Critical moments of (un)doing doctoral supervision: Collaborative writing as rhizomatic practice

Simone Fullagar, Adele Pavlidis, Raphaela Stadler

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Despite the proliferation of doctoral training courses within universities, little attention is paid to the complexity of supervision as a process of becoming for both students and supervisors. As post-qualitative researchers we explore how collaborative writing can be mobilised as a rhizomatic practice to open up engagements with supervision that counter hierarchical master/apprentice models of knowledge transmission. Researching-writing through our own knowledge practices and affective investments we reflexively engage with supervision as multiplicity. We created a more democratic learning alliance through an electronic writing forum. These collaborative e-writing practices generated insights into the critical moments that disrupted the doctoral experience (writers block, self-doubt, misunderstanding).
We theorise collaborative writing as a rhizomatic practice that refuses ontological assumptions of linearity, causality and rationality, instead following the embodied lines of thought, affective intensities and problematics that haunt the supervision relationship. We recast supervision as an improvisation through which academic dilemmas/possibilities are negotiated and performed anew.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalKnowledge Cultures
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2017


  • doctoral supervision
  • post-qualitative inquiry
  • Deleuze
  • collaborative writing
  • rhizomatic practice


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