Our guest post this week is by an international group of scholars working at three different institutions: Cecile Badenhorst is an Associate Professor in the Adult Education/Post-Secondary program in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada; Brittany Amell is a PhD student at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; and on the other side of the world, James Burford is a Lecturer in the Research Education and Development unit in the Graduate Research School, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Here they tell us about their new project on “Re-Imagining Doctoral Writing” and invite readers to contribute to their forthcoming book on the topic. All three have published extensively on the topic of doctoral writing.
By Cecile Badenhorst, Brittany Amell & James Burford
Over recent years, doctoral writing has become an increasingly important practice to institutions, policymakers, and doctoral education programs worldwide. Frequently positioned as a site of “risk” and “trouble”, doctoral writing is commonly seen as a key location for institutional regulation and surveillance, supervisory anxiety, and student concern. It is now clear that to describe doctoral writing as a domain that is “under-considered” or “under-discussed” would be to miss the shelves of books in most university libraries about how doctoral students might write, and how supervisors (and others involved in doctoral teaching) might teach writing.
To make such a statement would also be to miss the rich collection of public fora where the discussion of doctoral writing identities, practices, policies and pedagogies takes place (e.g. DoctoralWriting, Thesis Whisperer and Patter), and the rise of initiatives like #AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month) which bring academic writers together.
Despite this wide array of exciting developments in the field of doctoral writing, as scholars who research in this area we continue to have some fundamental concerns that we are pondering and puzzling over. Continue reading