‘Histories of knowledges’ for research education | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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‘Histories of knowledges’ for research education

In an era marked by complex environmental, health, and social challenges, the importance of diverse perspectives and knowledges in addressing these issues has never been more apparent. The traditional paradigms of research and education, often rooted in Western ideologies, are being challenged. In this blog, the article titled ‘Histories of Knowledges’ by Jing Qi, Catherine Manathunga, Michael Singh, and Tracey Bunda explores this concept and its potential to transform research education.

The foundation of this article is based on the ideas put forth by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, who argues for epistemic justice that recognises and values diverse forms of knowledge and understanding, especially those originating in non-Western cultures. The authors contend that it is within research education, as an important arena in knowledge production, that a more inclusive and democratic approach to knowledge creation must take root. Histories of knowledges are, in essence, an exploration of the complex web of epistemic relations that surround the history of knowledge, the history of science, knowledge movements, and knowledge hierarchies and conditions. These histories provide a fresh perspective on how knowledge is produced and shared, emphasising a multidimensional, multilingual, and transcultural approach. To uncover the potential of these histories, the researchers conducted surveys, interviews, and workshop observations with research candidates and supervisors from diverse regions. An intriguing finding of this research is the boundary-crossing awareness displayed by participants who show a profound understanding of the possibilities for knowledge inclusion and creation beyond linear, monolingual, and Western-centric paradigms.

The article invites us to think critically about the dominant knowledge paradigms that have shaped research and education. By embracing the principles of epistemic justice and histories of knowledges, we can dismantle knowledge hierarchies and adopt more inclusive and democratic knowledge creation. Research education becomes the link for implementing these transformative changes, leading to a brighter and more equitable future for global knowledge relations.

As we face challenges of our times, it's essential that we acknowledge the wealth of wisdom and knowledge found in every corner of the world. The concept of histories of knowledges opens the door to a new era of research and education, one where diverse perspectives, languages, and cultures are celebrated and integrated into the global knowledge landscape.

Jing Qi, Professor Catherine Manathunga, Michael Singh, and Tracey Bunda