Gatecrashing the Oasis? A Joint Doctoral Dissertation Play


This article explores the institutional and individual struggles surrounding the submission for examination of a jointly authored doctoral dissertation at a U.K. civic university. Two of the article’s authors (Gale and Wyatt) were the dissertation’s authors, and Speedy, the article’s third author, is their supervisor. Joint doctoral dissertations are rare and the dissertation was unique in this department’s history. The article is written as play script, which allows for different points of view to be offered and juxtaposed and for key issues to emerge and be explored. These issues include the institutional and individual impact of challenging what counts as original doctoral scholarship, the supervision relationship, and aspects of the experience of the completion of a doctorate. With a nod to the Deleuzian concept of the nomad, a significant theoretical component of the joint dissertation, the play works with the metaphor of nomadic journeying across desert terrain toward the “oasis” of membership of the academy as an image of the doctoral process. The play begins as the dissertation’s two authors hand in their dissertation for examination, and ends on graduation day, with its primary focus being the eleven weeks between submission and the viva voce examination.


joint dissertation, viva, doctoral supervision, nomad, collaborative research

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