For those in the middle of a creative thesis, this special issue of TEXT looks some of the problems with the way the creative thesis is examined, at the moment
If you attended the AAWP conferences in November, and went to the session that discussed this subject, you know it really gets people fired up.
Different universities in Australia have different requirements with regards to how you present creative work as an academic thesis. Some let you do 100% creative with a detail exegesis, but Unimelb requires at least a 50% theoretical component, which means I am doing about 40,000 words of straight theory, and 40,000 words of creative work that plays with the themes of that theory, and hopefully illustrates my argument in a creative way. But discussing my own creative work directly and in detail is not required.
Having the theory set out clearly as theory gives me a bit of hope that the amount of research I have done is fairly clear. I am still nervous that my creative work will not be complex enough, especially as I preferred style of writing is fairly sparse and simply. But then, practicing the process of creative writing, itself, is considered legitimate research by some institutions.
At this stage I am clinging to one phrase that keeps coming up for any kind of thesis – it must be an ‘originally contribution to knowledge.’
If anything, this makes the creative thesis easier to justify, but makes me more nervous about my theoretical stuff. Ahh, swings and roundabouts.
I would be very interested hearing from other academics on how they find a place for their creative work in their research.