Reviewed by: Council on Anthropology and Education
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Indigeneity
Secondary Theme: Persistence
Decolonization remains an on-going struggle; it is a struggle that we honor. This roundtable invites graduate students and faculty mentors to discuss Indigenous-centered stances and decolonial research paradigms in the non-neutral process of graduate social science apprenticeship. In response to the 2018 annual meeting theme, “Changing the Anthropological Imagination,” we seek to embrace, rather than resist the historic link between the academy and its role in the perpetuation of colonial violence. In doing so, we propose, first, accountability and reciprocity as necessary acts of resilience and adaptation for the future of anthropological research; and secondly, that we work vigilantly in pushing against the colonial structures and conventions that have defined anthropology and remain in need of dismantling for the future of anthropological research.
When working within the deeply rooted coloniality of anthropology, we ask: how might we talk about, document, and utilize spaces of encounters that support Indigenous-centered empowerment, and create conditions to counter the persisting failure of the anthropological imagination? Indigenous and decolonial scholarship problematizes the concept of change in the anthropological imagination, and center institutions of higher education as sites of intellectual warriorship (Warrior, 1995), where Indigenous persistence and resilience is embodied, where refusal of research is a form of resilience (Tuck & Yang, 2013), and where strategic alliance building is a mode of resistance. We draw upon Grande’s (2008) framework, Red Pedagogy, to center our discussion on spaces of engagement, liminal borderlands where “Indigenous and nonIndigenous scholars encounter one another, working to remember, redefine, and reverse the devastation of the original colonialist ‘encounter’” (234).
As graduate students and scholars from different disciplines and positionalities, we do not obfuscate the ethno-historic context of our work and subjectivities in our methodologies and perspectives (Brayboy & Deyhle, 2000); instead, we propose to explore understandings of our relationship to individuals and communities to draw into relief ways coloniality must be countered in the process and purpose of knowledge production. Navigating the liminal borderlands of the academy through Indigenous-centered paradigms poses difficult questions about research purpose, process, outcomes, to be explored together by graduate students and faculty mentors. Indigenous and nonIndigenous Faculty members will discuss ways they culultivate spaces of encounter to support graduate students, and challenge codified notions of western knowledge production within the academy. Indigenous and nonindigenous graduate students will discuss ways they encounter, develop, or utilize Indigenous frameworks, and how they confront preconceived notions about the ownership of knowledge in emerging research processes.
Conceptualizing Indigenous-centered research paradigms as sources of new research imaginations is forefronted as a continuing source of resilience and resistance within highly contested institutions of higher education. Roundtable attendees will also be invited to consider the following questions: 1) How can Indigenous-centered research paradigms disrupt deep histories of white supremacy in anthropological and educational research? 2) What “spaces of encounter” leverage decolonial processes in research? 3) How do faculty members and graduate students engage Indigenous-centered stances in the apprenticeship of graduate researchers to advance institutional change?