HDR Confirmation Presentation: Clare McAloon-Balfour

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HDR Confirmation Presentation: Clare McAloon-Balfour

Title: Pursuits of a curious mind: from modernism to meta-modernism


Ask no questions: pursuits of a curious mind explores the subjective and objective interpretation and experience of social mores and expectations. In doing so it considers the impact of social disruptors on concepts of identity, truth and authenticity and how these are reflected through behaviours such as tribalism and the sovereign individual. In particular, it ponders recent developments in our understanding of human consciousness, long the province of literature, which has recently been reconfigured by the natural sciences, driven by developments in Artificial Intelligence, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology. Through the telling of my stories and the interplay of my mind and brain, my discursive meanderings comment on the relevance and the journey of myths, values and ideas through my life within the prevailing social context.

Structurally, my artefact parallels James Joyce’ Ulysses use of schema into three parts, past, present and future, which serve as the time period for inspiration, not necessarily of the narrative action. Through this division the text is able to consider three dominant conceptual groupings: religion/education, work/travel, and arts/humanity. The narrative uses multiple perspectives and non-linear techniques, again reflecting those of literary modernism. The schema ensures viable linkages between the narratives and reinforces a connection between the varying perspectives of my real-life experiences, factual research and creative imaginings. Between being the operative word in meta-modernism, the current literary period. Specifically, my creative writing reflects a ficto-criticism style that juxtaposes my storytelling and objective discourse with the subjective musings of a curious mind. The exegesis is therefore limited to a disclosure of the creative process.


I am a mature New Zealand woman who was born with a curious mind and have been asking ‘why’ ever since. I have lived through interesting times (mid 20th century to present), worked enthusiastically (in ICT Sydney, Mgmt Consulting London, Banking and Government NZ), travelled widely (Aust, Asia, Europe, Egypt and Middle East), and studied broadly (Info Mgmt, Public Policy, Finance and Law). I was a humanities undergrad in the 1970s, and rely on the arts, literature and yoga to nurture my soul. Writing helps me to make sense of the world and give meaning to my life, and hopefully inspires others too.

We look forward to seeing you there 

The Graduate Research Studies Management Team (researchtraining@usc.edu.au)


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