University of Tasmania
whole_RosendahlLindaAnn2008_thesis.pdf (39.8 MB)

Willendorf readings : post/linguistic praxis for education

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posted on 2023-05-27, 16:55 authored by Rosendahl, LA
Willendorf Readings is an exploration of communication and power in both academic and everyday learning situations. According to poststructuralist modes of discourse analysis, or postlinguistics (T. Threadgold 2000), textual forms and practices along with sociocultural assumptions, may promote identities and motivations that shape the very worlds in which students and educators live. Educators, for example, traditionally engage in discourses that are a telling, when their practice, or praxis, might be better served by engaging in discourses that are an asking. This thesis argues that current hegemonic language in general, and educational language in particular, can disadvantage readers and students. The study investigates this issue by analysing written and graphic texts, specifically the discourses and agendas of texts that refer to a 25,000-year-old artefact historically known as the Venus of Willendoif. The Willendorf literature is appropriate for such examination in that it has emerged at the interface of widely divergent discourses, and its very name has been critically questioned in recent years. This questioning raises further philosophical linguistic problems within signifiers and acts of naming. Acknowledgment of the role that subjectivities play in meaning-making relates here to educational settings such as those in archaeology, art history, and the visual arts. Power struggles over meaning that arguably impede learning, however, also have a bearing on readers leading literate lives. It is in pursuit of such wider critical-literacy perspectives that this thesis subjects its 490 data-texts to detailed reading, utilising the qualitative-computer-analysis program NVivo 7. The researcher collects these texts from art-education, commercial-product, in-situ, internet, popular-literature, and scientific sources. A special difficulty arises in that the present thesis is itself accountable to the kind of readings and framings applied to the Willendorf texts. The thesis deals with this difficulty by including writing and graphics from this very thesis as one of the data-texts under scrutiny. The investigation contributes not merely to knowledge in education, but also to new ways of knowing in the current global postmodern context of multimedia technologies. To what feminist poststructuralist researchers have already learned, the thesis adds discursive analytical strategies regarding knowing, with/in the emerging field of postlinguistics. This educational work both takes place in and targets the life-world setting of research as education. By juxtaposing, deconstructing, and re-presenting the data using Foucauldianinformed methods, the thesis moves toward enabling students and educators alike to recognise some of the educational implications of their own actions, or performativity, through language.


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Copyright 2008 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references. 1. Exploring the inter-related educational issues of literacy, contra-diction & colonisation -- 2. Theoretical literature: the post/linguistic site of the (re)search -- 3. (In)forming methods of (re)presentation & (rhizo) analysis: systems of prac(t)sis -- 4. Signifiers indicating this Willendorf (arte)fact: some juxtapositions -- 5. Willendorf de/contruction(s): three prominent verbal/visual nodes -- 6. Willndorf-data discourses: building identities -- 7. Willendorf-data agendas: motivation(s) & (micro) textual meaning-making

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