Decolonial pedagogy through transcultural narrative inquiry in the contact zone

Hartej Gill, Vincent White

Abstract


Given the often tokenistic, ahistorical and apolitical approach to mainstream multiculturalism employed in schools, this paper theorizes transculturalism and decolonial thinking from a pedagogical perspective while also considering its potential as a transformative method of inquiry. Of particular interest to the authors is how employing transcultural narrative has the capacity to explore colonialism outside and beyond a conventional historical context in order to understand its impact on the present day. To this end, the authors discuss transcultural narrative as a form of decolonial pedagogy and inquiry, one that invites messy and often uncomfortable intro/trans-spective reflections where conflicting cultural, social and historical locations come into contact. This contact zone effectively compels unsettling dialogue between the colonizer/settler and the colonized, whiteness and color, privilege and marginalization, obstructionist and agency/ally work etc, locations which the authors argue are best understood collectively, relationally, and along a continuum rather than as a fixed binary. The authors present an example of this form of engagement (in the form of a transcultural narrative between an instructor and guest speaker), including the rationale through which it was actualized as well as some of the new inner/understandings that emerged from the inquiry experience. The potential to employ transcultural narrative as a pedagogical process of inquiry is also discussed.


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