my homework


Visweswaran (1994) suggests that "a feminist ethnography characterized by 'homework'" might just produce "a substantially different (or 'decolonized') ethnography" (p. 113). Working within understandings of auto-ethnography, I am working through lines of power, subjectivity and experience, sorting through how dominant cultural narratives, or discourses, may be reinscribing that which much research points to as one of the basic issues at the core of current ecological crises: the separation of and hierarchical relations between humans and what is often referred to as 'nature'.


For me, doing this homework has meant paying attention to discourses available to me together with the many ways in which they are both (re)producing particular subjectivities and limiting expression of an ecological self.


Doing homework has also meant paying attention to how, through my pedagogy, my research, and my day-to-day living and speaking, I may be limiting expressions of an ecological self that can communicate across the socially constructed human/nature/spirit divide. To do this attending has meant paying particular attention to "cognitive imperialism" (Battiste, 1998) and the ways in which it constrains how, and thus what, one can know. Yet as much as I have attempted to disrupt the privileged space of the cognitive, I acknowledge the irony that in much of this text, I reinscribe that which I criticize.