Last fall, I took a course on creative academic writing. The online course is offered by Umeå University with the aim to introduce and discuss various forms of academic writing, writing norms, and how our way of writing effects what knowledge we can and want to produce. The course included both theoretical reflections as well as practical exercises and suggestions. It is a course I highly recommend.
In the course literature Genus och det akademiska skrivandet (Gender and academic writing) Öhman and Livholt’s (2007) reflect on the English author Virginia Woolf’s call to “Look out the window!”. The call is included in A room of one’s own (1929), her classic essay in which she analyzes social and cultural perspectives that historically prevented women from finding their own spaces in literature, art and within the academia. Having a writing space is essential. Öhman and Livholts reflect on this call in relation to the specific academic writing and emphasizes the importance of looking up during the writing process, to look up and out the window, and be observant of what is going on in the world outside the window.
I have changed the view from my window. In the coming months of spring, I will be at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul for a writing sabbatical. The idea is to finish off my research project on Muslim Women, Islamophobia and Art. I hope and look forward to inspiration and new perspectives for the future, from the beautiful city outside this window.