Cultural Studies against settler Cultural Studies? Rebecca Bennett, Bep Uink, Gregory Martin, ‘Cultural studies and critical allyship in the settler colonial academe’, Continuum, 2022


Abstract: Successive generations of First Nation scholars have critiqued the ongoing institutional and disciplinary complicity of Higher Education to support settler colonialism. These critiques extend to include Cultural Studies, despite the field’s inter (anti)disciplinary efforts to expose power and inequality in social relations, dominant institutions, popular culture, and everyday life. As part of the university-machine, Cultural Studies is disconnected from the inherently pedagogical experiences and knowledge of Culture and Country for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. With an emphasis on praxis, we critique three autoethnographic examples of interactions between Indigenous agents and the settler colonial academe as a call to mobilize Cultural Studies literacies as a pedagogy of critical allyship to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars. Cultural Studies as critical allyship pedagogy supports non-Indigenous agents to conduct rigorous critique of internalized and institutional settler colonial hegemony, identifying absences and erasures of Indigenous agency, autonomy, and self-determination. These gaps and silences are not for allies – or Cultural Studies – to fill; rather the project is to leverage Cultural Studies methodologies to cede epistemological space in the academe to Indigenous ways of knowing and being without intervention, assimilation, or academic critique.

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