Reimagining the ‘third space’: Writing strategies for research in the creative arts

Terrie Fraser


This paper examines the experience of a group of international master of creative art students writing an exegesis paper and the multi-focused writing support offered to them. Using the ‘third space’ (Bhabha, 1994) as a heuristic (Moustakas, 1990), this paper presents an understanding of the emergent writing process underpinning visual and performing arts practice-led research methods in academia.  Drawing on Benzie’s (2015) different ‘third space’ interpretations, this paper examines the in-between experience of students, academics and language advisors immersed in practice-led research. The paper asks how can the ‘third space’ paradigm help frame our understandings of the multiple parties involved in the writing of a MCA exegesis? In addition to the work by Paltridge (2004) on exegesis writing and further research on doctoral theses in the visual and performing arts (Paltridge et al., 2012), this paper’s main aim is to further illuminate this less understood but evolving genre, as well as show how students’ emergent writing processes can be encouraged and supported.


Third space; practice led research; creative arts; exegesis writing.

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