25 research outputs found

    Two Left Feet: Dancing in Academe to the Rhythms of Neoliberal Discourse.

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    Following the recommendations by the 2008 Bradley Report into higher education, cultural competence training has attracted attention and funding in Australian universities. This paper attempts to initiate a conversation about the implications of cultural competence in its current formation as it also attends to the tensions we experience as non-Indigenous educators teaching both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. We argue that current models of cultural competence are structured by the prevailing neoliberalist discourse that continues to regulate Australian universities, through language and practice. Drawing on the metaphor of dance, we locate the ‘steps’ that find us, awkwardly at times, attempting to balance the demands of university policy with the cultural diversity and multiple subjectivities of our students. We contend that from within the current framework of cultural competence, attempts to locate an ethical practice that speaks to the increasingly culturally diverse student cohorts in our classrooms are becoming increasingly complex

    Listening to hear: critical allies in Indigenous studies

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    This paper reflects on a particular class in an undergraduate seminar in Australian Indigenous Studies where anecdote played a crucial role and where both the teacher and learners were challenged to consider their implication as racialised subjects in the teaching and learning process. The paper argues that student anecdote can be a vital bridge between theory and practice in adult learning. It suggests that all learners in Indigenous Studies, and also in studies of race and difference more generally, need to undertake effective listening and hearing practices in order to consider, imagine and engage with experiences and worldviews other than their own. Drawing from work dealing with critical alliances, discomfort in pedagogical contexts, and effective listening practices, this paper provides a conceptual analysis of the seminar in question extrapolating from this to engage critically with broader issues concerning Indigenous Studies and non- Indigenous critical allies

    Tim Winton: Critical Essays, edited by Lyn McCredden and Nathanael O\u27Reilly

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    [extract] As the editors of Tim Winton: Critical Essays rightly note, literary criticism of Tim Winton’s work has been sparse to date. This observation is supported elsewhere (Rooney, 2009, 159) and by this writer who was at a loss in recent times when seeking critical works that might enrich a feminist reading of Breath (2008). The long overdue volume of critical works in Tim Winton: Critical Essays is therefore a most welcome contribution both to Winton studies and to literary criticism. Critical essays in this volume draw from a wide range of standpoints, critiques and reflections, bringing together a remarkably comprehensive analysis of Tim Winton’s writing. Some contributors note the poetics and aesthetics of Winton’s work; others engage critically with the absences, the contradictions, and the social and historical contexts that form a basis for many of Winton’s narratives. The diversity of critical standpoints expressed in this compilation provides a valuable contribution to the themes raised in Winton’s work. But this is not just a thematic approach to Winton. Some essays offer close textual readings that open up possibilities for a richly nuanced, socio-cultural understanding of the works. Contributions in this volume exemplify how Winton’s works are received and mediated by readers in critical, creative, political and pleasurable ways; some essays bring to bear all of these factors. Analyses are presented through the lens of race, nation, gender, neoliberalism, through the symbolic, psycho-social and metaphysical aspects of Winton’s writing. The strength of this collection of essays, although marked by the divergent analyses of contributors, can also be noted in the way these often contrary standpoints are combined to produce a coherent and critically engaged understanding of Winton’s literary explorations of the locale in Western Australia, its people, and the day-to- day exigencies of their lives

    Tone it down a bit!: euphemism as a colonial device in Australian Indigenous studies

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    In a previous article discussing the politics of language in Australian Indigenous Studies teaching and learning contexts, my colleague and I stated our objective in writing that article was to ‘‘instill’’ a sense of the importance of the political nature of language to our student body (McGloin and Carlson 2013). We wanted to engage students in the idea that language, as a conduit for describing the world, is not a neutral channel for its portrayal or depiction; rather, that it is a political device that is often a contributing force to racism and the perpetuation of colonial violence.While reviews of the article were favorable to, and enthusiastic about its aims and content, and some suggestions for refinement helpful, one of the reviewer’s comments presented a quandary: we were advised to replace the word instill (as in the above context) with develop, a term considered ‘‘less invasive.’’ In stating that our aim was to develop a sense of the importance of language, we were advised, our article would better ‘‘recognise the varying trajectories of student learning.’’ After much consideration, we declined this suggestion contending that the word instill fit the aims of the article in that were introducing a practice that would inculcate the importance of language in Indigenous contexts

    Recontextualising the award: developing a critical pedagogy in indigenous studies

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    In this paper, I evaluate the politics of teaching awards, and recontextualise the receipt of this accolade from within the framework of a collaborative and collegial teaching and learning environment. My aim is reflect critically about the relations of power that endorse and confer teaching awards. I address this in the context of a developing pedagogy that depends upon collaboration, the sharing of Indigenous knowledge and worldviews, and mutual respect, for the effective delivery of courses in the discipline of Aboriginal Studies in Australia to a diverse student body. Drawing from work in the area of critical pedagogy, the paper outlines some of the practices and theoretical applications introduced by staff, with a view to foregrounding Indigenous history, knowledge, and culture, and inspiring students to think critically about the issues surrounding contemporary race relations in Australia

    Aboriginal surfing: reinstating culture and country

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    Mainstream surfing in Australia is a discursive cultural practice, institutionally sanctioned as integral to national identity. Surfing represents the nation through a mode of white heterosexual orientation that is encoded into its practices and its texts. Surfing represents an historical transformation in the national psyche from the bush, inaugurated by the nation’s literary canon, to the beach, which has become the modern site of the nation’s identity. Indigenous surfing provides an oppositional view of nation and country that reinscribes the beach with cultural meanings specific to Aboriginal cultures. Surfing in this context can be seen as a reclamation of culture and a challenge to the dominance of white conceptions of nation and identity. This paper examines the indigenous surfing film, Surfing the Healing Wave and explores the film\u27s representations of histories that are relevant to Aboriginal people. The film\u27s narrative disruption of the surfing film genre instates a pedagogical practice that functions to reinscribe Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal histories through the contemporary event of the indigenous surfing contest

    Corporate speak and “collateral recruitment”: surfing the student body

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    ‘‘Corporate speak,’’ the language of neoliberalism, has for so long been integrated into higher education institutions that many academics greet new terms wanly with the tedium of overkill; academic practice is scrutinized and regulated through terms such as performance indicators, benchmarking, service providers, and clients. As part of a discursive field where ideological shifts continue to apply marketized frames of reference as neoliberalism tightens its grip, new terms and phrases are commonplace

    Considering the work of Martin Nakata\u27s Cultural Interface : a reflection on Theory and Practice by a Non-Indigenous Academic

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    This is a reflective paper that explores Martin Nakata\u27s work as a basis for understanding the possibilities and restrictions of non-Indigenous academics working in Indigenous studies. The paper engages with Nakata\u27s work at the level of praxis. It contends that Nakata\u27s work provides non-Indigenous teachers of Indigenous studies a framework for understanding their role, their potential, and limitations within the power relations that comprise the cultural interface . The paper also engages with Nakata\u27s approach to Indigenous research through his Indigenous standpoint theory . This work emerges from the experiential and conceptual, and from a commitment to teaching and learning in Indigenous studies. It is a reflection of how nonIndigenous academics working in Indigenous studies can contribute to the development and application of the discipline

    Two left feet: Dancing in Academe to the rhythms of neoliberal discourse

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    Notions of culture, cultural diversity and cultural safety have again come to the centre of higher education awareness in Australia. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 ensures that Australian universities have a legal and pedagogical obligation to effectively support the language and learning requirements of international students. The Final Report on the 2008 Review of Australian Higher Education (hereafter referred to as the Bradley Report) recommends a range of initiatives geared to make Australian universities more competitive in the global market place while also becoming more accessible for Indigenous students, domestic students of ‘low socio‐economic status’, and other identified equity groups.1 At the frontline of all these initiatives, both proposed and implemented, are those who design, coordinate and teach curricula in the multicultural environs of our university classrooms
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