This case study of Australian universities demonstrates that Creative Writing programmes do not have to be conceived as an institutional anomaly existing in splendid isolation within the postmodern university. Creative Writing has an interdisciplinary presence in Australia, and would find itself covered by three of the ten electoral sectors of the Australian Academy of the Humanities: English; Cultural and Communication Studies; and Fine Arts. Until the 1990s, critical reflection on Creative Writing tended to take the form of handbooks which formalise craft-based workshop techniques into a how-to guide for students. The last decade has seen a massive increase of scholarly interest in Creative Writing as an area of academic study. The most important initiative of the Australian Association of Writing Programs has been the establishment of an electronic refereed journal, TEXT, which has been publishing academic articles about Creative Writing since 1997. The debates which have been conducted in this journal have facilitated a much greater self-awareness about the institutional location of writing programmes and the opportunities and problems arising from this.
This scholarly interest is part of a growing international dialogue on writing programmes. For instance, it has only recently been recognised that the emergence of Creative Writing in British universities has been strikingly similar, both chronologically and institutionally, to that in Australian higher education. In a 2003 article published in TEXT, Graeme Harper, from the UK Centre for Creative Writing Research Through Practice, pointed out that there has been a 'phenomenal' growth of Creative Writing in the UK from the early 1990s, citing the presence of over 140 undergraduate courses, over 70 masters courses, and around 20 PhD programmes. Harper writes that the growth of Creative Writing in the UK