Writing purposefully in art and design: Responding to converging and diverging new academic literacies

Melles, Gavin and Lockheart, Julia. 2012. Writing purposefully in art and design: Responding to converging and diverging new academic literacies. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 11(4), pp. 346-362. ISSN 1474-0222 [Article]

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In disciplines with long histories in higher education, academic literacies, including writing practices, are less contested than in newer academic fields such as art and design. The relatively recent incorporation of such fields and schools into the university sector has required these fields to create academic writing practices consistent with existing academic models or to justify their distinctive disciplinary practices. Recently, for example, much has been written about the distinctiveness of practice-based, reflective and creative written genres, such as the exegesis and the studio or practice based thesis, as the distinctive voice of art and design. However, such models have yet to gain broad acceptance in the higher education sector, where scientific (e.g. empirical research report) and humanities (e.g. essayist tradition) practices are far more familiar and of overarching significance. Similarly to the sciences and humanities, the field of art and design in fact names a broad grouping of communities of practice, e.g. graphic design, fine arts, fashion design, with a range of expectations regarding practice and writing. Whatever disciplinary consensus is reached regarding legitimate writing practices in art and design, it is important not to obscure these differences and make the same mistake that has hampered clarity in writing instruction for mainstream academic fields, a problem that is at the core of the academic literacies program for change and enlightenment. The Writing Purposefully in Art and Design Network (Writing-PAD) aims to support and disseminate the range of genres associated with writing in art and design. In the second part of this article, an account of the purposes, practices and scope of the Writing-PAD network demonstrates the characteristics of and consensus on forms of academic writing in art and design. Together with our introductory review we hope to promote discussion about the necessary balance of consensus and dissensus that art and design fields require to remain vibrant.

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Research Office > REF2014



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14 Nov 2013 11:21

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26 Jun 2017 11:38

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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