Doing Decoloniality in the Writing Borderlands of the PhD

Article


McDowall, Ailie and Ramos, Fabiane. 2017. "Doing Decoloniality in the Writing Borderlands of the PhD." The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. 47 (1), pp. 54-63. https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2017.23
Article Title

Doing Decoloniality in the Writing Borderlands of the PhD

ERA Journal ID11099
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMcDowall, Ailie (Author) and Ramos, Fabiane (Author)
Journal TitleThe Australian Journal of Indigenous Education
Journal Citation47 (1), pp. 54-63
Number of Pages10
Year2017
PublisherUniversity of Queensland
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1326-0111
2049-7784
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2017.23
Web Address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/australian-journal-of-indigenous-education/article/doing-decoloniality-in-the-writing-borderlands-of-the-phd/B136B116B566C2C1A40D4ABDC6C37168
Abstract

This paper takes us into the Writing Borderlands, an ambiguous in-between space borrowed from Anzaldua's concept of Borderlands, where we as PhD students are in a constant state of transition. We argue that theorising from a decolonial position consists of not merely using concepts around coloniality/decoloniality, but also putting its core ideas into practice in the ‘doing’ aspect of research. The writing is a major part of this doing. We enact epistemic disobedience by challenging taken-for-granted conventions of what ‘proper’ academic writing looks like. Writing from a universal standpoint — the type of writing prescribed in theses formats, positivist research methods and ‘proper’ academic writing — has been instrumental in promoting the zero-point epistemologies that prevail through Northern artefacts of knowledge. In other words, we write to de-link from the epistemological assumption of a neutral and detached observational location from which the world is interpreted. In this paper, we discuss the journey we take as PhD students as we attempt to delink and decolonise our writing. Traversing the landscape of the Writing Borderlands, different features arise and fall. Along the way, we come across forks in the road between academic training and the new way we imagine writing decolonially.

KeywordsBorderlands; decoloniality; doctoral research; feminism; writing
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470213. Postcolonial studies
390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q7171/doing-decoloniality-in-the-writing-borderlands-of-the-phd

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