Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Analysis on text as a creative form of expression and investigation and how it can be mobilized as a tool for research activities and its outcomes

To what extent can literary strategies deepen and enhance research in and through the visual and performing arts, as well as for research in academia?

Maya Rasker

Through her PhD research, Maya Rasker will approach the question by focusing in particular on the notion of ‘beginning’. Edward Said proposes, in Beginnings. Intention and Method (1975; 2012), that a beginning is “the first step in the intentional production of meaning.” As an essayist and a novel writer, Rasker has become increasingly aware of the necessity to acknowledge, at the beginning, the empirical experience of the ‘writing subject’, the author, as object of investigation. To date, she has worked with the assumption that the real, or intransitive, beginning of a work of art is where the ‘self’ [voice? autobiography as archive? intention? desire?] enters the work, with multiple implications for what follows in terms of process and outcome.

The research will address and problematize the assumption that not only the outcome, but also the becoming of a text can be regarded as form a of knowledge creation, disclosing the author’s ‘tacit knowledge’ next to the 'intentional production of meaning'.

By means of writing essays, pieces of fiction, letters to imaginary receivers, and self-reflective notes, as integral part of the academic work, Rasker seeks to investigate and explore the concepts that underpin the research question.

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