Episode 25: Episode 25. Critical Participatory Inquiry as Sabotage

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In this special episode, Qualitative Conversations hosts a panel discussion with scholars who weren't able to present at the 2021 AERA conference due to technical difficulties. The particular panel session discussed in this episode was titled Critical Participatory Inquiry as Sabotage and included the following participants: Meagan Call-Cummings, George Mason University; Giovanni Dazzo, George Mason University; Sharrell Hassell-Goodman, PhD candidate in the Higher Education Program with a focus in Women and Gender studies and Social Justice at George Mason University; Alexandra S. Reed, George Mason University; Rodney Hopson, U of Illinois-Urbana Champaign; Melissa Hauber-Özer, George Mason University & Jesuit Worldwide Learning; Elisabeth L. Chan - Northern Virginia Community College & George Mason University.
The following is the transcript of the conversation.
Rodney 0:24
Good morning. Welcome. I'm Rodney Hopson, a faculty member at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign professor and evaluation in the queries division, Interim Director of Korea, really excited to have some colleagues here today talking about some really critical issues. If you didn't get an opportunity to hear a Ura, I was discussing for the roundtable disruption, interruption and change. It's not enough. What we need is sabotage, critical participatory inquiry as sabotage in and of the Academy. So I'm going to open up by having our colleagues introduce themselves and their key ideas and then come back around with questions of dualism.
Melissa 1:16
I'm Melissa Hauber-Özer, as I recently completed my PhD at George Mason University in the international education program. And our first paper in the panel was a collaborative counter storytelling piece that I co authored with Megan, Sharrell and Elizabeth which examine an incident that occurred within our ongoing YPAR project or youth participatory action research project. And this incident, and then our conversations about it after the fact pushed us to consider our power relations within the collective and then especially around race and gender. And then our relationships or interactions with the host institutions within which you're doing this critical, participatory work.
Giovanni 2:05
Great. Thanks, Melissa. My name is Giovanni Dazzo. I'm a doctoral candidate in research methodology at George Mason University. My article was titled small acts of sabotage, unraveling expertise to push for restorative forms of inquiry. And in this paper, I've been reflecting on my personal background and how I needed to bring this into my own methodological work. And as a doctoral candidate specializing in critical methodology, I needed to acknowledge my identity as a child of Sicilian immigrants being raised in small rural California town, into a family of farmers and laborers. For example, in farming communities, when we see smoke billowing from an open field of crops, this isn't necessarily a sign of danger, but one of renewal of coordinated and careful sabotage. And when done carefully, this practice called slashing burn or slashing cover has been ecologically sustainable for millennia. So I started to think about qualitative research in this way, what type of lens needs to be cleared, burned and left uncultivated for some time, and reflecting on which methodological processes have been around for so long, that they're worth burning down? So in this paper, I discussed three areas. How often are We inspired by the words of our co researchers and community members, so much so that they should be cited alongside the greats who have 1000s of citations, but where we relegate their words to the finding sections of our papers? Second, I started questioning my parsimonious citation practices. So in some cases, I simply use terms like double consciousness and simply include parentheticals for WEB Dubois, and our usual APA and Chicago styles. But it's almost an eraser divestment of knowledge divorced from the historical, contextual, political and racial. So this small act of sabotage has required me to credit and balance the words of others at the expense of my own. And last, I've begun to explore what I call known methods or those that community members and I already use in our daily lives. So when I talk about these non methods, it's not about erasing our knowledge as researchers, but more about acting in humility to unlearn our methods through the act of recognizing community expertise. So I don't simply dissenter, my experience or romanticized community members traditional knowledge, which is another issue in and of itself, but recent are both acknowledging each as residing in expertise. Thank you, Giovanni.
Rodney 4:48
I'm
Sharrell 4:49
looking forward to reading your work. Hello, I'm Sharrell Hassell-Goodman. I'm a PhD candidate in the higher education program with a focus in Women and Gender Studies. And social justice. So my paper is a self study as a result of a black feminist critical participatory action research project, in which a group of 22 undergraduate and graduate women of the African diaspora and when I say African diaspora, we represent black African American, African, Afro Caribbean, Afro Cuban and Afro Latina women operate as a research collective. Throughout this manuscript I explored an in darkened feminist epistemological approach to critical participatory action research as an act of sabotage to radically center black women's knowledge as legitimate. I document the ways in which I navigated in negotiated my ethical commitments and obligations to the research collective, through critical events analysis. Along the way, I realized that my voice around knowledge shifted, and my orientation in the classroom was disrupted. I look at three incidents around my experiences in the classroom throughout the article. Using the researcher journal as data and critical events analysis as a framework, I explored the following questions. One, how does a first generation woman of the African diaspora a researcher come to know to what does it mean for black woman's knowledge to be interpreted as legitimate? And three, how is research an act of self sabotage? As a result of this study, I found that in darkened feminist epistemological approach to participatory action research is critical to undo the ratio of black woman's knowledge in the academy, exposing the nature of white supremacy that maintains normative confines within the Academy is to understand the challenges associated with other cultural norms and standards, specifically black women to be seen as legitimate.
Elizabeth 7:00
Thank you, Sharrell. My name is Elizabeth Chan. I'm an associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and also a PhD candidate in multilingual, multicultural education at George Mason University. And I worked also on the paper together with Cheryl and Melissa and Megan that, Melissa, so very well outlined at the beginning.
Sasha 7:28
Thanks, Elizabeth. Hello, my name is Sasha Reid and I am a PhD candidate at George Mason, studying special education and qualitative research methods with special interest in intellectual and developmental disabilities inclusion, and accessible and equitable research opportunities. I'm in the process of completing a three paper dissertation which is aimed at understanding the concept of inclusion at the post secondary level, from young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a critical participatory inquiry project. My panel paper was titled sabotaging method the tensions of accepting responsibility. And I'm drawing particularly from paper three, which documents the process of how I've approached navigate, and in reconciling my researcher responsibilities and commitments to my researcher group during the entire traditional research cycle process. So question, design and approach, data collection, data analysis, and deciding on next steps. And I'm really focusing on where and how I'm yielding my position of power to disrupt that traditional cycle, and where I can design or simply leave room for organic participation to occur with participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Throughout I'm grappling with the following questions which guide the paper from the era panel? What is recognized as Reacher research in my field, field being special education and disabilities? And how am I now forgetting the difference between a method and a way of inquiry to Who is this research for and three, how is my power and positionality as a person who does not identify as having disability tied up in this tension of responsibility, my responsibility to produce knowledge that's deemed academically significant, as well as my responsibility to meaningfully include a commonly forgotten population in the research arena.
Megan 9:52
Thanks, Sasha. My name is Megan Call-Cummings. I'm an assistant professor of research methods at George Mason University where we're all From in one way or another, so I specialize in participatory feminist and critical qualitative methodologies. The paper I wrote for this panel is called sabotaging significance, a call for less research and more organizing. The paper is kind of a description of my journey of sort of critical reflexivity and kind of messy and fluid processes of both and sometimes simultaneous adaptation to and also rejection of the status quo within academia. So over the course of the last seven years, I've sort of shifted professional positions from doctoral student to university faculty member and I've kind of flipped back and forth often between a research trajectory that I would consider to be kind of like edgy and anti racist, but still within the bounds, like the safety bounds of being deemed acceptable. And then research that kind of tries to give the middle finger to academia to you know, my university, even my future tenure committee, right? It's like, whatever I'm going to do what I want. If I get tenure, it is what it is right? So I kind of flip between those two often. So the paper follows this, this messy journey offering vignettes to illustrate the kind of difficult process of really, completely altering the way academia understands and applies the intertwined white supremacist concepts of rigor, validity, trustworthiness and of course, significance. So these concepts and practices, I argue in the paper are applied routinely and often invisibly, as tools of domination and control, as as much that calls itself research. So what I argue in the end, is that what we need, just like Eve tuck has said in this moment is less research and more organizing. And I wonder, you know, how would we measure the significance of such a move? For you? Awesome.
Rodney 12:02
Well, let's go back to you. Actually, Megan, because I'm familiar with your work in this panel, seems to be an offshoot of some other work that you've been doing been asking, bringing in other saboteurs and other critical participants in this space. So what led us to this particular work at AERA in this presentation? And tell us a little bit more,
Megan 12:24
if you don't mind? Thanks, Rodney. I appreciate that. So, yeah, we were all part of a class last summer, this summer of 2020, I had planned to facilitate a special topics class on decolonizing methodologies, really, because several students, you know, like the ones here and others had kind of come to me and said, this is something that they needed. So I put together a syllabus during the spring semester, I knew it would be online because of COVID. And then you guys can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was like less than a week before the class actually started, that George Floyd was murdered by police officers and on protests for racial justice erupted across the US and the world. So that not only became I mean, the sense of a backdrop really doesn't do it justice in terms of how it affected that class, it was like this simultaneous experience, we were all living in different ways, because of our different identities and connections to racial injustice, and things like that. And so, so it became these class discussions were like rich and messy and raw with vulnerability and anger and resentment of academia, and are places within the structure that's so often thick with injustice and inequity, but simultaneously have as so many people working for justice and equity. And it was actually one of Giovanni's posts, I think, along with some of Eve Tech's work that we read together, I believe that that suggested the idea of sabotage, right? The idea that what's needed now is, as Giovanni said, burn the place down, or start little fires everywhere, right? What's needed now is is not more research, right is not more research into what's wrong or who the problems are. But it's about organizing. It's about scholars becoming an activist and taking responsibility and ownership of these processes. So we talked a lot about being tired of academia or the way things are in higher ed the status quo. And so that's kind of what led us to the idea of this panel.
Rodney 14:33
Yeah, that's, that's, that's quite helpful. Maybe I'll just pick on you Giovanni, as well to talk a bit a bit about both the theoretical frameworks that have inspired this work around subtour mean you don't have resistance. You don't use like resistant or resist or and then mean. Tell us more about what it is for you to bring those. Those frameworks slash and burn from the farming. Italian migrant. Please make the connection.
Giovanni 15:01
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, first for me, looking at conceptual and theoretical frameworks I've been using more recently, I have put aside the academic literature, I have spoken with my grandfather, and spoken to my parents. And first and foremost, I have also spoken to community members that I work alongside in Guatemala who are ..., Maya, farmers, laborers, community members. And so when I started to think about theoretical frameworks, and what it means to theorize, I stepped away from the traditional scholars because I felt this needed to be my first small act of sabotage in unraveling. What I was socialized to think was expertise. So as now, as I construct conceptual frameworks or theoretical frameworks for my own dissertation, and various articles, I actually start with the words of community members and cite them alongside the greats, including Paulo Freire, a bell hooks, Martin barro web Dubois. But second, I've been engaging more and more with sociological theory and Communication Studies since I typically conduct applied research and program evaluation on human rights and justice initiatives. So Daren Barney's work on sabotage and the politics of withdraw have been pivotal for me, as it provides this theoretical grounding and critical theory and historical examples of sabotage, and how we don't really talk about sabotage when we engage in Marxist theory, and thinking about sabotage and and this politics of withdraw. I've been engaging a lot with the work of activists and scholar activists who talk about the politics and epistemology of self determination. Everyone from Kwame Nkrumah, Angela Davis, Patricia Hill-Collins. And then following on that, when it comes to these citation practices that I talked about, I argue that the way we cite is similar to what bud Hall and we're just 10 done in their 2017 paper on decolonizing. Knowledge call accumulation is dispossession, a term they credit to the work of geographer David Harvey. So in their example, just as universities stolen accumulated land by native and indigenous peoples to build campuses that would then dispossessed them of the right to then live, earn and learn on that land. We do the same as we race to accumulate as many citations of our own work by citing the work of great individuals that came before us, but forgetting those who inspired us in the communities we work in. So I see this as a form of resistance and refusal. In the words of Tuck and Yang to this parsimonious language, we're often forced to use just another small act of sabotage to the way that academics and citation habits unintentionally or intentionally silence entire populations. And when I think about this idea of known methods, I credit the work of Ignacio Martin barro, who was an El Salvadoran, Jesuit priest, and psychologist. And he called on researchers to de-ideologized everyday experience by working with communities to co construct data through routine practices. So now in our collective, we explore how ... Maya, traditional oral traditions and storytelling, as well as their traditional ceremonies can be integrated. But then also, I've pushed back against my own methodological associate realization and asked, what, how did I collect data before I was a doctoral candidate, when I was in a farming community. And so for Italians, it's often that we take a stroll. And so this is what I've been doing with my co researchers is that we often take us take a stroll, and we talk and they narrate their experiences and their landmarks. And an Italian it's called body on the passage of that. But now I think of that as one of my methods, one of my known methods that I've actually forgotten about, because I've taken so many courses on research methods. So that's really how I've been thinking about these small acts of sabotage. That what if we brought in more of our own every day, when we thought about method, rather than solely recognizing the easy things that we identify where we've carefully constructed ourselves through methodological training?
Rodney 19:44
Hmm, let me. I'm not going to unpack that. I want to ask Sharrell to do a little bit of unpacking, actually. And thank you for that, Giovanni, because you've, you've left us with a few things to think about. What's your role I'd like you to to help us think about this balance. This this balance, oftentimes is contradiction in this tension in the academy between and picking up on some more Giovanni says was known methods, methods that exist and trying to engage in some methodological sabotage he makes it sound like we should be in the form of the farmland. But we're we're not always in the farm level we're calling one. We're calling out other others. So how do you? How do you think about this?
Sharrell 20:34
Yeah, I think and this, your point really segues nicely to what Giovanni was talking about to lay the groundwork. And I think, you know, I try to think about my epistemological and ontological commitments, and to what into whom my research is answerable, and accountable to thinking about Patel's work, like specifically, I tried to engage in anti racist and D colonial research methods that center those that have been on the margins. And I try to be concerned with the lived experiences of others, and how they are centered in research. I think it's easy to get focused on identifying problems, to justify our research. But really, we have to be careful with these Western paradigms that center deficit perspectives, that focus on fixing people rather than attending to oppressive systems. With all that said, we also need to be mindful of the ways in which white logics and white supremacy is embedded within our research methods, and how we must work to retool and think about our methods and who they're excluding who they're exotifying and how they're dehumanizing people. What assumptions i think is also something that we need to be looking at, we're making when we utilize certain methods, what biases do these methods possess, that we need to account for and interrupt? If we say we are committed to methodological sabotage, I also think that that means that we need to be slow to conduct research. So similar to what Megan was talking about, and really thinking about why am I interested in doing this research? Should I be the one to conduct this research? What is the impact of conducting this research? Who will benefit from this research? You know, also thinking about how power is dispersed within this research? How will this research be disseminated? Right? For example? Is it published in a fancy journal? Or is it available and accessible to community members? And so so those are some of the things that I think about when trying to balance the commitments within the academy and the expectations, while also thinking about ways to sabotage methods and methodology?
Rodney 23:04
Helpful. And thank you for the references. Let me ask you, Elizabeth as well to, to to think about that as well. Because one of thinking about John's stance feels working some of the notions that he lifts in terms of rethinking the ethnocentric reproduction of knowledge in our social science and universities. So how is it? And how might we as academics begin to engage in some sabotage in the academy with these largely older, oppressive, patriarchal systems that have been traditional, and have been driven in a euro and American thought for hundreds of years?
Elizabeth 23:47
Yes, definitely. Thank you for that question. And kind of when I start out thinking about just the act of sabotage, and even just starting from that word, trying to get other academics on board with the idea of sabotage and thinking about it as a deliberate subversion to the system, that we are intentionally trying to be destructive or obstructive to the system. Right. And I think that's a good point that Cheryl had mentioned is just keeping the distinction there in mind between the difference between person to person versus looking at it and institution or system. And so, I mean, another way to think about sabotage is to think of it as as historically when people use the word sabotage, like some sort of plan or sabotaging your, your employer, right, as we mentioned, a way to kind of hinder the manufacturing right would be an example that workers or the labor movement would get involved in. And thinking about the post secondary education system. And with the rise of neoliberalism within the system, where we as educational experts are increasingly being treated, right like parts of this kind of machine, that we're we're churning out these monocultural body of, of laborers, right for the workforce, and a growing discontent that is felt by academics and educators. But it kind of with that, we also seen a little bit of this growth of apathy, as well, which I think kind of works against that, this feeling that this is the way things are going to be right, or the tides kind of swinging back and forth. And we'll just wait for things to swing back the other way. So in other words, they're thinking still within the system, rather than questioning the system and thinking about how we can start to do some of that deliberate subversion. So I feel like, especially right now, there's a lot of attention, people are paying more attention. Because I feel like it's always a political time, right. And there are always activists who are working and mobilizing and social movements are happening, you know, all the time. But right now people are, are paying more attention. And I think, to sabotage, you have to be willing to risk, right. So you have to be able to risk social, political, financial, other forms of capital. And so for many academics, I feel like that's a sticking point. That's a hurdle And in order to get more academics involved, I think we take advantage of that the fact that people are paying more attention now. And when people feel that motivation, maybe it's anger, or frustration, or around a certain issue, you do get more people on board. But it's not quite enough, because people need to understand why the issue is important. And that includes understanding the long history. And as you you mentioned, thinking of it in terms of ethnocentric understanding, then we know that there's that responsibility for people to do some of that internal work and learn more of that history and why it matters for them personally, and their responsibilities to that issue. And so knowing that history and questioning our own positions within it, and within the systems, then we continually reflect about what powers and privileges we have at doing that individual work. And I think during, at the same time, we start to build these relationships between peoples and between the academics within the community. Together, we can feel more confident in questioning the ideologies that are there and critiquing the institutions and the systems together. But to do that, I think we have to lay out a very clear vision of what the end result is going to look like, what we share in this vision, and to give very clear first steps that feel reasonable and doable. And then as we work together in that way, we, we have to understand that say we are supporting each others not quite enough, right? That especially right now, we hear a lot about I'm in solidarity with you, or I'm in solidarity with your communities. But again, we have to put our capital where our mouth is. And so solidarity is embodied practice, right? It's an embodied action. And it's a relational action, right, where we grow relationships with people in different communities, and that's from Fuji Connie. And so I really draw upon that idea to try to think about how to bring more people within the academic community together around these issues.
Rodney 29:46
And that's very, that's profound. Let me let me move to Sasha to hopefully find a way to think through that. So I'm taking a lot from Elizabeth points here sash and one of them around relevance has to do with maybe one of the things you spoke on earlier the relevance of your work. Who's this work for? and responsibilities. Tell us a little bit about yourself your work in the relevance of your work around your topic as well, please.
Sasha 30:23
I'm thinking about two points that Elizabeth made one. That The time is now and that we need to take first steps, we need to have a few clear first steps. I do agree with those two points. I do think the time is now. And we cannot ignore the centuries of dangerous and dark histories of research, particularly with individuals in what are deemed marginalized or vulnerable populations. One of which is the community that I work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Between between the recent efforts of the last half of a century trying to prevent the mistreatment that was their riddling their past and the socially accepted view, not my view, but the socially accepted view that these individuals will not understand the research or construct knowledge, therefore they have no interest in research or being included, included in the research has resulted in no research, including this group, it's lacking. In addition to that, there's not only a belief that this group will understand or group marginalized groups won't understand it's that there's a distrust of the data. So what they do tell us what we do listen, what we do hear from them. We don't believe in order to triangulate that data, we go somewhere else to trust the source. Oh, the academy and hope and what I'm trying to work on sabotaging is chipping away at that episode femicide, you know, D'Souza to Santos says, killing of knowledge, and particularly for the disability community, we've had centuries of killing knowledge. The research has not only been dirty and painful, it's led to silencing and truly killing of the knowledge production. it perpetuates systemic exclusion in research, and continues this gap gap between individuals with disabilities and knowledge production. I really think that's relevant to my work. And it's particularly dangerous in the fields that I'm in. Because special education and disability research tend to emerge from social sciences, social justice fields, right. And so the research that has been done, maybe seen as benevolent, but in fact was really harmful and contributes to the injustice in the silencing of an entire population. Additionally, to me, this work is really relevant because I like shut off that I approached this through a social construct of disability, not medical, not deficit view. biodiversity, including neuro diversity is natural, it's important, and it's everywhere throughout our world. Be Academy be institutions Higher, higher ed may still be an ivory tower. And I recognize that I am a tenant in that tower and rather rather comfortable. So how can I use my comfy position to push back push back what what the research mode looks like? In particular, for this dissertation? It's it's not following a traditional steps outline in any of our qualitative textbooks. It's it's not hitting all the check mark the checkboxes for a phenomenological study or for a participatory action study. But it is still solid work on my group doesn't fit into some sort of qualitative matrix. And I wonder, can this be okay and I continue to answer yes, it is okay. This is good, solid work. I am engaged, engaging in conversations and dialogue with my research community and I am exercising federates Trust through dialogue. These co researchers are the experts because of their lived experiences. And I want to center the experiences as expertise instead of well, the method wasn't followed through to see if that makes sense. I also enter this research with a background in explicit instruction, like training students. And a lot of these young adults have come from the school system, or the community system where they were trained to sit, listen, obey, copy, blendon, do what they do, do what somebody without a disability does, and giving room and space for doing whatever you want, say what you want, don't give, don't answer the way you think it is, or a test is a small act of sabotage for this particular community. But I I think that can extend to other marginalized groups as well. So really, I think just knowing that I'm a privileged white woman who does not identify as a disability as having a disability. I have a lot of power and then I can shake up what the privileged white male scientists and scholars have laid out for the last 100 hundreds of years. And I'm excited to continue working with my group beyond dissertation and hopefully lay out some new frameworks that can be used to be more inclusive.
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Rodney 37:19
Thank you, Sasha, that's also work that seems quite important and significant. And I want to dovetail your comments and relevance and issues of responsibility and carving new spaces to Melissa. How might we fear those who critique the saboteurs? What, how do we how do we respond to the status quo, to those who say that this diversity is about deviance or difference is really about deficit. Help us using some of the words that Evan Gordon has written in the paper as well that I'd like to come back to with other colleagues that help us Melissa, what do you what do you think?
Melissa 38:26
Well, I would say that it's more important now than ever, to, especially for those of us who identify as as white, we have a responsibility to engage in explicitly anti racist work. Now that these racist systems and structures have been revealed to us we've been we've had these blind spots for centuries, as Sasha has said, especially in relation to people with disabilities that we have these movements going on right now reached the racial justice movement, of course, in the context of which we wrote this paper. And then as we revise the paper, and then it got it accepted for publication, more and more names are being added to the list, victims of police brutality, and now we see a rise in anti Asian hate crimes. And for me, personally, my research is with refugees. And there's been a lot of contention around the issue of forced migration and refugee resettlement in the United States. And here in Turkey, where I live, there's a lot of polarization around Syrian refugees, what their rights should be a long term outlook. So I really believe that this is the time that we need to stand up and push back Actually, this idea of sabotage is that we're working from the inside to dismantle these racist systems and structures. And so what we tried to do in our paper was start with ourselves, especially for Megan And for me as, as white women who have these blind spots, we wanted to engage in a really structured process of reflexivity, in order to kind of sensitize ourselves to how these incidents feel very different for our core researchers of color. The particular incident that we look at in the paper seems relatively simple. On the surface, that white man who works in the university in the facilities, actually he never identified himself basically accosted Elizabeth removing a table during this research event with us. And then, as we dug deeper, we saw how it was really racially charged, looking at it through Elizabeth experience, and through chevelles experience of trying to intervene and find some resolution for this incident. So I wasn't even at the event actually. But for me, it was a really important process of looking at how, how I'm missing the point in these types of interactions, how in my own research with refugee youth and young adults, I might be missing something that's, that's really affecting their experience some structural issues or interpersonal issues. So we took this approach of critical race theory and actually critical whiteness theory to examine these these kind of layers through a critical race praxis from Nam Moto, where we look at the experience and rethink it, and then translate it, looking at the how these racist structures and patterns of white supremacy are operating in our society and our institutions that are supposed to be safe havens for diversity, and then engagement, which is really grappling with the tensions that can happen within our research collectives in our interpersonal relationships, and then trying to center the experiences and knowledges of these communities, marginalized communities, and working towards more equitable curricula, policies, practices. So in my own research, I'm trying to do that with refugee populations. And it's, it's hard, but I feel that this is really our the commitment that we need to make as critical qualitative researchers to engage in hard work. Because we have this privilege, and we need to do more than just position ourselves as allies, we need to break down these structures from within those of us who have privilege have, perhaps more power to work towards change.
Rodney 42:46
Well, I'm inspired. I don't know how much time we have and I don't know how much more you all have to say. But I want to thank you all for your appealing to ... of our communities, the self-determination. And not being wedded just to the university's own understanding of knowledge and relevance. Thank your for ... your pushing that notion of that understanding is the pure soul of what this work is about. Thank you as well for your parrhesia for your vulnerability for telling the truth. For not being afraid and coureagous. So as I turn back. I couldn't help but thinking about some things I'm thinking about now. The centenial year of professor Edmond W. Gordon who is celebrating his 100th birthday next month at the Teacher's College in a series of Webnars. But there are a series of activities this whole year. I hope you all can participate in celebrating this giant of a man. He wrote in ed research with fellow colleagues. This notioon called community centered bias, which is quite nice. Communitiy centered bias is this notion whcih he eterms as a tendency to make one's community the center of the universe. and the conceptual frame the frames all thought. He suggest that this androcentral, culturo-centric, ethnocentric chauvinsim known as community centric bias is rampid. And you all simply displayed that in yourconversation. I don't know if you all have anything else to say but I certainly would welcome your thoughts and some dialogue a bit back and forth,a bit more sabotour.
Giovanni 42:46
Well i'll go first I I think you know with the work of of Edmund Gordon and and how he really brought forth affirmative, voices in the affirmative, as opposed to always looking at the achievement gap as a as a deficit, but one thing that i've seen as as small acts of sabotage.
And really pushing back against this idea that our Community is the Center of the world.
You know this is, this is a big thing in even Italian culture in Roman times Rome was was the Center of the world and that's actually something that often comes up in in Italian culture as much as. The nation has has struggled I would say there's still this this idea that Italy, of course, bread, the Renaissance, they had a number of other cultural and philosophical philosophical advancement, but getting into anti fascism and Neo Marxism there was the idea against this this cultural hegemony through the work of Gramsci and. And really in the Italian resistance movements in the Polish resistance movements.
Looking back at those they had tiny acts of sabotage, or what the the Polish called small small sabotage your minor sabotage admit it was.
They were things as simple as not acknowledging that you spoke German, even if you did or giving people the wrong directions simply so they would go the wrong way.
And these are also things that are continued to be done in Italy in Rome.
Just to mess with tourists, but I would say, even in my own work, and not only my studies, but my my full time job within government sometimes you have to not speak the same language as people and and recognize that so then it's a type of calling out and calling in to say.
I choose to be different, and even though the work of sabotage is meant to be.
Under the radar you still have to expose yourself, and I think that's important, I think. That type of authenticity in one's work comes out when.
You enable yourself to.
To be present to be visible as a Sabbath tour.
Sharrell 42:46
I guess I can go.
Next I.
appreciate those examples, Giovanni because it's even thinking about my work and what i'm interested in doing is.
working to site black women right and thinking about black feminist knowledge and it's contributions to the Academy that's often seen as an oversight.
So I think about the work of Anna Julia Cooper who brittney Cooper and her work kind of in her work of beyond respectability draws from the work of Anna Julia Cooper.
As this comparison approach right so specifically thinking about that as a methodological approach that's committed to seeing.
The black female body as a form of possibility and not a burden and centering the black female body.
as a means of black social thought, so I think it's about you know thinking about these different approaches and who are we centering.
Right and so when we move beyond a deficit approach that seeks to sabotage Western ideas around research.
You know, really exists, particularly we think about black feminist work exists outside what we think of as the Western research cannon.
And so, how are we thinking about that work to infringe upon conventional notions of social science.
and acknowledging the rebel relevance and the importance of centering black woman's knowledge is legitimate, so I think when we think about these acts of sabotage, we are thinking about.
You know these ideas of resisting familiar Western paradigms that are oppressive in nature.
Even thinking about scholars work like Dr kristin Smith, who creates a campaign calling cite black women in response to the academic candidate frequently you know doesn't recognize the intellectual and you know contributions of black women right, and so I think that's that's something that is really important that we're paying that we're considering we're thinking about these notions of sabotage and what does that actually look like and I appreciate Giovanni your connection.
People, you know that we often don't see as intellectual so i'm thinking about black women are folks that were enslaved. And their acts of resistance and what does that look like and how do we take that to to the next level or how do we take that a step further and our own research, so I appreciate your connection Giovanni and just wanted to add my perspective as well.
Rodney 42:46
Any final thoughts... You know... here's mine. And i'm just passing the baton. I'll tell you what it looks like. It looks like folk who have and can draw on a history of resistance not others not borrowing others resistance songs. Like I don't need Giovanni's farm songs Italian folk songs I have my own fucking songs in my own history if you don't know yours get yours. It's like Langston Hughes. The song the poem is I Sing America, I am the darker brother they sent me to the kitchen with company comes, but I laugh and eat well and grow strong tomorrow i'll be at the table and and nobody when a company comes. Nobody will dare seat in the evening coaching them there's a there's a form of resistance that's what it sounds like find your own resistance songs live your life.

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