Respect for the role of ancestors and spiritual knowledge

There is increasing recognition of the role of ancestral knowledge in doctoral education, accessed through ritual and dreams and spirituality. For example, Grant and McKinley (2011) describe the role played by Maori doctoral students’ tiipuna (female or male ancestor), who provide spiritual guidance for their research. Devos and Somerville (2012) describe working with a Cambodian doctoral student in Australia who wrote her thesis as a memoir of the Cambodian Royal Family. The student had been given a copy of the memoir of her grandmother in Cambodia and had committed it to memory. She was forced to rely only on her memory to transcribe and translate this memoir into English in writing her thesis because the original text had been destroyed during the Pol Pot regime along with all her family members. The student believes that it was her grandmother who guided her towards meeting her Australian supervisor (Devos and Somerville, 2012).

Examination processes

Finally, as indicated earlier, Aotearoa New Zealand now has a fully functional examination process completely in Те Reo Maori.There are now enough potential Maori examiners who are fluent to the doctoral level to ensure that Те Reo Maori theses can be examined.This is also possible in South Africa but only where there are enough potential examiners fluent in the particular African language chosen by the student.

Practical strategies for doc supervisors for epistemic justice in doc education

All of this has important ramifications for the generative and respectful supervision of migrant, refugee, international student and Indigenous doctoral candidates. This chapter concludes by offering one practical strategy' from our research called time mapping (Manathunga et a/., 2019) that doctoral supervisors might use to begin working towards epistemic justice in doctoral education. Time mapping is a visual methodology' that positions life histories as critical tools for reflexivity in doctoral education.Time mapping uses art (and potentially other creative practices) to explore the impact of history, geography and cultural knowledge on doctoral education (Manathunga et ai, 2019).Time mapping is inspired by the theoretical work of Zerubavel (2003) on collective and social memory and the social shape of the past. Zerubavel’s (2003) ‘time maps’ seek to trace collective historical memories of both individuals and cultural groups. Time maps allow us to depict the ebbs, flows, ruptures and varied intensity of historical narratives. His work also acknowledges how different cultural groups’ time maps may be contradictory and therefore need to be overlaid and compared in order to gain a more complex picture of the shape of the past (Zerubavel, 2003).

In our research team’s adaptation of this idea of time mapping, we have asked doctoral candidates and supervisors to prepare time maps of their life histories and geographies using a range of textual, visual and creative forms. As a starting place, candidates and supervisors were asked to think about their identity as a scholar and their intellectual/cultural life history and multiple geographies. Our participants were also asked to think of an image or symbol that captured an aspect of their intellectual/cultural identity or to draw something in free form. We then asked our participants to add explanatory text to reveal the choices they made about the images they had used. Our 2019 article provides more details about the methodology we developed and contains examples of the images that transcultural and First Nations doctoral candidates and supervisors produced (Manathunga et ah, 2019).

We have gathered the time maps of nearly 100 migrant, refugee, international and Australian First Nations doctoral candidates and supervisors in Australia, China, Rwanda and South Africa, creating spaces for narratives of migration, war, discrimination, destruction, colonialisation, change, survival, faith, energy' language and cultural revival, growth, inspiration and the power of Country (Australian Aboriginal understandings of land) (Manathunga et al., 2019). We have suggested that this time mapping methodology can be used in supervision as a starting point to locate and share candidates’ and supervisors’ intellectual and cultural histories and geographies that can then be drawn upon to shape doctoral candidates’ research. By asking candidates and their supervisors to deliberately draw upon their cultural knowledge systems, symbols and languages, we are seeking to send a clear message that these intellectual and cultural histories and geographies are central to the research process rather than mere background (Manathunga et a!., 2019).

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >