Authenticity in the Contemporary Creative Writing Landscape

By Sean Hooks.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 22, 2016 $US5.00

Incorporating a wide range of views on the topic and integrating a diverse swath of writers—including James Berlin, Katie Roiphe, Tom Lutz, Zadie Smith, Bret Easton Ellis, and Chad Harbach—this paper will unpack and scrutinize the institutionalization of writing at American universities. Analysis will focus on the short- and long-term benefits and detriments of the proliferation of MFA programs and how the authenticity of universities, of English departments, and of the MFA programs themselves have been impacted. Have colleges and universities become the new art patrons? Is the workshop model utilitarian or idealistic? Is it adapting to the needs of the present or is it mired in stagnation and a dated middle twentieth-century model? Are programs minting writers with a surer grasp on craft than ever before, or has the integrity and rigor of the traditional Creative Writing program eroded under the pressures of identity politics, political correctness, and a growing privileging of networking over critical thought? These questions and others will be tackled with an emphasis on interrogating Creative Writing’s sustainability within the purview of the American university as a whole and within the subdivision of the humanities in particular.

Keywords: Contemporary, Literature, Creative Writing

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 14, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.15-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 625.625KB)).

Sean Hooks

Adjunct Professor, English/Composition, University of California, Irvine, Los Angeles, California, USA