Writers of Mason: Jacqueline Burek

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I feel like academic writing is kind of creative in its own way. You are doing a lot of interesting thinking and ways of looking at the world and I don’t think there’s really that much of a divide between academic writing and creative writing, at least not as much as we like to create that arbitrary line for. The only kind of writing I do is academic, but I feel like all writing is kind of related in some way. What I really love about writing is the way that you explore ideas when you’re writing. Like you can think about something for five hours, but when you actually sit down to write, the actual process of having to put words to those abstract ideas that are floating through your mind is some kind of creative work. I feel like academic writing is sort of its own little creative work in its own way. We associate creativity with fun, because it’s self expression, which is also a modern concept; it is not a medieval concept at all which is endlessly fascinating. But we think of it as we’re expressing some part of ourselves, but so many people in academia relate– they feel a sense of selfhood in their work, so it is a type of self expression. There’s just different avenues for doing that professionally.”

Jacqueline Burke is an Assistant Professor in English specializing in medieval literature