Knowing-in-being a de/colonial-new materialist collective biography: creative-relational emergenc[i]es of inquiring into Indian women's materialities with/in colonial-patriarchal intra-actions
In this thesis I invite you to join me on a journey into knowing differently as I explore the De/Colonial interruptions that emerge in Knowing/Being/Doing a Feminist New Materialist Collective Biography with/in a collective of Indian women. Holding the onto-epistemological assumptions of Baradian (2006) Agential Realism and using Davies and Gannon’s (2012) methodology of Collective Biography, we begin this journey as an emergent collaborative inquiry into Indian women’s bodies and our traumatic entanglements within patriarchy. But what are the ethics and tensions of doing such research and producing such knowledge about Indian women in a Global North academic context? I arrive at exploring these [un]ethical, De/Colonial tensions of the collective process and thinking diffractively with the ‘data’ gathered in our collaborative writing. Baradian ideas around research as ethico-onto-epistemological Intra-actions within the world’s becoming offers a home for tracing these disruptions and trans-paradigmatic emergences. However, rather than holding exclusionary onto-epistemological/theoretical positionings, I contend that it is embracing intra-disciplinary intra-paradigmatic incoherence, holding contradictory positionings in relationship, and letting ourselves shift and change within the process that allows us to materialise different, ethical worlds through research. Towards ethical readings/writings of the collective ‘data’ that offer more than the traumas of Global South women as written within Eurocentric representations, I think with Tuck and Yang (2014) to surrender meaning-making and embrace Refusal as an analytic practice in this thesis. At the core of this Refusal is Bhattacharya’s (2021) conceptualisation of “De/Colonial” relationality that highlights my Coloniser/Colonised positioning within western academia. Within this context, I argue that the collective and I are instead uniquely placed to offer the shifts, disruptions, and entanglements of the process, that push us towards becoming differently, as a De/Colonial praxis that disrupts the Eurocentric, colonial research paradigms/practices we inevitably get entangled in. Consequently, in closely tracking the process and exploring emergent theory through the lens of collective ‘data’, I offer the insights I/we arrive at as ethico-onto-epistemic worldings of De/Coloniality, produced in Intra-action with a multiply marginalised Global South collective. Ndege and Onyango's (2021) themes of Decolonising research methodologies become the central thread here and act as a springboard to unpack and disrupt the methodological, conceptual, and paradigmatic notions of a New Materialist Collective Biography in the context of research with/about Indian women. We arrive from these disruptions to the ‘contributions’ of this thesis; a dynamic world of decentring, rhizomatic departures where we might not know the marginalised other but might learn to know differently in our knowing-being-together with the process of a minoritarian collective, and the diffractive resonances of a De/Colonial praxis that refuses to end within Social Science research and practice, research, and education in the field of Counselling and Psychotherapy.