WEGO-ITN’s coordinator, Prof. Dr. Wendy Harcourt, has published a new essay in hegoa – Institute for International Cooperation and Development Studies. Read the introduction, in English, here and access the full version at Hegoa’s hariak, January 2021 edition, in Spanish and in Basque.
“My point of departure for this essay on feminist pedagogy, is to begin with my discomfort in (dis)locating gender as a universal category, the imposition of gender and development through colonial history and how the western understanding of knowledge fractures and makes invisible other forms of being in community. Those three points of departure indicate the troubling nature of writing about privilege of race, age, class and gender when I write about the depatricarchalisation of knowledge and how my knowledge is embedded and embodied in a historical westerncentric understandings of gender, bodies and oppression. And to complicate the authorial voice further, I am constantly challenged by my complicity in systems of privilege. The essay builds on collective learning from years of actions and conversations with feminists, scholar activists and students and engagement in inspiring texts, films, videos and art that have introduced me to otherwise knowledges.
I write as a white settler antiracist feminist Australian who has lived in Europe since the late 1980s as a feminist advocate and writer on gender and critical development studies, and who more recently, has been teaching in an international post graduate institute in The Netherlands for nearly a decade. My contribution over the years has been mostly in popular
rather than academic writing, though I have now done my apprenticeship in the cut throat world of academic journals. I continue to write from the personal and from the experiential rather than the theoretical, though I am inspired by theoretical texts. I see myself in conversation with theory because theory helps me to puzzle out what I see as contested or
My way of writing is to tell stories that have generated discomfort for me and to share with the reader what that discomfort can do to productively decentre the white masculine heteronormative experience as the only subject of knowledge. In taking up this invitation to discuss the depatriarchalization of knowledge through emancipatory education, experience and experiments, I will tell three stories that suggest how I have engaged in pedagogical practices otherwise.”