On not staying put : Georges Perec’s ‘Inter(in)disciplinarity’ as an approach to research

LEE, Joanne (2017). On not staying put : Georges Perec’s ‘Inter(in)disciplinarity’ as an approach to research. Literary Geographies, 3 (1), 11-26.

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In a critique of contemporary universities, the philosopher and art theorist Gerald Raunig contends that ‘wild and transversal writing is tamed and fed into the creativity-destroying apparatuses of disciplining institutions’ wherein researchers are required ‘to squeeze the last vestiges of their powers of invention into the straitjacket of the essay industry.’ At the heart of this ‘taming’ lies what he describes as researchers’ subjection to the ‘fetish of method’ and a reduction of the modes of expression, forms and styles of writing, which he claims ‘have brought about a crass uniformity in the languages in which academics can publish.’ In this situation, Georges Perec’s generous creative and critical experiments, and his ‘inter-in-disciplinarity’ (a term coined by Johnnie Grattan and Michael Sheringham) seem to counter some of the circumscriptions upon method within the contemporary academy. Via attention to the investigation of actual sites, and a series of spatial metaphors – of not staying put and crossing borders, of meandering and getting sidetracked, of oscillating or shimmering between positions – I want to reflect upon Perec’s passage through conceptual fields, in order to draw out some potential implications for academic research through practice. Perec’s willingness ‘just to see what happens’ offers an invitation to wander beyond our disciplinary boundaries: using the project and essay forms as methodological tools, along with the role of the ‘knowing’ amateur, I will argue for alternative, more mobile considerations of the intellectual and affective rigour applied to creative and critical work.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Work for this article was first presented at Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec, Teesside University, an event supported by Modern Humanities Research Association.
Uncontrolled Keywords: artistic research; essay; inter(in)disciplinarity; spatial metaphor; practice; project.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Art and Design
Page Range: 11-26
Depositing User: Joanne Lee
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2017 12:29
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:47
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14586

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