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Open Access When arts meets enterprise: Transdisciplinarity, student identities, and EAP

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This paper reports on a qualitative study investigating the experience and perspectives of students using English as an international language studying transdisciplinary master's degrees related to culture industries at Goldsmiths, University of London. The particular focus of this paper concerns their experiences of writing several different genres on their degree programmes, including a category of written assessment that, in keeping with the transdisciplinary project of opening up disciplinary borders, transgresses typical genre parameters. We argue that (increasingly popular) transdisciplinary programmes of this kind challenge preconceived expectations about academic writing and require a high tolerance of ambiguity on the part of both students and EAP lecturers: established genre conventions may be destabilized and writing become a precarious yet inherently creative process. Our findings highlight the significance of students' identities with regard to negotiating these written assessments; they support the view that academic literacies' emphasis on student perspectives enriches text-oriented EAP pedagogy, and that insights gleaned from small-scale ethnographic studies of this kind enhance the embedding of subject-specific EAP academic writing development.

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Keywords: ACADEMIC LITERACIES; CULTURE INDUSTRIES; GENRE; IDENTITIES; TRANSDISCIPLINARITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-03-01

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  • London Review of Education (LRE) is an international peer-reviewed journal featuring rigorous, theoretically based research into contemporary education. Based at the UCL Institute of Education in London, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is an eclectic and engaging journal that features analysis across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Its articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy, and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to p.gordon-smith@ucl.ac.uk

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    LRE is planning to feature the following subjects: learning in London; academic literacies. Please see publication homepage for deadlines and how to submit articles on these and other subjects.
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