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Ms Katie Margaret Hall

Research project: Queer as Friends: rewriting the platonic-romantic relationship binary between women / Writing as knowing: locating creative nonfiction in queer feminist knowledge creation

Abstract

I am investigating the role of confessional memoir and personal storytelling as a way into feminist discourse and queer theory, and as an autoethnographic approach to scholarship (Livholts 2012). Using ten stories from my own unconventional - boundary-crossing, hard-to-label - friendships with women, I will explore friendships and their potentially disruptive power when they grow beyond heteronormative boundaries. This builds on the emerging market of creative non-fiction by women, books that successfully blend anecdotal memoir with social science (Gilbert 2007, Moran 2011 2012, Russell 2016, Wilby 2017). I will also explore, through self-reflection, what it feels like to expose the self in writing, as a feminist act. The reflexivity and theoretical context will, simultaneously, form the critical component of the project which asks why creative writing is not yet widely accepted as scholarship.

Barbara Tedlock claims, ‘Now is the time for passionate, ethnographic memoir... in which a performer 'is telling it like it is' (332). 'Queer as Friends' is important right now, in a climate of political disharmony, and a high media profile of passionate social feminist campaigns such as RiseUp.

Building on the theoretical traditions of Foucault, Butler and Sedgewick, I will demonstrate that a queer lens will also be useful to investigate women's relationships across the platonic-romantic spectrum. I will argue that the reshaping of friendships lies within a queering of them to challenge the binaries of a heteronormative frame.

The substantive element of the project is a creative non-fiction book, suitable for the commercial marketplace, using accounts of my unconventional, messy friendships. It will experiment with form.

For the critical element, the literary critical investigation, reflective practice and literature reviews described above will be expanded.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Queer as Friends: rewriting the platonic-romantic relationship binary between women / Writing as knowing: locating creative nonfiction in queer feminist knowledge creation
  • Research supervisor: Dr Helen Palmer
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Martin Dines

Biography

I have recently completed an MA in Writing at the University of Warwick. Alongside my academic work, I contribute regularly to queer publications such as DIVA magazine and am researching the role of undergraduate research as a means of widening participation within higher education, https://wrapprojectwarwick.blog/

I am a creative writing practitioner across many forms: poetry, short and long fiction, and audio and TV drama. My recent podcast series 'Inspector Detective On Chan Tay' (available on Itunes and Podbean) exemplifies my eclectic, collaborative and humorous approach to writing. I am currently editing my debut novel, the coming-of-age tale 'To Autumn'.

www.katiemhall.com

Areas of research interest

  • Creative non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Feminist literary theory
  • Queer literary theory

Qualifications

  • MA in Writing, University of Warwick
  • PGDip Voluntary Sector Administration, London SouthBank University
  • BA (Hons) English Literature, University of Warwick
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