Fiction and the novel in times of fiscal constraint
Fiction and the novel in times of fiscal constraint andeconomic hardship: Is there any moral or ethicalprerogative to allocate competitive funding to thecreative arts? Ethical Imaginations: Writing Worlds 2011 Carol-Anne Croker PhD candidate 25 November 2011
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Teaching? Teaching what? Skills? Which skill sets? Those that are generic? Those that are transferable? Work-ready skill sets? Deeper disciplinary expertise? Is there a difference between Undergraduate Studies and Postgraduate Studies?
In his article in the HES, (23/11/11:27) Cunninghamargues that Universities need to track their graduates forlonger periods of time to show that Humanities/Artsgraduates are actually employable and do settle into careersalbeit at a slower pace than their STEM cohort. He thengoes on to argue that the lower starting salaries areindicative of the importance placed by the HASS graduateson working in areas concerned with the notion of publicgood rather than purely fiscal remuneration.The labour-market is not so easily explained nor publicgood thus divided between the professional domains.
At Postgraduate level in Creative Writing Programs what are the Goals? Are the Institutional Goals the same as those of the Candidates? Can the differences come down to career aspirations? If so are there two competing career structures and pathways, each with differing skill sets? Could being a published author not “fit” well in the institutional setting? Nor ensure a strong research academic?
If we work in the Humanities, are we humanists and ifso what are our obligations to both society and ourstudents?As employees what are our obligations to our Employers(are they HERDSA points and research activity metrics?)Can we do both and remain true to our professionalethical requirements or is there a temptation to viewstudents as “bums on seats” , “through-put”, their workpart of our “outcomes” and their graduations part of our“portfolio KPIs”?
As HDR candidates we owe ourselves a moral and ethical position throughout our studies. We need to mobilise our own tacit knowledges and lived experiences, allow ourselves the pleasure and freedom to seek out new ideas and allow the time for our writing to come to maturation. We need to be true to ourselves, show ourselves a “Duty of Care”... and this duty is to be realistic and make informed decisions.
We write to make sense of our world and to explore our common humanity. We write to give pleasure, to entertain, to inform or to recount stories, „ourstories‟. To isolate ourselves from or ignore the „real world‟ ... the market and labour market is foolhardy. Our ethics must keep us from being used as pawns in games of Competitive Institutional funding chess.