ERIC Number: ED374423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
The Angel in the Academy: The Creative Writer as Helpmeet on the Distaff Side of English Studies.
Women who wish to assume full voice in their writing have no choice but to raise questions regarding their status and the status of creative writing within the academy. Tillie Olsen and Elaine Showalter have documented the bias in texts taught at the university in which women have little place, if at all. The effects are devastating: if the voices of other women writers have been neglected, the beginning writer is likely to doubt her own voice as well. Small wonder then that both Susan Griffin and Olsen refer to "all women who write" as survivors. The woman creative writer faces an especially difficult task because creative writing is devalued in English departments. Having attained some degree of professional success outside the academy, the woman creative writer finds in graduate school that the work she does--the fiction and poetry that have earned her place--is by its very nature suspect, regarded as intellectually "soft." Traditional academic study--theory, empirical research--is considered essential, the arts supplementary. Creative work is reduced, then, to an "optional" discipline. As some of the same observations have been made about the field of composition, it is useful to compare the two. Both are concerned with what are traditionally regarded as "feminine" principles--intuition, emotion, self-expression. It must be acknowledged that it is no accident that these particular fields of study have assumed the low hierarchal spaces taken for granted within education. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).