In this creative dissertation corner Courtney Wakelin tells us about her project about identity and defining beauty through creative writing
What is your dissertation about?
Identity and defining beauty
How did you choose the texts for the project?
I brainstormed everything I wanted to look at and found ways into which I could research and create ways to highlight the aspects I was interested in in new ways.
Has your dissertation changed much since submitting your proposal?
Yes, editing has made me refine what I wanted to say and sculpt the piece into a far more meaningful account.
What interests you about this topic?
The subjectivity of both beauty and identity. In reality there are so many layers to each and so many ways that a person can be presented and viewed from another that I just find really fascinating because when looking at others the voyeurs inner prejudice/views will sculpt a particular reading of the one observed which may be a very good study of them but could also be very far from the truth.
What have you enjoyed most and what have you struggled most with?
I enjoyed reading around the topics I am studying. I always look for intertextual reference to add into my piece to add layers however this is also my downfall because my piece is a novel and the word count only allows for a small portion of all that I have researched to be put in. I struggle with not overloading however, edits allow me to refine and steal sections to add later, so it is not all for nought.
What has it been like working closely with an academic supervisor?
Brilliant. My supervisor really keeps me on focus and allows me to bounce ideas about my piece around. Similarly she supplies me with new ways to look at my own work because she is objective where as often I find myself too close and I must tell myself to step away from the text and adapt for the larger scale.