Circling the square: Indigenising the dissertation

Czuy, Kori and Hogarth, Melitta (2019) Circling the square: Indigenising the dissertation. Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology, 3 (1). pp. 1-16.

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Through tradition and standardization, the structure of the dissertation template has [boxed in] a colonial standard whilst ╔ cornering ╝ ways of knowing that cannot be expressed within these limits. But within these ╔ corners ╝ ideas huddle desperately together, preserving valuable embers of knowledge, conserving strength to ignite a fire to round these ╔ corners ╝ to closer resemble a circle, forcing dialogue between disparate world-views (Ermine, 2007).

The Doctoral Forum at the Queensland University of Technology [QUT] in Australia brought together an Aboriginal doctoral candidate (at the time) from Australia and an Indigenous doctoral candidate from Canada. Discussion about the limitations of the standard dissertation format arose. While researching in diverse disciplines, we found we shared experiences of constraint and a kind of tug-of-war to address the requirements of the institution while privileging our positionality and standpoint as Indigenous peoples; speaking back to the dominant voices of the coloniser. We reflected on how the template acted to privilege Western institutional constructs and how dominant colonial structures suppress land-based methodologies, creativity, and holism.

Through our critical dialogues, we recognised that to morph the square of standardization, we must nourish an openness towards multiple ways of knowing and doing through a delicate balance of decolonizing and Indigenizing (Pratt, Louis, Hanson & Ottmann, 2018). This paper addresses how two graduate students are blurring the boundaries of the standardized dissertation structure. Through critical dialogue, the colonial structures that [box] us in, provide a means for the previously ╔ cornered ╝ and marginalized voices to be heard.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available in accordance with a Creative Commons 4.0 License.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research (1 Nov 2014 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research (1 Nov 2014 -)
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 01:59
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 04:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: dissertation, Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenising the academy
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130307 Ethnic Education (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Pacific Peoples)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education

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