The current analytic frames that are enacted within the work of the academy often make it difficult to engage honourably in intercultural contexts—both in teaching and in research. As a non-indigenous person working in an interesting corner of the academy where other ways of knowing, including those of Indigenous Australians, are valued and sometimes privileged, I am confronted with an important disconnect this causes on a regular basis. Academics (and many others in the broader community) are empowered by these frames to hold positions and make powerful and authoritative claims. This institutionally positions them as colonising agents in the effecting their knowledge work, often despite their best intentions.
Knowledge making at work in the academy and in our broader community both enables, and condemns simultaneously, the colonising work I perpetuate in the classroom and in my day-to-day interactions with difference. I seek to enact a ‘methodology of hope’ to reorientate the analytical frame for my work as a way of addressing (and holding onto) the disconcertment that I encounter, making it central to the processes of knowledge-making in intercultural spaces. As an academic, I want to know how this could play out in the classroom. I aim to examine the ways in which this different analytic frame, a methodology of hope, might support sustainable and decolonising pedagogic practices – the ways we engage with and do difference in the academy and the ways in which we also sensitise others to do the same.