Originality and research: Knowledge production in creative writing doctoral degrees

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    Writers in the academy over the past two decades have been debating the concept of creative research and what forms can best embody results, often focusing on aspects of creative higher degrees (Brien, 2004; Harper & Kroll, 2008; Krauth, 2011; Smith & Dean, 2009). In particular, they have explored what methodologies facilitate this re-imagined species of research and what kinds of knowledge it can produce in the context of doctoral education. Scott Brook, co-editor of the special issue Beyond Practice-Led Research in TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses (No. 14, October 2012), argues ‘that the notion of practice-led research had achieved something like a “practical consensus” within university creative arts programs’ (Brook, 2012: 1), working against further development. This chapter suggests that, nevertheless, focusing on what has become the standard thesis for a higher qualification in creative writing,1 which (on some level) involves a process where ‘making the work becomes inseparable from what is produced’ (Carter, 2004: 11), can still yield fresh perceptions by encouraging candidates, supervisors and examiners to conceive of the doctoral dissertation as a whole. No matter whether it is presented as separate bound works (e.g. novel and exegesis or critical commentary)2 or as an intertwined one-volume thesis where research and fiction support one another in situ, it builds complex layers of meaning. This hybridity necessitates flexible guidelines that allow myriad forms of knowledge production by candidates who undertake a degree that, by definition, should ‘provide training and education with the objective of producing graduates with the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality’ (Flinders University, 2013a).

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCreative Writing and Education
    EditorsGraeme Harper
    PublisherMultilingual Matters
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781783093540
    ISBN (Print)9781783093533, 9781783093526
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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