Interrogating whiteness: a precarious cross-cultural/racial creative writing PhD journey

Filipa Bellette

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Abstract

This article explores my coming-to-consciousness and dismantling of whiteness – of white privilege and power – in my self and in my writing during my Creative Writing PhD candidature. Throughout the course of my PhD, I embarked on a cross-cultural/racial project, which involved myself, as a white writer, grappling with the ethical uncertainties of writing about African Australians and of placing the (white) self into the racial problem. Initially, my enquiry began by exploring ways in which I might convey an accurate and dynamic picture of African Australians in my creative work; however, as I progressed in my candidature, and as I tried to find an ethical balance for representing the intercultural/racial encounters between my black African and white Australian characters, questions about the “other” turned to an interrogation of the “self”. Had I been reflecting, albeit unconsciously, my ingrained whiteness in my PhD novella? And how might I fracture whiteness in my writing (and in my self) in an attempt to establish a writing position that interrupts my unconscious acts of narrativising whiteness?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalText
Volume17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s). Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • whiteness studies
  • creative processes
  • cross-cultural/racial writing

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