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Disturbances and Dislocations

Understanding Teaching and Learning Experiences in Indigenous Australian Women’s Music and Dance


Elizabeth Mackinlav

One of the biggest debates in Australian Indigenous education today revolves around the many contested and competing ways of knowledge about Indigenous cultures and the means by which Indigenous intellectual traditions and knowledges make the journey into mainstream educational settings. Grounded in Bakhtin’s theories of dialogue and voice, this book explores the polyphonic nature of power relations, performance roles and pedagogical texts in the context of teaching and learning Indigenous Australian women’s music and dance. In this discussion, the author focuses on her experiences as a lecturer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland and her involvement in this educational setting with students and guest lecturers/performers. The performance classroom is examined as a potential site for disturbing and dislocating dominant modes of representation of Indigenous women’s performance through the construction, mediation and negotiation of Indigenous knowledge from and between both non-Indigenous and Indigenous voices. This book contains a CD with video clips illustrating the ways in which an embodied approach to teaching and learning happens in this classroom context.
Contents: Approaching Indigenous Australian Women’s Music and Dance: An Engaged and Embodied, Dialogic and Disturbing Teaching and Learning Process – The Researcher and the Research Site: A Narrative – Understanding Performance as a Pedagogical Text: A Pilot Study – Reading against the Grain: Theoretical Positioning – Young, White and Female: A Personal and Political Profile of ANTH2120 Students – Performing Ethnography in the Classroom: Workshops and Performers – Performing Bodies: Experiencing and Embodying Knowledge about Indigenous Australian Women’s Music and Dance – Engaging with Theories of Dialogue and Voice: Using Bakhtin as a Framework to Understand Teaching and Learning Indigenous Australian Women’s Performance – Performance and Performativity in Teaching and Learning Indigenous Australian Women’s Music and Dance: Power, Politics and Pedagogy.