By Dr Ros Prosser
Who we are and how we came to be who we are is not easily accounted for. Who we are in a heat wave is not simply the dripping, sweating and distracted Adelaidean, now living in perhaps the hottest place on Earth. We could see ourselves in this place as the makers of our own situation, or the end product of a range of processes, both formal and informal that have contributed to our present day realities. I’m always looking at how we get to be here, to our thoughts and desires, our actions and inactions, our subjectivities if you like. Tapping into this and developing a style of writing that can account for a range of ways of seeing is to develop a creative critical practice and a creative critical eye. To incorporate into writing a sense of the minor and the major, the personal and the greater world, to understand the conditions we live under is to enable a type of writing that works toward answering the question of who we are.
Scientists and explorers ask questions as a constant requirement of investigation. The processes involved in answering the smallest and the biggest questions require constant and repetitive actions of scientific method. Applying this to writing practice through a set of techniques that aim to get to a different style, a hybrid style is only one way to produce meanings that may illuminate the moment we live in. The workshop I am running on the 8th of February will present a series of exercises designed to develop thinking and writing across the boundaries of genres.
Dr Rosslyn Prosser is a Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide. She publishes in the areas of life writing, poetry, prose, fictocriticism and performance, and has won a Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching.