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 VI

 
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 VI

What about me then? Part of the reason I've flown from country to country as an adult is that I am an impetuous person (or I was before I had children). At 24, I finished my B.A. in London, left my married-at-19 husband, started squatting (occupying houses left empty--mostly by London County Council), ran a market stall with secondhand stuff I bought at other markets, and started living with an Irishman from Cork when we both jumped on the same bus together and our friends got left behind. We moved from squatting to a traveler's caravan on the canal in Camden Town, where he was working for folks gentrifying Dingwalls with an upscale restaurant and shops. One New Years we went to north Wales with friends and on the spur of the moment decided to go on across the Irish Sea to Dublin. We drove down to Ring in Waterford and spent New Years Eve in a pub famous for nightlong singing and storytelling. He decided right then to return to Cork, and I went with him. It was like that.

I was in Ireland. In the countryside among musicians, farmers, storytellers, my man a sailor and carpenter, and I feeling at home for the first time. More home than anywhere, even Cornwall. But I was English, and there's always that tweak to it. Well, what is my own anyway? I have been uprooted and have uprooted myself so many times, I can hardly say. English. English. I feel it in this America. I felt it in the Canaries and Morocco where, believe it or not, I read Agatha Christie novels and felt homesick for rain. What's that, then? English? I'm not the English of someone who has always lived in Hackney Wick or Polruan or Leeds. And all they are different too. Gets wiggly here when I want to pin down what makes me English. Or does it? It's not an it really, is IT? Things like taking a shower once a week instead of every day. Fiercely keeping to making compost while my housemates and husbands and children hold their noses. Drinking milky tea by the gallon. Saving food and eating it even though it might be a bit off. Believing children should eat some dirt when they're babies. Not caring about clean, clean, clean. So, I suppose it's country English too, not just English, and country English from the 40s and 50s, maybe not from now anymore. Got to have a garden. House open to neighbors, visitors, family, people who need a place to stay. Buy too much food just in case. Don't lock my car or shave my legs. And these things are fierce--my country border between England in me and the U.S. out there.

What do I push away from me? Waste. Water waste. Paper waste. Food waste. Electricity waste. How to look right. What's on the outside over what's on the inside. Advertising. Packaging.

And there's more that's not about the U.S. Pushing away facades and masks is also about resisting the colonial culture of my mother, preferring the disturbing harsh humor and rudeness of my father's male working class culture, the bugger flicking, farting, belching, authority bashing, teller of tall tales, cry over dead kittens but hit you across the room culture. Hard to love, but I do.

What of her culture do I hold close? Having time to look at grass growing out of cracks in the concrete, art, music, travelling by ship, going back to the land because you didn't grow up in a no-water no-electricity killed-your-mother tenement. Easier to love, and I do.

     
   

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)