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Tuesday, January 26, 2021


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Leone Annabella Betts

Leone Annabella Betts
A Creative Writer’s Investigation into Representations of Nurturing, Single-Parent Fatherhood in Children’s and Young Adult Fiction

My research examines the portrayal of nurturing, single-parent fathers in children’s literature through the development of paternal characters in a young adult novel. It privileges creative practice over other research activities, exploiting those scholarly theories which resonate most deeply with my creative concerns.

Limited scrutiny has been given to the portrayal of fathers in fiction for the young, particularly in regard to the representation of fathers as sole caregivers. The process of crafting two such characters has led me to explore the creative writing challenges involved in subverting archetypal paternities. Of chief interest to me is the extent to which nurturing fatherhood absorbs the stereotypes of the mother; the role nurturing paternal characters play in empowering or disempowering a child reader; commonalities in the physical environments nurturing paternal characters inhabit; and the potentials of conceptualising the single-parent, nurturing father as a transhuman or posthuman figure. By focussing on these areas of inquiry, I mean to relate my challenges in writing paternal characters to broader debate.


Research Degree: PhD (practice led), Full-time
Department: English
Research Centre: Centre for Creative Writing, English Literature and Linguistics