The purpose of this paper is to analyse scholarly subjectivity in the context of citation practices in interdisciplinary PhD research.
The paper provides an analysis of longitudinal series of qualitative interviews with PhD students who write scholarly articles as dissertation components. Conceptualizations of subjectivity within practice theories form the basis for the analysis.
Scholarly argumentation entails a rhetorical paradox of “bringing something new” to the communication while at the same time “establishing a common ground” with an audience. By enacting this paradox through citing in an emerging interdisciplinary setting, the informants negotiate subject positions in different modes of identification across the involved disciplines. In an emerging interdisciplinary field, the articulation of scholarly subjectivity is a joint open-ended achievement demanding knowledgeability in multiple disciplinary understandings and conducts. However, identifications that are expressible within the informants’ local site, i.e. interactions with supervisors, other seniors and peers, are not always expressible when negotiating subject positions with journals.
This paper contributes to research on citation practices in emerging interdisciplinary fields. By linking the enactment of citing in scholarly writing to the negotiation of subject positions, the paper provides new insights about the complexities involved in becoming a scholar.