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Talk by Michael Paraskos - Creative Fiction as a Research Tool

Imperial College London (CLCC)

Thursday, 18 January 2018 from 14:00 to 15:00 (GMT)

Talk by Michael Paraskos - Creative Fiction as a...

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In Place of Facts: Creative Fiction as a Research Tool

A talk by Dr Michael Paraskos, FHEA, FRSA

"What can a foul-mouthed talking dog, a resurrected dead friend, and an imagined version of the author, all engaged in a vampire hunt in the high mountains of south London, contribute to academic debate? From mainstream academia, at least, the answer to this question might well be ‘nothing’. After all, academic systems for the investigation, presentation and verification of legitimate knowledge, are well established, and do not generally include flights of creative fancy. But does that mean the imagination is irrelevant to the pursuit of knowledge? In this talk we risk being led astray in our academic pursuits, in the company of a writer engaged in the quest of knowledge, academic or otherwise, by increasingly non-academic means."

In an academic world in which the accepted methods for undertaking, comprehending and disseminating research activity is increasingly regimented, this paper makes a plea for greater tolerance in academia for alternative research processes. Drawing on the speaker's own experience of moving from writing standard academic papers to creative fiction, Paraskos asks whether a creative, and even fictional, method can reveal truths inaccessible to other forms of intellectual enquiry.

Associated with the study of anarchist art history, Michael is an academic, novelist, occasional radio broadcaster, and sometimes writer of reviews for magazines, including The British Art Journal and The Spectator.

He studied art history and English literature at the University of Leeds, and for his doctorate at the University of Nottingham, specialising in the work of the British modern art critic Herbert Read. He has also published books and articles on the relationship between art and anarchist theory, and monographs on a number of contemporary artists. 

He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 2010, and was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017.

His recent art history books include Mirror in the Bathroom: New Paintings by Clive Head (2014); Herbert Read: Art and Idealism (2014); and, Four Essays on Art and Anarchism (2015).

His first novel, entitled In Search of Sixpence was published by Friction Fiction in 2016, and a novella entitled Rabbitman, was published by Friction Fiction in 2017.


Location of Talk: Centre for Languages, Culture and Communications

Sherfield Building Level 3

Imperial College London

Exhibition Road

London SW7 2AZ


Nearest Tube station: South Kensington


Do you have questions about Talk by Michael Paraskos - Creative Fiction as a Research Tool? Contact Imperial College London (CLCC)

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When & Where


Imperial College London
CLCC - Level 3 Sherfield Building
Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
United Kingdom

Thursday, 18 January 2018 from 14:00 to 15:00 (GMT)


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Imperial College London (CLCC)

The Centre for Languages, Culture and Communicaton at Imperial College London.

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Talk by Michael Paraskos - Creative Fiction as a Research Tool
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