How the how: the question of form

On the question of structure, form and rules Singer and Walker write: ‘Like the drag queen or the hermit crab, we borrow our shapes and shells to find a space our bodies fit’. By examining two scholarly works – ‘Scenes from a Radical Theatre’ and ‘Ethics, Writing, and Splinters in the Heart’ this paper seeks to examine the question of form when making creative scholarly works by drawing on the interdisciplinary domain of nonfiction studies. Here, we are thinking of not just defining what form is being employed in any one piece of writing – i.e. the ‘how’ of the work – but how the how – this shape, this raison d’etre – comes into being on the page to direct/fashion/influence and/or define and communicate meaning. It is a way to think expansively or differently about our scholarly practices, an occasion to get under the skin of what we do, to experience ‘lateness’, and ‘after thinking’: what might invention look like; what are the risks, the challenges. In presenting this paper, I want to dare myself too. Learn lessons from this study. See if I can write it in a way that is contiguous with my thinking.

‘How the How: The Question of Form in Writing Creative Scholarly Works’ by Francesca Rendle-Short is published by New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, Routledge, Taylor and Francis.

‘How the how’ was named one of the most popular articles published in 2015 in the Taylor&Francis Literature, Language and Linguistics journals.

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