The voices of the exegesis

Hamilton, Jillian G. (2011) The voices of the exegesis. In Ken, Friedman & Justice, Lorain (Eds.) Practice, Knowledge, Vision : Doctoral Education in Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

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In a recent journal article, Luke Jaaniste and I identified an emergent model of exegesis. From a content analysis of submitted exegeses within a local archive, we identified an approach that is quite different from the traditional thesis, but is also distinct from previously identified forms of exegesis, which Milech and Schilo have described as a ‘context model’ (which assumes the voice of academic objectivity and provides an historical or theoretical context for the creative practice) and a ‘commentary’ model’ (which takes the form of a first person reflection on the challenges, insights and achievements of the practice). The model we identified combines these dichotomous forms and assumes a dual orientation–looking outwards to the established field of research, exemplars and theories, and inwards to the methodologies, processes and outcomes of the practice.

We went on to argue that this ‘connective’ exegesis offers clear benefits to the researcher in connecting the practice to an established field while allowing the researcher to demonstrate how the methods have led to outcomes that advance the field in some way. And, while it helps the candidate to articulate objective claims for research innovation, it enables them to retain a voiced, personal relationship with their practice. However, it also poses considerable complexities and challenges in the writing. It requires a reconciliation of multi-perspectival subject positions: the disinterested perspective and academic objectivity of an observer/ethnographer/analyst/theorist at times and the invested perspective of the practitioner/ producer at others. The author must also contend with a range of writing styles, speech genres and voices: from the formal, polemical voice of the theorist to the personal, questioning and sometimes emotive voice of reflexivity. Moreover, the connective exegesis requires the researcher to synthesize various perspectives, subject positions, writing styles, and voices into a unified and coherent text.

In this paper I consider strategies for writing a hybrid, connective exegesis. I first ground the discussion on polyvocality and alternate textual structures through reference to recent discussions in philosophy and critical theory, and point to examples of emergent approaches to texts and practices in related fields. I then return to the collection of archived exegeses to investigate the strategies that postgraduate candidates have adopted to resolve the problems that arise from a polyvocal, connective exegesis.

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ID Code: 41832
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: exegesis, polyvocality, polythesis, practice led research, problem based research, PhD, writing, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > OTHER STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190999) > Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified (199999)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 29 May 2011 22:51
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 16:53

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