Syllabus - "Live Writing"

Live Writing

Geoff Cox

The workshop focuses on the performative qualities of PhD writing using PiratePad, an open source collaborative editor.

In Uncreative Writing by Kenneth Goldsmith, the material qualities of writing becomes clear in his desire to not produce ever more new texts but instead to manage, organise and distribute them in divergent ways. He asserts that writers today begin to resemble programmers, working with ‘writing machines’, generating and executing texts, and as such assembling fragments, weaving together ideas in ways where originality no longer holds significant relevance. We speculate on the implications of this for PhD writing?

The workshop emphasises the instability of intention and meaning through a ‘triadic experiment’ in live writing, involving three participants conducted across three iterations. Two participants work as a dyad, while the third acts as commentator. The dyad participants engaged in conversation about their research, supported by writing. Meanwhile, the commentator listens and records his or her interpretation of that conversation. The objective of this experiment is to think through the relationship between speaking and writing. One does not generally speak and write simultaneously – their natural rhythms would seem incompatible. Writing becomes more nonlinear, recursive and conversational, involving the open-ended capturing of statements, alternating between documentary and critical forms, and moving fluidly across subjective-objective registers. Finally we open up discussion about the experiment and the preliminary reading material.

Required Reading
Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing, New York: Columbia University Press 2011.  link

Materials students should bring to class