Representing Imagining


How do modern writers and readers perform representational styles, from the familiar to the new? How do we respond to recognisable writing and to “imagining what we don’t know”? How does imaginative writing conjure and interrogate representation? Can representation collapse or vanish? If it can, what events or imaginative purposes – ecstatic, traumatic and/or otherwise – position us in the unrecognisable and/or unspeakable?

Using these and similar questions, this seminar investigates styles of representation in imaginative writing. For our purposes, representation is language and other signs replicating and/or investigating what and how we perceive, experience and co-create our worlds.

The principal focus is how individuals score themselves and their cultures in language and other imaginative signs near language: we’ll consider this topic in terms of genre, authenticity, translingualism, transnationalism, the word, the page and the codex, testimony, the digitas, distributed centrality, cultural ethics and the economy of the imaginative subject. Our texts range principally over the last forty years, with some earlier texts and contexts.


Coursework only

Availability 2022

Not taught in 2022


Coordinator(s) Professor Lisa Samuels


ENGLISH 769: 30 points