IOE EPrints

A lacanian study of the effects of creative writing exercises: writing fantasies and the constitution of writer subjectivity

Charalambous, Zoe (2014) A lacanian study of the effects of creative writing exercises: writing fantasies and the constitution of writer subjectivity. PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (2037Kb) | Preview


This thesis explores the effects of Creative Writing exercises on student writer subjectivities. It explores the hypothesis that an encounter with enigmatic Creative Writing exercises can facilitate a shift in students’ relation to their writing, or their writer subjectivity. The study used a methodology informed by Lacanian psychoanalytic ideas. Data was generated through an “experiment” course: an intervention of six sessions especially for this research with five volunteer participants, Creative Writing students from a UK higher institution. In addition, free--‐associative one--‐to--‐one interviews were carried out before and after the intervention. Lacanian theory informed the attempt to maintain ambiguity in both the exercises and in the researcher’s enigmatic stance throughout the intervention. The analysis proposes the concept of writing fantasy as a formalized structure that orients a writer’s spoken and written discourse about her writing. Using the (emergent) structure of fantasy in the participants’ texts and interviews, the analysis chapters explore the participants’ writing fantasies and how the research project shifted or added to their fantasy, thus affecting the structure of their writer subjectivity. The outcome of the analysis suggests that writing fantasies can be shifted, at least momentarily, through the exercises. The analysis, however, also indicates that fantasies do not shift easily; the interpretation of the setting and/or the exercises’ instructions as threatening to a participant’s writer subjectivity seemed to impede the shift. The design of the research with pre and post interviews and an intervention aimed at disrupting or shifting fantasmatic attachments constitutes an approach to exploring fantasy that has not previously been explored in the field of Psychosocial Studies. The thesis also constitutes an original contribution to the field of Creative Writing Studies in the way it conceptualizes learning in relation to the inherent assumptions in writer--‐students’ spoken and written discourse. More specifically, it provides an initial knowledge--‐base for the pedagogical and psychosocial function of Creative Writing exercises used in Creative Writing pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Lacanian, creative writing exercises, fantasy, subjectivity, psychoanalytic methodologies, psychosocial, writing, creative writing pedagogy
Subjects: Departments > Culture, Communication and Media
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2015 11:22
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2015 15:12
View Item View Item