Too Many Deaths: Decolonizing Western Academic Research on Indigenous Cultures
By Gabrielle Welford
A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Division of the University of Hawaii in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English, May 2003
© 2003 Gabrielle Welford (welford@hawaii.edu)

Inbetween I

 
Main
 

Title Page, Acknowledgements, Abstract, Table of Contents, Preface

 
Chapter 1 - Introduction
 
Inbetween I
 
Chapter 2 -Approaching Scholarship
 
Inbetween II
 
Chapter 3 - The Western Academy Described: Purpose and Means
 
Inbetween III
 
Chapter 4 - Objectivity
 
Inbetween IV
 
Chapter 5 - Externalization of Viewpoint Unwillingness to be Affected
 
Inbetween V
 
Chapter 6 - Fact and Fiction Written vs. Oral Linear Argument
 
Inbetween VI
 
Chapter 7 - Modes of Thought Effects
 
Inbetween VII
 
Chapter 8 - Examples
 
Inbetween VIII
 
Chapter 9 - What Are Our Options?
 
Inbetween IX
 
Chapter 10 - Conclusion Responsibility
 
Bibliography

 

 

Inbetween I

I am being asked to say how I arrived--I suppose this means to a place where I feel maybe I have some answers. The request worries me since answers for me will not necessarily be answers for anyone else, and I want no hardening of the exploration arteries, even though sometimes I know that what I write looks like concrete. Perhaps all I can do is continue the inventory so you can see if any of what I have experienced applies to you. First I have to say I am not a typical anything, as you can see from the narrative in Chapter 1. But is anyone a typical anything? You cannot change to grow up the way I grew up, but maybe seeing bits of my story will contribute something to undermining the status quo.

By the time I was five, I had lived in four countries. Greek and Hindi language, and Cornish, Cockney, Canadian and the Yorkshire accents of my father filled me. Beginning at a one-room country school, I naturally sat next to a boy who was darker and more towsled than the rest, not just because of the other countries--my father was dark too and a small boy in the heart of him. I walked with the boy on the nature walk and stuck close to him. He didn't mind. The teacher hauled me up to the front of the class and ridiculed me for wanting to be friends with "the gypsy." He and his friends beat me up on the way home. Gypsy? What was I then? Where did I belong? It's only in retrospect that I see how much darker I am than the average English person, blood of my great grandmother who was found on a workhouse doorstep as a baby. Dark her son, my father's father, and dark my father. My mother's mother wrote to her sisters that my mother had come home with a man they knew nothing about except that he'd been in the army and was dark as a gypsy. Before I was born, the prejudice of light-skinned people, my relatives. I am what Lila Abu-Lughod refers to as a "halfie," what Mary TallMountain called an Inbetween.

But they loved me, and I was their pet. My mother moved out of her mother's house when I was 2 and found a cottage by the sea with me and my one-year-old sister Jane. She says she couldn't abide the condescension and spitefulness of her sister-in-law, a hardnose captain's daughter from New Zealand. My mother and father weren't married till I was 12. They hid and lied for 13 years in case he should lose his job. But my grandpa knew. He'd gone to check the Register of births and marriages and wouldn't talk to my father. He wouldn't talk to him until my father moved in so we could look after my grandmother who had cancer. I was 9 then.

This is part of the story.

     
   

From:
Too Many Deaths: Decolonizing Western Academic Research on Indigenous Cultures
By Gabrielle Welford
A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Division of the University of Hawaii in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English, May 2003
© 2003 Gabrielle Welford (welford@hawaii.edu)