Date: 27 - 28 March 2023
Venue: Valletta Campus, University of Malta
Craft, creativity and critique are inextricably linked to one another. If creativity points to an inventiveness in the use of language or artistic style, and craft signals the skill and technique involved in any creative activity, then might critique be surmised to be the craft of creative response? After all, all three processes imply the ‘bringing forth’ or ‘occasioning’ of something into presence. What might in turn be ‘brought forth’ out of a rethinking and reinterpreting of these three terms?
The practices and routines involved in the production of literary texts and other forms of creative expression are diverse. They include different forms of writing and re-writing, reading and re-reading, revising and editing – ongoing hybrid processes of production and reproduction through which one finds and hones one’s style and method.
The act of creation is an intellectually and affectively charged activity that may bring to mind the lone artisan, labouring in a room, surrounded by the tools of their trade – a romantic notion, perhaps, of the artist requiring mastery, liberty, and solitude. But is creativity not also affected by contextual factors: by tradition, culture, history, sociopolitics, ideologies, and technologies? And how do these factors shape the process of writing and our understanding of literature? What do we include and exclude in the phrase ‘creative writing’?
Beyond aesthetic and stylistic innovations, literature can also challenge the status quo by calling into question and critiquing hard-wired ‘truths’ and social injustices. In the words of Margaret Atwood, ‘a word after a word after a word is power’ – and the same can be said of other non-linguistic forms of cultural production.
Craft, creativity, and critique are products of historical periods and contexts, but they equally also produce these contexts. It is this productivity – of texts and contexts, of ways of reading and writing, of crafting, creating and critiquing – that we are interested in here.
Registration details can be obtained through the website.