Statement

RICHARD VYTNIORGU

 

I am a personalist thinker currently training with Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, match-funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and under the supervision of Professors Andy Mousley, Joe Phelan, and Martin Halliwell.

 

My research intersts span the following three core areas:

 

  • Learning in literary studies
  • Adoption theory, especially transnational adoption
  • Personalist thought of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

 

As a broad philosophical position, personalism unifies my different research interests by approaching them with particular attention to the experiences of actual people, whether these are learners, adoptees, or thinkers who thought about these issues.

 

My PhD thesis, which is entitled 'In Quest of Wisdom: Louise Rosenblatt, H.D., and the Transactional Literary Experience', takes the relationship between certain kinds of literary experiences and the experience of being in quest of wisdom, and refracts it through the different trajectories and visions of two thinkers, Louise Rosenblatt, and H.D. In order to move towards new potentialities for mapping literary experiences and enchancing the education of adult learners, a sufficiently holistic vision of how literary experiences aid the quest for wisdom is necessary. The central question is this: what are the implications of positioning the person at the heart of existence, and especially within the experience of literary study?

 

In transnational adoption, on the other hand, the onus is on the adoptee to create for themselves an understanding of themselves which may escape existing frameworks for interpreting the self (ethnicity, race, citizenship, and even diaspora). Adoptees need the tools to think with different language (neither their birth one or their adopted one) and to see new visions of the possible for themselves, and for coming to terms with the trauma that has marked their lives.

 

Finally, how might the history of theory in literary studies be re-drawn if particular personalist thinkers were integrated into the picture, distinct from a more visible humanist hive of activity? I have a long-standing interest in the life and thought of Bloomsbury associate, Ottoline Morrell, and am currently working out the implications of Nikolai Berdyaev's thought for questions of literary study.

 

I am a member of the Friends of Wisdom Network, the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, and the Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination.

 

I am the author of The New Personalist, a blog which puts the person at the heart of thinking about contemporary culture.

thinker, author, educator

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