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Writing as Method: Attunement, Resonance, and Rhythm

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Affective Methodologies

Abstract

‘We do not lack communication. On the contrary, we have too much of it. We lack creation. We lack resistance to the present’, writes Gilles Deleuze (1994, p. 108). This is an assertion that runs counter to dominant discourses about academic writing, yet I will argue here that writing is a critical form of resistance to important aspects of the present, including the injunction to communicate in ways codified by the academy. Method, I aim to show, refers not only to the process of research but also to the process of making sense of that research in and through a writing that does not come afterward as a ‘writing up’ of what has previously been discovered, but is actually continuous with it, and, in large part, produces it. Writing in the Humanities, and increasingly in the Social Sciences, does not comprise an aftereffect of research, but forms its very fabric. Writing is not a transparent medium, nor something that comes somehow after the event, a simple ‘outcome’ of research that always takes place elsewhere, in the archive, in the field or the focus group, on the Web, but is a mode of inquiry in its own right. Thinking about the idea of writing as research in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Australian theorists used the term ‘fictocriticism’ to describe ‘a way of writing for which there is no blueprint and which must be constantly invented anew in the face of the singular problems that arise in the course of engagement with what is researched’ (Gibbs, 2005). On the one hand this was thought by feminist theorists as an attempt to surprise the paternalistic voices of theory in action, to unveil them and reveal them for the partial rather than the universal view they in fact represent (Gibbs, 2005).

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© 2007 Anna Gibbs

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Gibbs, A. (2007). Writing as Method: Attunement, Resonance, and Rhythm. In: Knudsen, B.T., Stage, C. (eds) Affective Methodologies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137483195_11

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