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Item Summary

Title: Too many deaths : decolonizing Western academic research on indigenous cultures
Authors: Welford, Gabrielle
metadata.dc.contributor.advisor: Despain, N. LaRene
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: This dissertation addresses ongoing colonialism in the western academy, especially in continued analysis by non-indigenous scholars of indigenous cultures. As the daughter of colonials, my seeking to understand some of the manifestations of colonialism, to open up discussion of its mechanisms and of possibilities for change, has been the focus of years of exploration, writing, reading, talking, experimentation, rethinking, a multitude of exchanges with others, and dreaming. The dissertation is the culmination of these endeavors in the present moment but not an end to the search. Chapter 1 begins with a quote from Haunani-Kay Trask's From a Native Daughter: 'There should be a moratorium on studying, unearthing, slicing, crushing, and analyzing us" and asks the question: "What is it to behave ethically in the context of literary studies--including, currently, in cultural studies?" The chapter then introduces problems such as appropriation, silencing, hierarchical structures, universalization of culture-specific concepts such as objectivity, along with exploration of solutions such as self-scrutiny (what Edward Said calls a "consciousness of what one really is"), engagement, and friendship as concepts helpful in decolonizing. Chapter 2 looks at examples of current indigenous responses to western scholarship and research. These responses point to the need for serious re-evaluation of where western academics stand on research and teaching on indigenous cultures. Chapters 3 through 7 explore 10 aspects of western academic culture: purpose and means (Ch.3); objectivity (Ch.4); externalization of self and being unaffected by what one studies (Ch.5); fact and fiction, written vs. oral, and linear thought (Ch,6); and modes of thought and effects (Ch.7). Chapter 8 examines two examples of western "metropolitan" commentary on indigenous writing and two examples of indigenous commentary, one using western theory and one based in the culture, Chapter 9 discusses possible alternative strategies to those presently accepted, and Chapter 10 concludes with a continued inventory of this author's process. Interleaved between chapters, I have included unpaginated "Inbetweens," which offer an utterance of the problems from a more personal viewpoint.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 296-322) and index.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Also available by subscription via World Wide Web
xvi, 343 leaves, bound 29 cm
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/3079
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - English



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