Doing Decoloniality in the Writing Borderlands of the PhD

McDowall, Ailie and Ramos, Fabiane ORCID: (2017) Doing Decoloniality in the Writing Borderlands of the PhD. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 47 (1). pp. 54-63. ISSN 1326-0111


This paper takes us into the Writing Borderlands, an ambiguous in-between space borrowed from Anzaldua's concept of Borderlands, where we as PhD students are in a constant state of transition. We argue that theorising from a decolonial position consists of not merely using concepts around coloniality/decoloniality, but also putting its core ideas into practice in the ‘doing’ aspect of research. The writing is a major part of this doing. We enact epistemic disobedience by challenging taken-for-granted conventions of what ‘proper’ academic writing looks like. Writing from a universal standpoint — the type of writing prescribed in theses formats, positivist research methods and ‘proper’ academic writing — has been instrumental in promoting the zero-point epistemologies that prevail through Northern artefacts of knowledge. In other words, we write to de-link from the epistemological assumption of a neutral and detached observational location from which the world is interpreted. In this paper, we discuss the journey we take as PhD students as we attempt to delink and decolonise our writing. Traversing the landscape of the Writing Borderlands, different features arise and fall. Along the way, we come across forks in the road between academic training and the new way we imagine writing decolonially.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 04:54
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 03:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: Borderlands; decoloniality; doctoral research; feminism; writing
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470213 Postcolonial studies
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390499 Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education
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