Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Politics of Creative Writing

[This is one of the posts that recently vanished in the Blogger Troubles.]

There's an interesting discussion of creative writing programs going on around and about, so I thought I'd provide links for those who haven't seen it.

Elif Batuman, Get a Real Degree

Mark McGurl, The MFA Octopus

Seth Abramson, [Wednesday Reading]

D. G. Myers, The Paradoxical Politics of Creative Writing

Seth Abramson, [The Adults Enter the Room]

Seth Abramson, [On D. G. Myers]

Incidentally, if you haven't read D. G. Myers's The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing Since 1880, I recommend it; if a book about the history of creative writing programs sounds boring to you, it did so to me, too, but I found it extraordinarily interesting and readable. And actually, because creative writing has been a sort of pet project of educational reformers from the beginning, I think I would actually regard it as being pretty much a must-read for anyone genuinely interested in philosophy of education -- it provides an interesting sample case of how thought about education changes over time, raises a number of interesting questions about education and its relation to the world at large (mostly implicitly, although some explicitly), and in the course of the history examines, using this particular case, what makes an academic program healthy and thriving (or the reverse).

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