Skip to main content

Fictionalising Academic Work

Thursday, May 10, 2018, 3:30 pm

In its quest for objectivity, academic language tends to be concise, formal in both tone and style, and has the proclivity to make even the most groundbreaking research seem a little dry, insulated from the world through scholarly conventions.

But what if we could change gears, and conceive of academic research in creative language? What would our own scholarly output read like as fiction? In the shape of a micro story, for instance, or a riddle, even a lullaby?

In this workshop we shall turn our academic investigations into creative writing, identifying story elements such as setting, character, voice and plot from our own research. At the end of the seminar, the participants will take home literary experiments that shall shed a new light on their everyday work.

Defne Çizakça is a writer, editor and lecturer. She is currently a Research Excellence Fellow at the Department of History at CEU, working on two fairy tale collectors from the 19th century. She has taught at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, and Koc in Turkey, and conducted creative writing workshops for students, researchers, dancers, prison inmates and mental health patients.

The discussion is part of our series: “The Open Academic: Innovative Ways of Engaging in the Public Sphere

The workshop is free to attend and can accommodate 10 people. If you would like to attend, please register at

Through a series of workshops and discussions we aim to give the CEU community the skills and tools needed to engage in debates in the public sphere in innovative, unconventional or ‘non-academic’ ways. Taken together, the events will foster a university-wide conversation about the role of academics and academic knowledge in public debates. Each session is devoted to a different mode of dissemination including comics, podcasts, popular writing, op-eds, social media, visualisation of data, policy briefs and audio documentaries.

The project is coordinated by the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) with partners across the university including the Department of International Relations, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), the Visual Studies Platform, the Digital Humanities Initiative, the Center for Academic Writing (CAW) and the Communications Office. If you are interested in the workshop series, please get in touch with Ian Cook at