Saturday, January 31, 2009

In Which Creativity Is Instigated by the Academic...

So to catch you up, this semester I'm taking the following 3 grad classes:
  1. "Culture and Society," which is an anthropology class.
  2. "The Rhetoric of Everyday Life," a communication class.
  3. "Modern European Thinkers on Rhetoric, Poetics, and Narrative," a course taught by a French lit. prof and cross-listed with the English department.
Considering these classes are all in different departments, I'm finding interesting interrelations between their subject matter. I'm also finding unexpected creative ideas from them.

For instance, reading Roland Barthes' structuralist analysis of literature from the authorial perspective (for class #3) helped me to break out of my usual ways of thinking about creative stories--much more helpful for my creative writing than many of the creative writing manuals I've read. It gave me a brainstorm for re-structuring my dormant novel manuscript--don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try when I get more time this summer. It will also be potentially useful in my dissertation work.

And I'm pretty sure that my fieldwork project for class #1 will be able to do triple duty:
  1. Give me a co-written paper that might work as a conference paper or article publication.
  2. Serve as a base for another communication article I've been wanting to write.
  3. Work as background research for another novel I've been thinking about for awhile (I've written 2 chapters, then got stuck because I realized I needed to do interviews and such with one of the populations, which is the one we might be looking at for the project).
And then of course, course #2 will feed my dissertation, which is helping me with another series of academic studies and creative projects.

Ah, I love it when the academic feeds the creative...

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