7 Dec 2016 | Workshop

The standard issues around ‘the ethics of writing’ concern either politically and ethically ‘engaged’ writing; plagiarism; or the presentation of scientific evidence and a range of related technical matters. Our interest is different from both of these.

Rather as the practice of photography has for some time now been seen as raising ethical issues (particularly around consent, use, privacy, pain and death) so we wish to raise questions about the ethical responsibilities inherent in the practice of (non-technical) writing.

Biography is an obvious example; but what about autobiography? And might novelists, short-story writers, poets and playwrights also have ethical responsibilities in relation to their practices? For example, do they incur moral obligations to their likely readers? Are they in any way responsible for their work’s reception and/or (mis)use? What might be the place of authorial intention in relation to readers’ interpretation? And what about academic writing: do authors have responsibilities in relation not just to honesty but also to readers and/or in relation to the practices they deal with? Might terms such as ‘irresponsibility’, ‘complicity’ and ‘culpable ignorance’ reasonably have purchase in a range of sorts of writing?

Workshop programme

2PM – Introduction
2.05PM – Presentations (10mins each followed by 10mins discussion)

2.05PM – 2.25PM
Tim Huzar (University of Brighton)   
Politics, Ethics and Fugitivity in the Writing of the Enslaved

2.25PM – 2.45PM
Rebecca Webb, Emily Danvers & Tamsin Hinton-Smith (University of Sussex)
The ethics of postgraduate writing

2.45PM – 3.05PM
John Wrighton (University of Brighton)    
Ethics and Dada

3.05PM – 3.25PM
Mary Anne Francis (University of Brighton)   
Trying to write

3.25PM – 3.45PM
Michael Neu (University of Brighton)  
The ethics of writing about violence

3.45PM – 4.15PM Break

4.15PM – 5.00PM
What next, if anything?

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