Academic Ontologies: Storytelling as Research Strategy
On June 15th, the Humanities Across Borders and Fellowship programmes of IIAS hosted the first session of their online conversation series on Academic Ontologies: discussing storytelling as a research strategy.
The speakers were Tiffany Cone of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi; Rohit Negi of the Center for Community Knowledge (CCK) at Ambedkar University Delhi; and Elena Burgos Martinez of the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) at Leiden University.
They were invited to discuss practices of storytelling and the specific experience of non-English language use in different academic contexts such as the classroom, community-based projects and the ethnographer’s field. In their discussion, they reflected on the close association between the English language and academic excellence, and the colonial language politics that informs and shapes textual production, performance, transmission, and reception.
In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of the conversation on Youtube.
Academic Ontologies is an online conversation series initiated for students and early career scholars, by the Humanities Across Borders (HAB) and Fellowship programmes of the IIAS. Our point of departure is the close association between the English language and academic excellence, 1 Piller, I., 2019. On the conditions of authority in academic publics. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 23(5), pp.521-528. and the colonial language politics that informs and shapes textual production, performance, transmission, and reception, within hegemonic academic publics.
The idea of the first session on Storytelling as Research Strategy in this series of conversations on academic ontologies is to discuss practices of storytelling, and the specific experience of non-English language use, in different academic contexts such as in the classroom, in community-based projects, or in the ethnographer’s field.
Our wider aim is to create an open space for the coming together of an interdisciplinary community of scholars sharing intersectional, multi-lingual narrative research (including theory building and syllabi), and teaching strategies for the next generation of scholarship.
Tiffany Cone is an anthropologist and filmmaker from New Zealand with experience conducting ethnographic research and producing documentaries in East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. Her primary research areas are psychological anthropology, visual anthropology and pedagogy in higher education. Her research in HE pedagogy has included multi-lingual theory building, access to HE for underserved communities, and trauma-sensitive teaching practices. See more of her work at www.tiffanycone.com.
Rohit Negi is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Director of the Centre for Community Knowledge (CCK) at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi. He has researched subterranean, built, and atmospheric urban processes in Southern Africa and India. At CCK, he leads, among other work, the Delhi Oral History Project and the Humanities across Borders programme.
Elena Burgos Martinez is an Assistant Professor of environmental politics at Leiden University (LIAS), who has mostly worked with islands across Southeast Asian seas. She approaches the study of environmental crises from an interdisciplinary perspective and in the encounter with the sophisticated knowledges of islanders, artists, grassroot movements and a classroom which seeks to traverse the walls of elitist academia, and so we try to move beyond institutionalised knowledges. Her research's collaborators are interspecies and interelements, and so is the type of pedagogy she practices.