Unfinished business: subjectivity and supervision

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113 Citations (Scopus)


Within the now burgeoning literature on doctoral research education, postgraduate research supervision continues to be a problematical issue, practically and theoretically. This paper seeks to explore and understand supervision as a distinctive kind of pedagogic practice. Informed by a larger research project, it draws on poststructuralism, psychoanalysis and cultural studies, as well as educational inquiry, to investigate the manner in which postgraduate research supervision is to be grasped as fundamentally a 'practice producing subjects', as much implicated in the production of identity as in the production of knowledge. Focusing on the discursive relationship between supervision and subjectivity, it addresses what is described as important 'unfinished business' in the field. Specifically, it provides a set of scenes and stories of supervision, drawn from various sources, with a view to illuminating the psycho-social dynamics of struggle, submission and subjectification, including the role and significance of fantasy, in the practice of postgraduate research pedagogy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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