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Title: Live literature and cultural value : explorations in experiential literary ethnography
Author: Wiles, Ellen
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores live literature and its cultural value through experiential literary ethnography. Focusing on fiction in performance, it features ethnographies of two contrasting live literature events: the Hay Festival and the Polari Salon. Although live literature has grown fast to become a central part of contemporary literary culture, it has been neglected in scholarship until recently, particularly in relation to fiction, and in terms of performance, reception and value, and through phenomenological research. My experiential literary ethnographies are composed using creative writing techniques in order to evoke and recreate key elements of participant experience at live literature events. Participants include both author-performers and reader-audiences. From the ethnographies, I distil key insights into each event, and into live literature and its cultural value. I argue that experiential literary ethnography is an approach that has the capacity to illuminate the value of other arts-based events and cultural practices, and the potential to be fruitfully applied in arts practice, evaluation and funding contexts, as well as in scholarship. An interdisciplinary project, this research draws upon scholarship rooted in anthropology, literary studies, publishing studies, performance studies and neuroscience among other fields.
Supervisor: Squires, Claire ; Halsey, Katherine Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: live literature ; literary festivals ; book events ; publishing ; readers ; readership ; audiences ; reader-audiences ; literary culture ; curation ; digitalisation ; attention ; attention economy ; experiential ; experience ; embodiment ; phenomenology ; liveness ; performance ; orality ; text ; authorship ; reading ; memory ; sensory ; aesthetics ; ethnography ; auto ethnography ; anthropology ; literary anthropology ; creative writing ; evocative writing ; impact ; evaluation ; cultural value ; literary ethnography ; Literature ; Literature and society ; Books--History ; Hay Festival