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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tensions in rhetorics of presence and performance
by Watanabe, Sundy Louise, Ph.D., The University of Utah, 2012, 216; 3522607
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation draws on theories of survivance and rhetorical sovereignty to document and interrogate interactional tensions in rhetorics of presence and performance occurring between selected American Indian students and non-Native faculty, staff, and graduate research assistants within a research-extensive university context. Tensions arise, I argue, because participants hold discrepant beliefs concerning the goal and function of education and the role sovereignty plays in achieving that goal. Discrepancies affect the way participants enact, receive, describe, and interpret presence and performance and determine how effectively Indigenous epistemologies are incorporated within the university. Utilizing tenets of Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies, the study rejects deficit views while remaining cognizant of colonized histories. It gives voice to Indigenous knowledges in practical and applicable ways as it accounts for contemporary educational realities, and it reconceptualizes research and educational praxis from an intercultural perspective. The study finds several factors crucial to supporting American Indian students: an understanding of sovereignty and trust obligations; Native faculty and personnel who are culturally invested, academically skilled, and able to effectively implement culturally responsive curricula; strength-based support; and, administrators and teachers whose praxis addresses Native-identified need and honors Indigenous difference. If university systems are to live up to their rhetoric of support for American Indian educational success, they must address interactional tensions and negotiate to more overtly indigenize the academy. They must suit canon, curriculum, and pedagogy to Native students' separate and specific needs as members of sovereign nations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Margonis, Frank
Commitee: Brayboy, Bryan, Calderon, Dolores, Pillow, Wanda, Quijada, David
School: The University of Utah
Department: Education, Culture and Society
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational psychology, Rhetoric, Native American studies, Higher education
Keywords: American Indian education, Performance, Presence, Rhetorical sovereignty, Rivaling, Survivance
Publication Number: 3522607
ISBN: 978-1-267-54807-8
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