervisors, a series of common research thresholds were identified. It then investigates how these may be met in an interdisciplinary manner. In this, interdisciplinary Doctoral training practices using creative writing as a key disciplinary contributor are identified.

 Kirk Dodd: Imitatio specialis: Shakespeare, Virgil, chronographia, and a new play called Bennelong

This paper seeks to promote the classical ethos of imitating a master’s art, imitatio specialis, as a legitimate method for creating original work and a productive application of academic research. This involves a demonstration of my imitation of one of many devices used by Shakespeare, chronographia (or the vivid description of time), in the development of a new play called: ‘The Tragicall Hiftorie of Woollarawarre Bennelong, Native Ambassador of Nova Hollandia’, which aims to achieve a ‘Shakespearean’ aesthetic. This paper will introduce the ethos of imitatio specialis and Shakespeare’s application of chronographia, before analysing two passages from my play Bennelong that imitate Shakespeare’s concerns with chronographia. The paper also examines a figure developed by Virgil to assist writing chronographiae, and how Shakespeare imitates this figure; thus in turn, how I imitate Shakespeare’s imitations of Virgil. Where Shakespeare is an authority on most things poetical, and Virgil was one of Shakespeare’s authorities, this becomes a demonstration of authorized theft that provides productive contributions to both ‘creative writing’ and ‘author study’ pedagogies.

Enza Gandolfo: Whose space? Feminism and creative writing pedagogy

Where is feminism in creative writing pedagogy? Creative writing programs in Australian and overseas universities are often taught by feminist writers and academics. This is evident in the scholarly articles published by writer academics about their own writing, and about writing practice, theory and research that often engage with feminist theory. However, little has been written about how feminist theory is incorporated into the creative writing classroom if at all.
      As a feminist researcher, writer and academic, I am committed to developing and delivering a critically engaged curriculum that celebrates the diversity of feminism and feminist approaches, and encourages writing that exposes and challenges privilege, and investigates issues of power and inequality in relation to gender but also in relation to sexuality, race and disability. I am interested in how feminism can encroach on the often apolitical space of the creative writing classroom and transform it.
      This paper is a review of the literature on creative writing pedagogy, and an exploration of the way that a feminist approach to teaching writing pedagogy can provide an effective means of engaging students in creative writing that is politically and socially engaged. 


avatar for Jen Webb

Jen Webb

Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice, University of Canberra
Jen Webb is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra, and Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. Her work includes scholarly volumes Researching Creative Writing (Frontinus, 2015) and Art and Human Rights: Contemporary Asian Contexts (with Caroline Turner; Manchester UP, 2016), and poetry volumes Watching the World (with Paul Hetherington; Blemish Books, 2015) and Stolen Stories, Borrowed... Read More →


Denise Beckton

Central Queensland University
With a background in public health and education, Denise Beckton is a Lecturer in Creative Industries at Central Queensland University in Noosa, Queensland. Denise has recently completed a research higher degree in Creative Industries (creative writing), which comprised the writing of a Young Adult novel and a related dissertation that explores the construction and use of invented languages in fiction. Denise is the recipient of multiple awards... Read More →

Kirk Dodd

University of New South Wales
Kirk Dodd is about to submit his PhD in Creative Writing at the University of New South Wales. His dissertation examines Shakespeare’s application of Cicero’s treatise on rhetorical invention, and re-applies findings about Shakespeare’s methods of composition to a new Australian play called Bennelong, which aims to achieve a ‘Shakespearean’ epic sweep and aesthetic. He has lectured on Shakespeare and taught classes... Read More →

Enza Gandolfo

Senior Lecturer, Creative Writing, Victoria University
Enza Gandolfo’s novel, Swimming (Vanark Press 2009) was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award in 2010 and the ABC Fiction Award 2008. Her other books include: Inventory: on op shops with Sue Dodd (Vulgar Press 2007), It keeps me sane: women craft wellbeing with Marty Grace (Vulgar Press 2009) and Love and Care: The Glory box tradition of Coptic Women in Australia (Vulgar Press 2011) with Marty Grace. Enza has a PhD in Creative... Read More →

Pip Newling

Honorary Postdoctoral Associate, University of Wollongong
Dr Pip Newling is a Honorary Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Wollongong where she received her Doctor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) in 2015. She has taught into the creative writing and professional writing programs at RMIT Melbourne, University of Wollongong and Open Universities Australia. She is a published author, her publications include a memoir Knockabout Girl (HCA 2007), and creative nonfiction essays in... Read More →

Monday November 28, 2016 2:30pm - 3:30pm
2B11 Building 2

Attendees (16)