There were so many emotions, thoughts, concepts, and directions to Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. So much weight. It’s so hard to narrow something down for the secondary source, but narrow down I must so here goes…
One of the things that really struck me while reading was the centrality of formal schooling in Junior’s life–more specifically, the scope of schooling, the impact of schools and the people in them on Junior’s life, and schooling as a historical and contemporary tool of colonization under white settler colonialism and anti-indigenous racism. I’ve also felt like contemporary moments are engendered by historical processes in ways we do/don’t/refuse to recognize, and this particular secondary reading speaks to the historical globalization of colonization in indigenous communities and how formal schooling has been very much a colonial project (its focus is Australia). Here’s my secondary reading (it’s a public sociology blog-like type of article, so I hope this is ok?):
As a note, I do struggle with one of Zevallos’ claims, which is that the formal educational systems in previously (or currently) colonized countries do not need radical overhaul of their education systems, and that anti-indigenous and anti-black racism can be challenged through teaching alone. Like, are teachers really enough? I would like to maybe explore this more in class with y’all.
If anyone’s interested in additional readings, this one traces the historical genealogies of colonialism in education in Canada, and it’s written by an indigenous teacher-educator:
See everyone Thursday!