Creative Thesis & Dissertation Options

The Creative Master’s Thesis

The Master’s thesis may take the form of an independent creative project. Such a project traditionally consists of a collection of poems or prose pieces (short stories, parts of a novel, a short play, or more experimental writing across genres), accompanied by an introductory essay situating the creative work in terms of its author’s poetics and/or its relationship to current work in the chosen genre. Students are asked to challenge traditional separations between the academic and creative fields and are invited to pursue experimental forms of inquiry in such nontraditional formats as electronic writing and mixed media.

The Creative Doctoral Dissertation

Our program allows for innovative approaches in the writing of a creative dissertation that reflect the structural richness and diversity of its four concentrations. Such a dissertation may take the form of a work of poetry, fiction, drama or translation—although these traditional classifications can be exceeded by work that straddles or breaks down genres and introduces new procedures and new media. A dissertation could thus include, for example, combinations of prose, poetry and visual art, investigations of hypertext and multi-media, or aspects of performance art.

A dissertation of this kind is not just an exercise in craft, but an act of research involving processes and procedures germane to and interfacing with creative and scholarly endeavors. It is thus not confined only to the Writing Practices concentration, but can draw on and connect to one or several of the other three concentrations, namely, Literature, Modernity, and the Contemporary; Cultural, Transcultural, and Global Studies, and Theoretical Constructs. In all cases of a creative dissertation, the student will thus be required to provide a framework of a theoretical nature for his or her creative work. This frame can take the shape of a lengthy introduction, a parallel ongoing commentary on the poetics of the work, or any other form of meta-writing that creates a successful and innovative integration with the other parts of the dissertation.