While disciplines such as law, journalism and medicine have ethics classes embedded into their degree structures, fiction writing has escaped this administrative scrutiny. This paper argues that an `ethics of representation' should be raised within the prose fiction classroom if creative writing teachers are serious about training future writers. Drawing on work by Michael Riffaterre and Seymour Chatman, this paper argues that due to the historic privileging of realism and ensuing reader assumptions, writing students need to understand the importance of research and representation. After a brief discussion of how creative writing is situated within the tertiary administrative context, this paper then cites a critical teaching pedagogy (as articulated by Rochelle Harris) and practical strategies that teachers can use to bring discussions of representation into the prose fiction classroom. Inspired by the work of creative writing academics such as George Kalamaras and Sandra Young, these strategies include using the workshop session, classroom readings and formal assignments to foreground matters of representation.
Shady Cosgrove; Writ101: Ethics of Representation for Creative Writers. Pedagogy 1 January 2009; 9 (1): 134–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-2008-021
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