Monash University

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An Unmethodical Method: The Contemporary Critical Essay

posted on 2023-04-05, 04:21 authored by REBECCA HARKINS-CROSS
This thesis charts a genealogy for the critical essay, a topical subset of the literary essay that includes analysis of an artwork amongst its objects of inquiry. After examining the genre’s literary, theoretical and philosophical antecedents, the critical essay is deployed as an analytical framework through which to read the work of contemporary North American practitioners Wayne Koestenbaum, Chris Kraus and Hilton Als. The critical essay is then applied as a creative methodology in an accompanying creative project, Terror Australis, a suite of seven interlinked critical essays examining representations of fear in Australian cinema.


Principal supervisor

Melinda Harvey

Additional supervisor 1

Sascha Morrell

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Language, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics


Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing)

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts