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Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology

An Evolving 18-year Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists

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Kryssi Staikidis

To expand the possibilities of “doing arts thinking” from a non-Eurocentric view, Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology: An Evolving 18-year Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists is grounded in Indigenous perspectives on arts practice, arts research, and art education. Mentored in painting for eighteen years by two Guatemalan Maya artists, Kryssi Staikidis, a North American painter and art education professor, used both Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, which involve respectful collaboration, and continuously reexamined her positions as student, artist, and ethnographer searching to redefine and transform the roles of the artist as mentor, historian/activist, ethnographer, and teacher.

The primary purpose of the book is to illuminate the Maya artists as mentors, the collaborative and holistic processes underlying their painting, and the teaching and insights from their studios. These include Imagined Realism, a process excluding rendering from observation, and the fusion of pedagogy and curriculum into a holistic paradigm of decentralized teaching, negotiated curriculum, personal and cultural narrative as thematic content, and the surrounding visual culture and community as text.

The Maya artist as cultural historian creates paintings as platforms of protest and vehicles of cultural transmission, for example, genocide witnessed in paintings as historical evidence. The mentored artist as ethnographer cedes the traditional ethnographic authority of the colonizing stance to the Indigenous expert as partner and mentor, and under this mentorship analyzes its possibilities as decolonizing arts-based qualitative inquiry. For the teacher, Maya world views broaden and integrate arts practice and arts research, inaugurating possibilities to transform arts education.

Critical Collaborative Communities

Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats

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Edited by Nicola Simmons and Ann Singh

Writing comprises a significant proportion of academic staff members’ roles. While academics have been acculturated to the notion of ‘publish or perish,’ they often struggle to find the time to accomplish writing papers and tend to work alone. The result can be a sense of significant stress and isolation around the writing process. Writing partnerships, groups, and retreats help mitigate these challenges and provide significant positive writing experiences for their members.

Critical Collaborative Communities describes diverse examples of partnerships from writing regularly with one or two colleagues to larger groups that meet for a single day, regular writing meetings, or a retreat over several days. While these approaches bring mutual support for members, each is not without its respective challenges. Each chapter outlines an approach to writing partnerships and interrogates its strengths and limitations as well as proposes recommendations for others hoping to the implement the practice. Authors in this volume describe how they have built significant trusting relationships that have helped avoid isolation and have led to their self-authorship as academic writers.

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Edited by Anila Zainub

Decolonization and Anti-colonial Praxis presents research on contemporary forms of decolonization and anti-colonialism in practice. It pertains to the ways in which individuals, groups, and communities engage with the logic of epistemic colonial power within areas of citizenship, migration, education, Indigeneity, language, land struggle, and social work. The contributions in this edited volume empirically document the conceptual and bodily engagement of racialized and violated individuals and communities as they use anti-colonial principles to disrupt criminalizing institutional discourses and policies within various global imperial contexts.

The terms ‘Decolonization’ and ‘Anti-colonialism’ are used in diverse and interdisciplinary academic perspectives. They are researched upon and elaborated in necessary ways in the theoretical literature, however, it is rare to see these principles employed in applied forms. Decolonization and Anti-colonial Praxis provides a much needed contemporary and representative reclamation of these concepts from the standpoint of racialized communities. It explores the frameworks and methods rooted in their indigeneity, cultural history and memories to imagine a new future. The research findings and methodological tools presented in this book will be of interdisciplinary interest to teachers, graduate students and researchers.

Contributors are: Harriet Akanmori, Ayah Al Oballi, Sevgi Arslan, Jacqueline Benn-John, Lucy El-Sherif, Danielle Freitas, Pablo Isla Monsalve, Dionisio Nyaga, Hoda Samater, Rose Ann Torres, Umar Umangay, and Anila Zainub. 

Culture and Environment

Weaving New Connections

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Edited by David B. Zandvliet

The inspiration for this book arose out of a large international conference: the ninth World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) organized under the theme of Culture/Environment. Similarly, the theme for this book focuses on the Culture/Environment nexus. The book is divided into two parts: Part 1 consists of a series of research studies from an eclectic selection of researchers from all corners of the globe. Part 2 consists of a series of case studies of practice selected from a wide diversity of K-Postsecondary educators. The intent behind these selections is to augment and highlight the diversity of both cultural method and cultural voice in our descriptions of environmental education practice. The chapters focus on a multi-disciplinary view of Environmental Education with a developing view that Culture and Environment may be inseparable and arise from and within each other. Cultural change is also a necessary condition, and a requirement, to rebuild and reinvent our relationship with nature and to live more sustainably. The chapters address the spirit of supporting our praxis, and are therefore directed towards both an educator and researcher audience. Each chapter describes original research or curriculum development work.

Civic Resistance

Towards a Conceptualization of Anti-racist Civic Engagement

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Sevgi Arslan

Decolonization, Contestation and the Voices of Black Women

(Re)Defining Feminist Resistance, Activism and Empowerment

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Jacqueline Benn-John