The afternoon walks of Violet Kong: A collection of satirical works and: Polishing the spoof: Using rhetorical genre theory to build a problem-solving PLR method, and its application in the context of Menippean satire

Author Identifiers

Shaun Salmon


Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Arts and Humanities

First Advisor

Kayt Davies

Second Advisor

Debbie Rodan


This study attempts the creation of a problem-solving research method for use with creative practice. A literature review of the field, often termed practice-led research (PLR), builds on a persistent strand of the literature that I interpret as a call for the traditions of academic research to be applied to PLR. Because problem-solving methods are rare in PLR my study seeks to create an innovative alternative method.

The study theorises communications using a rhetorical approach to genre building on Miller’s ground-breaking “Genre as Social Action” (1984/1994) and Bakhtin’s “The Problem of Speech Genres” (1979/1986). I reason that because genre is a required aspect of all communications my method may be adaptable for use with a broad range of communications practices.

I use Miller’s concept of exigence to define the obscure but viable genre of Menippean satire based on the social need such satires seek to meet, rather than focusing solely on their formal qualities. My research method uses writing exercises designed to develop my technique as a Menippean satirist by manipulating the opinions, statements and actions of characters and by manipulating my use of parody.

My success in creating a problem-solving method was mixed. Nevertheless, sufficient evidence exists (in the form of both complete satirical texts and accounts and analysis of the results of writing exercises) to support a conclusion that problem-solving PLR methods are viable and may be valuable to research and practice on a range of communication genres.

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