Circling the square: Indigenising the dissertation

Article


Czuy, Kori and Hogarth, Melitta. 2019. "Circling the square: Indigenising the dissertation." Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology. 3 (1), pp. 1-16.
Article Title

Circling the square: Indigenising the dissertation

ERA Journal ID212356
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCzuy, Kori (Author) and Hogarth, Melitta (Author)
Journal TitleEmerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology
Journal Citation3 (1), pp. 1-16
Number of Pages16
Year2019
PublisherUniversity of Calgary
Place of PublicationAlberta, Canada
ISSN2560-6980
Web Address (URL)https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ep/article/view/52758/46592
Abstract

Through tradition and standardization, the structure of the dissertation template has [boxed in] a colonial standard whilst ╔ cornering ╝ ways of knowing that cannot be expressed within these limits. But within these ╔ corners ╝ ideas huddle desperately together, preserving valuable embers of knowledge, conserving strength to ignite a fire to round these ╔ corners ╝ to closer resemble a circle, forcing dialogue between disparate world-views (Ermine, 2007).

The Doctoral Forum at the Queensland University of Technology [QUT] in Australia brought together an Aboriginal doctoral candidate (at the time) from Australia and an Indigenous doctoral candidate from Canada. Discussion about the limitations of the standard dissertation format arose. While researching in diverse disciplines, we found we shared experiences of constraint and a kind of tug-of-war to address the requirements of the institution while privileging our positionality and standpoint as Indigenous peoples; speaking back to the dominant voices of the coloniser. We reflected on how the template acted to privilege Western institutional constructs and how dominant colonial structures suppress land-based methodologies, creativity, and holism.

Through our critical dialogues, we recognised that to morph the square of standardization, we must nourish an openness towards multiple ways of knowing and doing through a delicate balance of decolonizing and Indigenizing (Pratt, Louis, Hanson & Ottmann, 2018). This paper addresses how two graduate students are blurring the boundaries of the standardized dissertation structure. Through critical dialogue, the colonial structures that [box] us in, provide a means for the previously ╔ cornered ╝ and marginalized voices to be heard.

Keywordsdissertation, Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenising the academy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
390410. Multicultural education (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples)
450299. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Calgary, Canada
College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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