Saturday 9 May 2020, 10am-4pm
Full Price: $200
Conc Member: $120
Our bodies carry us through our lives, but what do we carry in our bodies, or on them? Bodies are an essential part of fictional or nonfictional worlds, and writers can use biological knowledge of the body to create deeper characters and more immersive scenes. First, we will explore aspects of the body, including the evolution of bodily forms, the names of organs, and the regenerative capacity of cells, and discuss how writers can use them to frame and prompt new work, and improve their skills at writing characters.
For many of us, our bodies take on different roles over our lives: growth spurts, puberty, reproduction, disability, illness, ageing. In the second part of the workshop, we will look at the ways that our bodies mark our lived experiences, via our microbiota, shifts in the expression of our DNA, immunity, and the accumulation of scar tissue, microchimerism, and latent viruses. We will discuss the metaphorical and physical weight of lived experiences, their portrayal in literature, and experiment with literary and biological prompts to create new work.
Expected Learning Outcomes
- An increased understanding of how biological principles can be used to create deeper characters and more-immersive scenes
- Greater confidence in the use of biological principles as frameworks or prompts for writing
- A deeper appreciation of and empathy for bodies of all forms.
Pen, paper, and pre-reading (to be provided)
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About the tutor
Amanda Niehaus is a biologist and writer living in Brisbane. Her work uses science as metaphor to inspire new perspectives and empathy. Her essays and stories have appeared in Overland, Griffith Review, Creative Nonfiction and Best Australian Essays, among others; won the 2017 VU Short Story Prize; and were twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. […]