I had to answer some very interesting questions as part of my homework this week but as I think about how I should respond I have also asked a few questions of my own.
What do you think about having to write an exegesis?
I don’t have a problem with writing an exegesis as such but I do wonder how universities would manage the creative practice degree if there were no exegesis. However, I am loving that I work within a disciplined framework. I know what my area of interest is. I know what my research question is. But what I am not sure about, is the notion that we have to ‘performance manage’ our creative outputs – how do we measure these?
Are you convinced of its value or do you feel it is yet another university hoop to jump through?
I think the exegesis has value, particularly if you want an academic/creative practice career. There is also value in the experience of writing an academic paper of around 30,000 words as well as the novel of about 70,000 words. Totally different writing skills are learned along the journey.
Can or should creative work stand alone?
It doesn’t need to – it depends on what your creative work is – it should be up to the practitioner-researcher.
How would you describe your relationship to writing?
I split this question off from the one above because I am not sure here what you mean. Which writing? Whose writing? Writing in general? Writing academic papers? Such a broad question which can be played with no-end if you are a writer. It can also be played with no-end if you are a (fill in your own area of practice ……………………. )
And for those of you doing a totally written thesis, how does the writing work integrate or mesh with the broad research you do?
Again, not sure what is meant by this question. The writing I undertake is part of the research journey but there are other activities involved as well and while everything meshes, sometimes it is a tightly woven fitting fishing net and at other times I could squeeze a submarine through it.
And finally to everyone, what might be your future plans for this writing i.e. conferences, publication?
Well, writing conference papers and articles for journals and of course getting the novel published is all part of ‘the plan’ for my degree. Also, I didn’t think there was a choice about this aspect of being a PhD student in that there are expectations that before I have completed the degree I will have had at least tried to have one paper published. It seems from the questions asked here that the focus is not really on creative-writing projects. Josie Arnold: 2005, in “The PhD in Writing Accompanied by an Exegesis” examines the PhD in creative writing at Swinburne University of Technology and notes that a lot of information about PLR has come from the schools of art and design, mainly visual and performative arts. I found this to still be the case in 2015.
May be that is one of my challenges…more thinking required