Lisa Koning is a lecturer in creative writing and is completing a Doctorate of Creative Arts, Creative Writing at the University of Winchester. She has previously published in Axon, the Historical Novel Society anthology Distant Echoes, and is conducting research into creative writing techniques, using the methods of Pierre Bourdieu, as relevant to historical fiction.


Michael Grenfell has held Chair positions in Ireland, Scotland and England, including 1904 Chair of Education in Trinity College Dublin, Research Director at the University of Southampton, where he is now Emeritus Professor. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, Australia and Trinity College, Dublin. He has an extensive background of research on Bourdieu, language and education.


This article reports on a collaborative project inaugurated in a Creativity Workshop in the University of Canberra. It explores how the work of the French social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu is useful to creative artists and writers. The empirical focus is a piece of historical fiction—The Dishonest Woman—set in c16 Antwerp. Bourdieu is used in three ways: to map the social context of the novel; the actual field represented; and the place of the author within the contemporary literary field. This work represents a further step towards founding a ‘reflexive aesthetics’ in the creative arts.