Pop Matters: Creative Writing Studio for Thinking the Alternative

Issued: Fri, 29 May 2020 16:18:00 BST

Friday 26th of June, 11:00am - 1:00pm

Conner Milliken; Marie SledmereUniversity of Glasgow 

@cnnrmllkn; @mariaxrose 

Pop Matters is a creative writing series run by Maria Sledmere and Conner Milliken. Taking inspiration from their favourite pop muses, they provide a welcoming space for writing creatively and engaging with critical theory, cultural studies and quarantine anxiety in an accessible, relaxed workshop environment. Their muses so far have included everyone from Lana Del Rey to LizzoMitski and Dolly Parton – you’ll find their taste as eclectic as their writing exercises. Encouraging participants to engage in journaling, poetry and experimental prose, they offer a space for trying something new or providing an allotted time to be together and write. All in all, a great way to check in with your feelings, learn something new, and listen to banging tunes! 

About this Session

This workshop offers new ways to engage with critical theory in the arts and humanities through the vehicle of pop music and creative writing. 

In each Pop Matters workshop, we vary the formula to suit our given pop muse, but will always start by introducing the artist and their thematic resonance. Reflecting on the biographies, work and cultural influence of each ‘muse’, we contextualise their lives and musical output in relation to critical ideas such as Lauren Berlant’s ‘cruel optimism’ or José Esteban Muñoz’s ‘queer futurity’. This is followed by several exercises that use the artist’s work and themes to guide you through practical and speculative ways to write and think about selfhood, mental wellbeing, ecology and theory. There are opportunities to share your work throughout, if you feel comfortable, in the spirit of collaboration and coming together — a kind of intellectual mutual aid. 

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • have been introduced to a reflexive writing practice.
  • Be presented with a way to exercise public engagement that is accessible.
  • Understand how to bring interdisciplinary practice into their research.

Who might be interested?

This workshop has a broad range of appeal. We run Pop Matters online and it is regularly attended by undergraduate students, postgraduate taught students, PhD students, artists (including musicians, performers and poets), members of the public, and lecturers. This is likely due to the way in which we market and construct the workshops to be accessible, light-hearted and fun; but also because of our emphasis on how critical theory can be incorporated into forms that engage with multiple demographics and skill-levels.  

Participant Pre-requisites

There is no experience required (in the arts and humanities generally or in creative writing specifically). This is a fun, accessible, light-touch approach to critical theory, creative response and provocations on how reflective writing can be incorporated into practice and research.

Click Here to Register (Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis)