22 SES 08 A, Inter- and Transdisciplinary Methodologies for Researching HE (Part 1)
Symposium to be continued in 22 SES 09 A
This paper responds to, and extends, Coloma’s recent paper in the AERA symposium that focused on the ‘history of the present’, highlighting historical antecedents linking current internationalisation efforts to empire and the educational operations of colonialism. According to Coloma, empire juxtaposes the construction of modern subjects with the inculcation of Western education (Seth, 2007; Willinsky, 1998). What underpins internationalising higher education is a set of center-periphery dynamics embodying uneven power relations through flows of people, teachers, students, scholarships and policies. Coloma points out that hegemony (of internationalisation and Westernisation) is never complete, as decolonizing ‘others’ resist in both overt and discreet ways (Foucault, 1997; Scott, 1992). Resistance is channelled via emancipatory, nationalist and educational reform efforts. Against such histories of decolonisation and resistance, this paper interrupts monolithic emancipatory narratives, taking an intersectional approach that starts again with Spivak’s rhetorical question: ‘can the subaltern speak’? Against a backdrop of crisis, recovery and nationalist commemoration in the postcolony of Ireland, questions have been raised about the epistemic erasures of commemorated histories and the gendered, linguistic, and racialized silences that have been embodied within these histories. Questions of gender inequality in higher education have reached a critical point in higher education, as the ruling discourse of economic crisis gives way to one of economic recovery, but with salient gender inequalities. The ‘Waking the Feminists’ initiative provokes higher education researchers in Ireland to give due recognition to alternative approaches that include hidden ‘herstories’ of difference, struggle and solidarity that challenge the ‘histories’ of higher education that may or may not be aligned with neoliberal and economistic thinking. Miller (1995) asks how researchers’ own experiences shape the research questions that they want to ask. This paper seeks to apply Miller’s ‘autobiography of research questions’ to interrogate differences of discipline, method and praxis in the context of the EIHE project and other ongoing research about internationalisations of higher education. How have our experiences as researchers shaped the questions we want to ask about ethics and internationalisations in higher education? How do the categories of nation, ethnie and gender intersect in the autobiographies of our own research questions and how do we tell and locate our narratives of questioning in decolonial, resistant and alternative visions for higher education?
Foucault, M. (1997). What is critique? In S. Lotringer & L. Hochroth (Eds.), The politics of truth. New York: Semiotext(e). Miller, J (1995) Trick or Treat? The Autobiography of the question. English Quarterly 27, 3. Scott, J.C. (1992). Domination and the arts of resistance: Hidden transcripts. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Seth, S. (2007). Subject lessons: The western education of colonial India. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Spivak, G (1988) Can the Subaltern Speak? In Nelson, C.; Grossberg, L. (eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, 271-313 Torres, C.A. (2009). Education and neoliberal globalization. New York: Routledge. Willinsky, J. (1998). Learning to divide the world: Education at empire’s end. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
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