Martin Nakata's book, Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines represents the most focussed and sustained Indigenous critique of anthropological knowledge yet published. It is impressive, rigorous, and sometimes poignant: a must-read for anyone concerned with the troubled interplay of Indigenous issues and academic institutions in Australia today. The book provides an alternative reading for those struggling at the contradictor and, ambiguous intersections of academia and Indigenous experience. In doing so it moves beyond the usual, criticisms of the disciplines which construct the way we have come to know and understand indigenous peoples. Nakata, a Torres Strait Islander academic, casts a critical gaze on the research conducted by the Cambridge Expedition in the late 1890s. Meticulously analysing the linguistic, physiological, psychological and anthropological testing conducted he offers an astute critique of the researchers' methodologies and interpretations. He uses these insights to reveal the similar workings of recent knowledge production in Torres Strait education.
In systematically deconstructing these knowledges, Nakata draws eloquently on both the Torres Strait Islander struggle and his own personal struggle to break free from imposed definitions, and reminds us that such intellectual journeys are highly personal and political. Nakata argues for the recognition of the complexity of the space Indigenous people now live in -- the cultural interface -- and proposes an alternative theoretical standpoint to account for Indigenous experience of this space.
Buy Disciplining the Savages, Savaging the Disciplines book by Martin Nakata from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(155mm x 230mm x 20mm)
Aboriginal Studies Press
Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press
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Author Biography - Martin Nakata
Professor Martin Nakata is the Director of Jumbunna: Indigenous House of Learning and Chair of Australian Indigenous Education at the University of Technology, Sydney.