unmarked norm


By producing and maintaining the human species as the seldom acknowledged and unmarked norm against which all Others are measured (Fawcett, 2000), humans have come to enjoy immense privilege at the expense of the non-human, with devastating environmental effects.


As Haraway (1991b) claims, "situated knowledges are always 'marked' knowledges" produced within particular, often oppressive histories of "masculinist, racist, and colonialist dominations" (p. 111). What investments might have to be given up by acknowledging the situatedness (and thus limits) of conceptual rational knowledge-making processes? What if people acknowledged the intelligence and communicative abilities of plants and other-than-human animals? What are the implications for opening up current limitations of knowledge production within the constraints of maintaining academic careers? (see Dillard, 2003b; Kuokkanen, 2003, 2006).


Within a Canadian Faculty of Education, can I speak of (and cite) many of my insights acquired through intimate interaction with plants? What of telepathic communication with animals? I think (hope) so. What about knowledge that comes through spirit? Maybe. It seems to depend on where I am speaking and who I am speaking with. Meaning is acquired in specific contexts among specific communities of people, and through particular textual and social processes (Scott, 1988). My hope is that this particular 'hypertextual process' can open up ontological possibilities seldom considered in academic meaning-making processes.