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Title: The contemporary uncanny : an exploration through practice and reflection
Author: Alexander, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 1340
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2018
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My Creative Writing thesis comprises a collection of uncanny short stories that explores social, psychological and physical impacts of advances in science and technology, and a critical-reflective exegesis. Using a research methodology that critically examines insights emerging from creative and reflective practice, the thesis as a whole addresses the question of how the short story can be used as a particularly appropriate mode to illuminate contemporary experiences of science and technology through the creation of uncanny affect. The exegesis offers a definition of contemporary uncanny fiction; the stories test a range of thematic, stylistic and formal strategies for achieving uncanny affect. The resulting creative work suggests a contemporary technological uncanny is one that develops and extends Freud’s conceptualisation of das Unheimliche. Chapter 1 establishes the theoretical background to my practice research, providing a historical overview of the uncanny as a phenomenon and literary mode. Chapter 2 draws on Gothic and posthuman studies and psychoanalysis, and short stories by China Miéville, Nicholas Royle and Ali Smith, to explore the implications of insights emerging from my short stories: notions of an ‘uncanny of the virtual gaze’ and the body as site of impact for science and technology characterise a technological uncanny particular to our age, and comprise an original contribution to dialogues and debates theorizing a contemporary uncanny. Chapter 3 applies these notions to the practice of creative writing, to investigate the impact of its location in the academy. Finally, Chapter 4 extends existing narratological theory to suggest how second person is a particularly uncanny narrative mode, and examines issues of form, voice, structure and sequence to contend that short fiction is an especially effective form for the creation of uncanny affect – at the level of the individual story, and the collection as a whole.
Supervisor: Green, Michael ; Crumey, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W800 Imaginative Writing