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Creative Norms in Academic Writing and Beyond. Or: How To Do Things With Genre

PhD School at the Faculty of Humanities at University of Copenhagen

Aspiring researchers must not only acquire familiarity with their field: they need to learn how to write within that field. Genres are not just carriers of knowledge: they are also ways of participating in the ‘conversations of the scholars’ so that what their writers write is taken up in the debates, and used by other scholars. While genres are pervaded by the ideologies and the power structures in which they function, their writers are not merely manipulated by them: they are agents of the social action that they perform. The better the actor knows the genre, the more able she is to use it to serve her own purposes.

Academic genres are not only confined to the conversations of the scholars: they serve as the interface between the academy and the public sphere. These are the stakes of the slogan that ‘genres are social action’.

The course aims to improve the participants’ competence in performing the social action of academic writing in all its manifold genres and contexts. It invites them to reflect on the question what we do as writers in the universities, and what we can achieve as academic writers in public life.

Time and dates: 9:00-16:00, September 18th-21st, 2018.

ECTS: 3 for participation.

Max number of participants: 25.

Registration: Please register via the link in the box on the right no later than: August 29th, 2018. Registration is closed. However, there are still a few seats available at the course. If you are interested in a seat, please write an e-mail to the PhD Administration (

Course preparation: The course participants are required to hand in a one-page description of a genre related problem in their research or their writing no later than September 8th; the description should be sent to

Further information: For further information, please contact the course organizers:


Background Reading. Introductions

Bawarshi, A., & Reiff, M. J. (2010). Genre. An Introduction to History, Theory, Research, and Pedagogy. Fort Collins: Parlor Press. 

Miller, C., & Kelly, A. R. (2016). Discourse Genres. In A. Rocci & L. d. Saussure (Eds.), Verbal Communication (pp. 269–286). Berlin: De Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110255478-015.

Schryer, C. F. (2010). Genre Theory and Research. In M. J. Bates & M. N. Maack (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences (3 ed., pp. 1934–1942). New York: Taylor & Francis. DOI: 10.1081/E-ELIS3-120043259.


Background Reading, reference

Aristotle. (1984). Categories (J. L. Ackrill, Trans.). In J. Barnes (Ed.), Complete Works of Aristotle (Vol. 2, pp. 3-24). Princeton: Princeton University Press. (extract to be distributed).

Quintilian, Institutio Oratorio (the Teaching of Oratory), Harvard University Press, (Book III, ch. IV) (extract to be distributed).

Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Philosophical Investigations, Oxford, Blackwell, (##21 – 29) (extract to be distributed.


Focussed readings – for discussion

Auken, S. (2015). Utterance and Function in Genre Studies: A Literary Perspective. In J. Andersen (Ed.), Genre Theory in Information Studies (pp. 155-178). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. DOI: 10.1108/S2055-537720140000011009.

Auken, S. (2018). Understanding genre. Journal of Zhejiang International Studies University, 3(2), 14-27.

Bakhtin, M. M. (1986). The Problem of Speech Genres (V. W. McGee, Trans.). In C. Emerson & M. Holquist (Eds.), Speech Genres and Other Late Essays (pp. 60-102). Austin: University of Texas Press.

Freadman, A. (2002). Uptake. In R. Coe, L. Lingard, & T. Teslenko (Eds.), The Rhetoric and Ideology of Genre (pp. 39-53). Cresskill Hampton Press Inc.

Freadman, A. (2012). The Traps and Trappings of Genre Theory. Applied Linguistics, 33(5), 544-563.

Freadman, A. (2014). Where is the subject? Rhetorical genre theory and the question of the writer. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 8(3), A1-A11. DOI: 10.1093/applin/ams050

Miller, C. (1984). Genre as Social Action. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70(2), 151-167.

Miller, C. (2017). "Where do Genres Come From". In C. Miller & A. R. Kelly (Eds.), Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (pp. 1-34). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40295-6_1

Nyboe, J. Ø. (2017). The Game of the Name: Genre Labels as Genre and Signature. Scandinavian Studies, 88(4), 364-392.

Paré, A. (2002). Genre and Identity: Individuals, Institutions, and Ideology. In R. Coe, L. Lingard, & T. Teslenko (Eds.), The Rhetoric and Ideology of Genre (pp. 57-71). Cresskill: Hampton Press Inc.


Course dates
18 September 2018 - 21 September 2018
Please see the course decsription for further details.
Karen Blixens Plads 8
Room: 27.0.47 (Building 27, Ground floor, Room 47)
Copenhagen S
3 points

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