Reimagining intercultural doctoral education: learning from life histories (a symposium)

Year: 2016

Author: Qi, Jing

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The third paper illustrates the operations of these macro and micro histories in international doctoral education. This paper addresses the first research questions our project investigates: how do the personal, intellectual, linguistic and cultural histories of research students and supervisors impact upon intercultural education and knowledge creation? This paper first presents a micro historical account of a key educational reformer who borrowed educational ideas from Dewey to effect cultural changes in China, Tao Xingzhi (1891–1946). Tao’s action/knowledge orientation to life education contributed to debates in twentieth century China about the co-joining of educational modernisation and national reconstruction. Such a historical account will demonstrate the ‘way intimate biographical traces … shed light on the transnational nature of localised colonial histories’ (Hughes, 2012, p. 269). Informed by feminist and Indigenous standpoint theory, these neglected histories work with evidence from ‘the margins in order to critique, disrupt and displace the “centre’ (Hughes, 2012, p. 270). This research challenges dominant assumptions about Western/Northern knowledge creation through historical evidence of the contributions, critiques and reinterpretations non-Western civilizations and individuals made to the development of the world’s knowledge. Thus, in this paper macro postcolonial histories of intercultural interactions which effected knowledge exchange are combined with micro histories of intellectual agent’s biography in relation to intercultural interaction.This historical account will be followed by a self-study which moves iteratively between macro ‘big’ history (Braudel, 1980) and individual micro epistemological biographies. Specifically, ‘Networked-hutong siwei’ (Qi, 2014) will be used as a time map to chart my personal and cultural histories, specially foregrounding how these histories coalesce around my endeavour towards transcultural educational theorising.In juxtaposing these two life histories, this paper exploits the public nature of research by casting a brick to attract jade, or Pao Zhuan Yin Yu. On behalf of the team I invite everyone to share and discuss their version of intellectual and cultural time maps with us. Together, we can demonstrate how ‘not only do individual human lives enter the discourse of history … but actually their life stories are creating conditions of possibility for history itself’ (Tamboukou, 2010: 124).