Nunavut writing workshop 2 decolonizing writing


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Part II of a workshop for Nunavut graduate students at the University of Prince Edward Island, both outlining and deconstructing the cultural code of academic writing.

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Nunavut writing workshop 2 decolonizing writing

  1. 1. Decolonizing Academic Writing Bonnie Stewart University of Prince Edward Island July 11 th & 13 th 2011
  2. 2. GOAL The aim of this assignment is to design and create a paper that uses the theories you have read about to express your understanding of education, leadership, research, and learning in relation to education in Nunavut or Nunavik at this time and to describe your own emerging theoretical position . You may draw on quotations from the text in the Theories course, or from any websites, texts or readings you have encountered in other courses. This draft paper offers you the opportunity to identify your beliefs and values about education in Nunavut and/or Nunavik and consider your own role as a leader in an educational process that takes place in an Inuit-majority educational context in Canada.
  3. 3. What does YOUR writing need?
  4. 4. Tell us a story. Any story. About education, leadership, learning. Your story.
  5. 5. WHAT DOES THE STORY TELL? My father went to live with his older sister Josie in Kimmirut upon the wishes of his mother when everyone around him in their camp, including his mother, became sick in the late early 1940's. His father had died around 1937 in Pangnirtung. He was then informed not long afterwards that his mother, cousins, relatives, and younger brothers Pitsiulaaq and Iola had all died of influenza. His sister Josie, who was the eldest, himself, and his younger sisters Annie and Mary were the only survivors of their siblings who were sent to live with other relatives. It was only in the mid 1990's that my father had returned to their family camp to acknowledge their passing after almost 50 years. My cousin was kindly able to arrange this trip with another family from Kimmirut. My mother was too frail to accompany him and commented that she wished she was able to do the same to see the land and camp she had grown up in. (Arnaquq, 2008, p. 5)
  6. 6. VOICE Every subject has a voice. Writing, as an act, creates subjects. Writing from the decolonized subject position involves exploring your own voice and how it has been shaped, constructed, excluded, and experienced, in relation to your culture, your education, and the theories you have studied.
  7. 7. Unikkaaqtuatuinnauliqtuq (It is only a story now) <ul><li>Memoir can contrast present with past </li></ul><ul><li>Memoir can decolonize and de-exoticize the voice of a subject, staking out her humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Memoir can convey what has been lost, at the personal, concrete level </li></ul><ul><li>Memoir can illustrate values and ways of being that are difficult to describe </li></ul><ul><li>Memoir can offer uqaujjuusiat (gifts of words, advice) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Stepping Outside the Box <ul><li>Northern forms of structure & subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Exploration & emergence, rather than certainty </li></ul><ul><li>Voice as situated knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Memoir & narrative as evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Theory as a skeleton or scaffold, offering narratives a second layer </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Inappropriate/d Other Trinh Minh-ha's term for the cultural rise – since WWII – of people who refuse the taxonomies of the humanist discourse of voice, and who live and speak and make meaning from positions of cultural, ethnic, racial, national, or sexual Otherness.
  10. 10. Talking your Writing Talk your paper: 2 minutes Tell a partner what your paper is about. Pay attention to your explanation. Get your partner's notes. LOOK. Are all of the ideas you describe actually in the paper? Where did you start in explaining your ideas? Does your paper match your description? Can the listener easily find the ideas you mention in your description? Share Weakness What do YOU think is the part of your paper that needs attention and feedback? Read it to your partner. LISTEN.