The Relationship between the Intellectual ‘Writer’ and her Academic ‘Work’: A Re-visiting of Foucault’s Question of the Author

By Nicola Pitt.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reflects a re-imagining of the relationship
between the writer’s sense of self and the work of
an ‘authored’ text. This relationship concerns problems to
do with the following intellectual issues: ‘for what and
why do I write’? ‘What does that writing mean’? (What does
it mean ‘to write’?) And ‘who am I to write in any case’?
It is my intention to bring these questions about the
relationship between writing and the writer into better, or
renewed, focus. A focus that is led, in the first instance,
by Michel Foucault’s ‘What is an Author’ (1984), and honed,
in the second, by John Law’s desires in After Method (2004)
to think about the work of social and academic research in
new, other, and more creative ways. The paper concludes
with a discussion of how this relationship – when re-
imagined from the perspective of the individual writer (as
opposed to the theoretical text) – is one that is powerful
and subjectively intimate to the development and
construction of a writer’s sense of self. That in attending
to these ‘interferences’ between the work of an author, and
the work of her text, is to imagine academic writing as a
way of writing that is not just a ‘means to other ends’ and
rather, one that creates exciting thresholds for the
production of good intellectual authors and the work
of ‘authoring’ good academic texts.

Keywords: Author, Writer, Writing, Work, Text, Michel Foucault, John Law, Knowledge Practices

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp.129-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 809.035KB).

Nicola Pitt

PhD Candidate, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I am currently a PhD Candidate in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. My research interests are primarily concerned with the conceptualising and reproducing of ideas and theory. My thesis explores how new media play a role in perpetuating and giving shape to different sorts of perceptions and understandings of diverse ethnic cultures, complex geopolitical landscapes, and changing structures of the family, parenting (mothering in particular), and identity.


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