SPEAKING OF GENDER, LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY: WRITING THE PERSONAL
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This thesis features a range of texts that exemplify my practice. They include experimental prose, poetry, hybrid forms of writing that merge theory and practice, and scripts for live performance and digital film. To these examples I apply an autobiographical writing method, one that simultaneously reflects and creates, in an enquiry designed to uncover the detail and complexity of my writing motivation through a discursive account of its context. In a process that acknowledges the centrality of language to the construction of female identity, I begin by exploring the importance of autobiography to both my writing and this thesis. Next I give an account of an artistic project, designed to identify and collect perspectives on the main areas of debate and concern. I then revisit the writing of significant gender theorists, including Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Helene Cixous. The sections that follow use two scripts for live performance to illustrate the 'predicament' of the female performer and the importance of myth to women's artistic practice. My conclusion, and the thesis as a whole, is a demonstration of, and an enquiry into, a method of 'writing through'. This reflexive strategy questions how writing functions, how it responds to, and incorporates various influences. It attempts to understand how such a process, such writing, not only enquires into context, but also can impact on it, in a methodology less concerned with representing knowledge and more concerned with releasing it.
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