We are what we write: The role of writing in the academy
In this seminar, Professor Ken Hyland from the University of East Anglia discusses the centrality of writing to academic work.
This seminar will challenge the widespread view that writing is somehow peripheral to the more serious aspects of university life – doing research and teaching students. Instead it will argue that universities are about writing and that specialist forms of academic literacy are at the heart of academic work.
Drawing on some of his research over the past 15 years, Professor Ken Hyland will explore what writing means in the academy and argue that it is central to constructing knowledge, educating students and to negotiating a professional academic career.
Seeing literacy as embedded in the specific beliefs and practices of individual disciplines, instead of a generic skill that students have failed to develop at school, helps explain the difficulties both students and academics have in controlling the conventions of disciplinary discourses.
Ultimately, and in an important sense, we are what we write, and we need to understand the distinctive ways our disciplines have of conceptualising issues, addressing colleagues and presenting arguments to be successful researchers and teachers.