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Title: 'How I left the National Grid' : a creative writing PhD on self-design and post punk
Author: Mankowski, Guy
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2017
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This PhD investigates, through creative and critical practice, how we might apply theories of self-design to understandings and creative representations of the post-punk movement. These theories inform the creative component of this PhD, a novel entitled How I Left The National Grid (hereafter, HILTNG). Through critical and creative practice this thesis will address three questions: 1. What is self-design and how can we historicise it? 2. Why is self-design evident in certain subcultures or cultural moments, particularly post-punk? 3. What can a novel about self-design in post-punk do to address these questions and tell us about identity? To answer these questions, this PhD will consider how to represent people responding artistically to their environment, with a focus upon post-punk urban settings in 1980's Britain. Through creative practice these people will be represented by attempting to recreate that environment in a cultural moment, which, as will become clear, is in many ways linked to the present day. These research questions inform the material aggregated here; in turn, this material seeks to address these questions by considering the perspectives, contexts and positions necessary for answering them. Before proceeding to outline the theoretical framework, I will define 'post-punk'. It is necessary to do this, because this term has been used both to describe music and a repeated cultural moment. The use of this term in popular culture will be explored. This will be followed by a brief exploration of how post-punk music can be distinguished from new wave and industrial music, in order for us to establish key terms. This cultural moment will then be explored as an extension of the punk movement, within the context of post-modernism. This will allow the practices of punk and post-punk to be later understood within a sound theoretical context. The methods and tendencies of post-punk artists will then be investigated, to offer a practical dimension to this theoretical analysis. Considering the cultural and political context of post-punk is necessary in order to establish how a fictional post-punk band could be created in novel form. By so doing, the theoretical materials gathered here can be activated as creative practice. The first question will be directly addressed by then looking exactly at what self-design is. The second question will be explored by examining how self-design has evolved, up to and including the post-punk moment. The third question will then be addressed, by initially investigating how these understandings have been reflected in the novel form. Finally, the focus will turn to the ways in which HILTNG specifically reflected these concerns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W830 Prose Writing