Accepted paper:

Professionalizing the muse: the cultural production of poetic imagination in creative writing workshops

Authors:

Eitan Wilf (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Paper short abstract:

Uncertainty has been part and parcel of notions of poetic imagination and inspiration in the West. This paper explores the ways in which rational means of overcoming the uncertainty of poetic imagination are inculcated in creative writing workshops in Israel.

Paper long abstract:

Uncertainty has been part and parcel of notions of poetic imagination and inspiration in the West. Indeed, poetic imagination and inspiration have acquired much of their value precisely from their presumed scarcity, precariousness, and mercurial nature. This paper explores the ways in which rational means of overcoming the uncertainty of poetic imagination are inculcated in creative writing workshops in Israel. In other words, it theorizes the rationalization of poetic imagination and inspiration in a concrete ethnographic setting. Focusing on the rational methods of generating poetic imagination inculcated in the workshops and situating these methods within the broader cultural framework of professionalization and rationalization, the paper theorizes imagination both in its concrete material underpinnings and broader cultural dimensions and thus proposes a way in which these micro/macro research orientations to the study of imagination can be reconciled.

panel IW001
Grappling with uncertainties: ethnographies of the imagination