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Dancing the thesis : potential and pitfalls in practice-led research

Stock, C., Phillips, M. and Vincs, K. 2009, Dancing the thesis : potential and pitfalls in practice-led research, in Re-searching dance : Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Dance Research, WDAAP, New Delhi, India, pp. 53-59.

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Title Dancing the thesis : potential and pitfalls in practice-led research
Author(s) Stock, C.
Phillips, M.
Vincs, K.
Conference name International Conference on Dance Research (2009 : New Dehli, India)
Conference location New Delhi, India
Conference dates 28 November - 1 December, 2009
Title of proceedings Re-searching dance : Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Dance Research
Editor(s) Goswami, Anomita
Sarkar, Urmimala
Ghosh, Anirban
Saha, Sharmistha
Sahai, Shrinkhla
Sharma, Ruchika
Publication date 2009
Conference series International Conference on Dance Research
Start page 53
End page 59
Publisher WDAAP
Place of publication New Delhi, India
Keyword(s) Dance
Practice-led research
PhD thesis
Summary Practice-led or multi modal these (describing examinable outcomes of postgraduate study which comprise the practice of dancing/choreography with an accompanying exegesis) are an emerging strength of dance scholarship; a form of enquiry that has been gaining momentum over a decade, particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom. It has been strongly argued that, in this form of research, legitimate claims to new knowledge are embodied predominantly within the practice itself (Pakes 2003) and that these findings are emergent, contingent and often interstitial contained within both the material form of the practice and in the symbolic languages surrounding the form.

This paper draws on Dancing between diversity and consistency: Refining assessment in postgraduate studies in dance, a study conducted with funding by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council 2006-2008, to critically examine some of the issues raised by such degrees. The study's structure formed around extensive literature reviews into higher degree dance studies; general examination/assessment discussions at research masters and doctoral levels; and issues arising from the relatively new artistic degrees involving practice components. Focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews with 74 supervisors/examiners, research deans and administrators, and candidates/graduates elicited the views on assessing practice-led dance research of two principal participant groups; the professional dance community represented by Ausdance (The Australian Dance Council) and the staff and student cohort of Australian universities who offered dance or related postgraduate degrees.

Tensions arose through the project specifically in terms of deciding what kinds of articulations of practice-led dance research might be acceptable at the PhD level. Here, we address underlying issues of interdisciplinarity that arise from the current common practice of requiring a written requirement for PhD theses. This leads to a consideration of how differing cultural inflections and practices might be incorporated into our reading and evaluation of theses, how creative approaches to layered documentation can function as durable artifacts of creative research while contributing to the overall 'knowledge generation' of the thesis, and what kinds of language structures, such as metaphor, allusion and symbol, can be co opted to function generative in dialogue with other kinds of texts and discourses.
Language eng
Field of Research 190403 Dance
130103 Higher Education
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
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Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Communication and Creative Arts
Higher Education Research Group
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Created: Thu, 17 Dec 2009, 11:49:55 EST by Kim Barbour

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