Marcelle Townsend-Cross of the University of Sydney, Australia, and Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes of Curtin University, Australia, have joined The 12th Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS2022) and The 12th Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS2022) on the panel for “Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Precarity and Resilience”.
To participate in ACAS/ACCS2022 as an audience member, please register for the conference.
The panel presentation will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.
University of Sydney, Australia
Marcelle is a mixed heritage First Nations woman of Biripi, Worimi and Irish descent. Marcelle is an educator and researcher who currently teaches Aboriginal Studies at the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore for the University of Sydney, Australia. For over twenty years she has worked in higher education developing and delivering Indigenous Australian Studies subjects and degree courses at Southern Cross University’s Gnibi College (1999 – 2010); Griffith University’s School of Human Services and Social Work (2011 – 2013) and Long Island University’s Global College (2012 – 2021). Marcelle holds a PhD (2018) and a Master of Education (2009) from the University of Technology Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Music and Indigenous Studies from Southern Cross University (1995).
Marcelle’s Indigenous Australian heritage inspires her dual research focus on the history and contemporary manifestations and impacts of colonialism in Australia and on teaching and learning for social justice and social change.
Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes
Curtin University, Australia
Dr Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes is a Senior Lecturer, multidisciplinary researcher and writer based at Curtin University’s Centre for Human Rights Education, Australia. Drawing from the history, philosophy and experiences of marginalised people and communities, Yirga contributes critical insights for reimagining the future and addressing epistemic and racial injustices. He researches African experience and Ethiopian traditions and writes creatively on belonging and diasporic lives. He has won university and industry awards for his teaching, research, and creative writing. His publications include the sole-authored book Native Colonialism: Education and the Economy of Violence Against Traditions in Ethiopia (New Jersey: The Red Sea Press, 2017) and the forthcoming book (with Offord, Fleay, Hartley and Chan) Activating Cultural and Social Change: The Pedagogies of Human Rights (London: Routledge, 2022).
Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Precarity and Resilience
Contemporary narratives of environmental and human rights protection, racial and other connected forms of social justice, are increasingly informed and guided by indigenous struggles, indigenous intellectuals and allied scholars and activists. “Those struggles are far from over, but the premises with which many of us operate are far different than they were. These usually begin as changes in consciousness and new narratives” (Rebecca Solnit, 2022).
Global warming, COVID-19, widespread political unrest, entrenched economic inequality, the dispossession and displacement of peoples, the prospect of war and other crises are evidence that we live in precarious times. Indigenous peoples and their ways of knowing and belonging and deep resilience guide us all in the formation of new narratives towards a sustainable ecology of living in the world. To say that such perspectives challenge accepted ideas of co-existence and what is now taken for granted as the dominant western template applied across the world, would be an understatement. Indigenous knowledges foreground and bring an awareness of the relationship between land, kinship, and humanity (Irene Watson, 2005).
Indigenous ways of knowing not only provide us with answers that help us address the current crises but also ask us questions that we need to address now. These are questions of epistemic justice that relate to the politics of knowledge production, academic power-sharing, addressing misrepresentations and distortions of their history and place in the world. They challenge us to imagine what we should do to let indigenous people teach and guide us in the practice of knowing about indigenous ways of knowing.
From a range of indigenous and culturally diverse voices drawn from Africa, Australia, Oceania and South America, the speakers will discuss how they understand the importance of indigenous ways of knowing. They will explore how indigenous cultures are informed by their traditions and diverse lived experience, including going beyond the inadequacy of western colonial imperialism, to provide answers to the challenges around us.