Toll-free pathways: writing Indigenous knowledge for an academic hearing

Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Prof Brenda Machosky
Dr Jeanine Leane

This panel explores a mode of speaking to and writing about Aboriginal culture(s) and people(s) by asserting Indigenous ways of communicating knowledge. The effective communication between Western and Aboriginal scholars is an important pathway that must be pursued on Aboriginal terms rather than submitting to Western filters that cannot but appropriate the subject within its own bounds. 

As a Wiradjuri woman, creative writer and academic scholar, Jeanine Leane advocates for the voice of Aboriginal people in both fiction and scholarship. She challenges under-informed representations of Aboriginal others in settler literature and history, and challenges their claims of empathy. Leane calls out cultural appropriation for what it is: stealing, again, from Indigenous people. She will continue to speak black to academia, to share an Aboriginal voice audible to non-Indigenous ears, if only they will listen. 

As a non-Indigenous person, American scholar Brenda Machosky continues to learn ways of thinking that respect indigenous ways of knowing. The Aboriginal mode drives her work as she provides just enough of western academic structure to create an effective bridge. Relinquishing the thesis-driven argument expected in academia, she demonstrates the method in the presentation itself. 

The panel presentations will include an open discussion of this issue.