The voices of the exegesis : Composing the speech genres of the practitioner-researcher into a connective thesis
Hamilton, Jillian (2014) The voices of the exegesis : Composing the speech genres of the practitioner-researcher into a connective thesis. In Ravelli, Louise, Paltridge, Brian, & Starfield, Sue (Eds.) Doctoral Writing in the Creative and Performing Arts. Libri Publishing Ltd., Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, pp. 369-388.
Postgraduate candidates in the creative arts encounter unique challenges when writing an exegesis (the written document that accompanies creative work as a thesis). As a practitioner-researcher, they must adopt a dual perspective–looking out towards an established field of research, exemplars and theories, as well as inwards towards their experiential creative processes and practice. This dual orientation provides clear benefits, for it enables them to situate the research within its field and make objective claims for the research methodologies and outcomes while maintaining an intimate, voiced relationship with the practice. However, a dual orientation introduces considerable complexities in the writing. It requires a reconciliation of multi-perspectival subject positions: the disinterested academic posture of the observer/ethnographer/analyst/theorist at times; and the invested, subjective stance the practitioner/producer at others. It requires the author to negotiate a range of writing styles and speech genres–from the formal, polemical style of the theorist to the personal, questioning and emotive voice of reflexivity. Moreover, these multi-variant orientations, subject positions, styles and voices must be integrated into a unified and coherent text.
In this chapter I offer a conceptual framework and strategies for approaching this relatively new genre of thesis. I begin by summarizing the characteristics of what has begun to emerge as the predominant model of exegesis (the dual-oriented ‘Connective’ exegesis). Framing it against theoretical and philosophical understandings of polyvocality and matrixicality, I go on to point to recent textual models that provide precedents for connecting differently oriented perspectives, subjectivities and voices. I then turn to emergent archives of practice-led research to explain how the challenge of writing a ‘Connective’ exegesis has so far been resolved by higher degree research (HDR) candidates. Exemplars illustrate a range of strategies they have used to compose a multi-perspectival text, reconcile the divergent subject positions of the practitioner researcher, and harmonize the speech genres of a ployvocal text.
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