Radical Revision

Jennifer Holt, Writing Studio

Rarely do we make public, discuss, or celebrate what has been learned from multiple starts and unexpected turns in the processes by which we have, shape, and communicate ideas. More often, our efforts are secreted away, and our attention is focused instead on the polished, final product of our work. But the work that happens along the way to the final product is often illuminating, even deeply transformative. Revision can lead us to discover our best ideas, to notice connections or distinctions that we hadn’t seen, or to refine our points for the sake of emphasis or provocation. This innovation grant examines the process of revision within the arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering-not only to elevate this fundamental creative process, but also to examine similarities and differences across fields and to inquire about the relationship between creativity, revision, and resilience. Programs within this grant include 1) conversations with faculty and students about their revision processes, 2) campus-wide competition to document the revision process, and 3) partnering with faculty to explore how revision is given emphasis in their course assignments.

In addition to directing the Writing Studio, Holt teaches courses in aesthetics, critical theory, and the philosophy of history in the Department of Philosophy. Her research interests focus on the contributions of early Frankfurt School thinkers to debates about the relationship between aesthetics and politics. She believes that collaborative work on writing can help writers become critical, and independent, thinkers.

Students shared photographs of their works in progress, contributing to a campus-wide effort to document creative processes. In addition to being collected on Flickr, photos appear on display in the Writing Studio.

[video mp4="/videos/creative-process/Sequence.mp4" ogg="/videos/creative-process/Sequence.ogv" webm="/videos/creative-process/Sequence.webm" poster="/videos/creative-process/sequence.jpg" preload="auto" autoplay="false" width="700" height="525" id="movie-id"]

Click on a photograph below to watch the featured speaker discuss aspects of the creative process.