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The experience of writing a practice-based thesis in Fine Art and Design

Borg, Erik.W. (2009) The experience of writing a practice-based thesis in Fine Art and Design. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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This study describes the writing processes of Ph. D. candidates in Fine Art Practice and Design. These disciplines are relatively new within universities and have little history of research and writing at doctoral level. Through the experience of the participants, the study illuminates the complexities and difficulties of appropriating an existing genre to fit new purposes. This study takes an academic literacies approach, derived from literacy practices. The approach views writing as a situated practice that is best observed through extended ethnographically-based engagement in sites of literacy-in-action. However, literacy practices exist in a wider context that can be understood as a network that both enables and limits local literacy practices. Among the actors maintaining the network surrounding and enmeshing the local literacy practices are a variety of discourse communities that use a multifaceted genre like the doctoral thesis to further their own purposes. The study reports on two sites of literacy-in-action, one a seminar for doctoral candidates in Fine Art Practice, and the other a seminar for candidates in Design. Each site constituted a case that was studied for over three years, looking at the difficulties that candidates faced in each site. These case studies are placed in a wider context of writing in fine art and design in order to understand the factors that shaped the texts that the candidates wrote. The study shows that, while candidates worked to assemble distinct individual and disciplinary identities in both Fine Art Practice and Design, the candidates in Fine Art Practice particularly struggled to find research methodologies and written textual forms that would adequately represent their understanding of current art practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.522924
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 10:42
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3745

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