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Creative Academic Writing in English

 This course is an opportunity to read and experiment with texts on the margins of “academic writing” in order to help you broaden your range as a writer. We will look at work that estranges its subject in order to see it differently, applies genre conventions to research enquiry, uses metaphor generatively, experiments with the first-person pronoun, departs from what is normally acceptable sentence syntax, and deploys counterfactual imaginaries. The selection of texts varies each year.


Participants will also develop a short piece of writing during the course that tries out one/some of the techniques we look at in the classes, on which you will receive feedback from the teacher and other participants. For 2022, we are working in cooperation with the newly launched European Review of Books. Participants will be encouraged to submit their short creative-academic pieces to the “Pearls” section of the magazine; the editors have agreed to provide feedback and guidance to fit with the timetable of the course.


English 606a

2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year researchers, fellows, research assistants, staff

8 weeks, 12 hours from October to December 


Course starts on 20 October




Place & Instructor


Austin Room

Benjamin Carver

English 606b

CIVICA researchers and Fellows (and EUI researchers who are away from Florence on research missions)

8 weeks, 12 hours from October to December


Course starts on 19 October


13.00 -15.00

Place & Instructor


Benjamin Carver



Learning Outcomes

By the end of the workshop series you will

  • have a better understanding of the appropriacy of particular techniques to your own writing;
  • have explored how creativity may enhance your writing – and considered the limitations of these;
  • have had the opportunity to discuss and experiment with genre and form in a supportive environment;
  • have produced a short piece of “creative academic prose,” received instructor and peer feedback, and be ready to submit for publication (if desired).


This course encourages you to identify those “ruts” of prose in your own work and introduces you to an eclectic range of writing that is on the margins of “academic writing” in order to help you broaden your range as a writer.

We read a selection of short English-language texts that are circulated prior to meetings. A syllabus is distributed at the start of the course.

Learning Methods &  Activities

Activities inside and outside class include:

  • reading
  • structured discussion and textual analysis activities
  • drafting, peer-editing, revision, submission

Teacher's bio

Ben Carver teaches English research writing and communication at the EUI Centre for Academic Literacies and Languages (CALL). His PhD in literary history was awarded in 2012 (University of Exeter) and appeared as a monograph in 2017 (Palgrave). Since then he has published research articles, edited a volume of essays on literature and conspiracy culture (Routledge), and published pieces for a broad readership on television programmes, science fiction, and music. He is interested in supporting early-career academics’ ability to write and publish in a range of formats, for audiences within and beyond the academy.



Page last updated on 20 November 2023

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