Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London
Eight chickens and there was this goat. Academic Knowledge and Not Knowing
Brenda Cooper (Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town)
Wednesday 13 MAY: Room 256 Richard Hoggart Building, 4-6pm, Goldsmiths
We have to be knowledgeable, us academic writers, otherwise what is the point of us? It is a truism to state that we read and research with the purpose of adding to the store of knowledge in the world. Knowledge, however, is always partial. It would be academic hubris to assume otherwise. This is so in general. More specifically and politically, however, there is the academic research about people and places by researchers with backgrounds different from their subjects. The ignorance of fundamental aspects of the lives of these subjects is not always written into our findings. The challenge here is how to fashion our academic writing such that it expresses both our knowing and also our not knowing simultaneously. My question is how might our declared not knowing be written into the form and style of our writing?