Staging the Shadow: Writing, Academic Subjectivities, and Hidden Selves
Keywords:writing, academic integrity, poetry, poetic inquiry, Jungian and post-Jungian perspectives
In this paper we explore our writing selves through the metaphors of concealment and display. We discovered the metaphoric possibilities opened up by Jung’s notions of persona and shadow and his emphasis on a rich psychic life that was animated by archetypes and symbolic meaning. This process helped us to glimpse alternative selves, that somehow live within us but are, like the shadow, neglected or pushed aside either due to institutional pressures to conceal or due to our own self-concept and our preferences for displaying certain identity types. Using poetic inquiry to access our unconscious feelings, we engaged in a process of writing that resulted in poetry and poetic vignettes. This type of arts-based practice helped us to disrupt the normative rationalist expectations surrounding academic work and intellectual production, and enabled us to create a space where agency and self-exploration were more accessible and transformative.
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