When arts meets enterprise: Transdisciplinarity, student identities, and EAP
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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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 2017
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