The figure of an aporetic knower doing world philosophy as situated ‘field’ philosophising in Northern Australia

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In this presentation ‘I’ as the figure of a Japanese aporetic knower attend to particular heres-and-nows re-visiting particular moments of experience in developing an autobiographic reflexive account of becoming as a practitioner of world-philosophy. The beginning of this series of experiences was hearing and being captivated by the sound of the didgeridoo, a musical instrument perfected by Aboriginal Australians over millennia. I was travelling in Turkey, and so enthralled was I that in the years that followed I would devote years to studying ethnomusicological analysis of this Australian Aboriginal music, amongst other Japanese enthusiasts
I first arrived in Aboriginal northern Australia some twenty years ago. Soon after my arrival in the Bininj Country, the Aboriginal people of Western Arnhem Land, I was admonished by a Bininj Elder, with what I heard as an aphorism: “You gotta speak our lingo before playing mako (the didgeridoo in Bininj language)!” With the hope to be able to live according to that aphorism at least well enough, and I hoped to become able to play the didgeridoo well enough, my aporetic journey become one of engaging with words and languages. Puzzling about the ways I could experience Aboriginal languages and cultures without reasoning and explaining away, rather, cultivate my capacity to pause and stay with my disconcertments as an aporetic knower.

After twenty years I am still here in Aboriginal northern Australia, more or less comfortably grappling with embodied disconcertments that emerge while working with Aboriginal Elders with/through concepts in the academy of Charles Darwin University. I am experientially immersed in a politicoepistemic work where taking concepts as situational practices affords possibility for generative dissensus to emerge in going-on together. Attending to the conceptual multiplicity that is a necessary part of such going on, an ethos of my knowing-self as situated Japanese ‘field’ philosopher, informs inquiry. At present my inquiry delves into the ways in which different knowledge communities might engage well enough and produce academic knowledge diplomatically.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2023
EventWorkshop: Relational Knowing and Subjectivity - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 9 May 202310 May 2023


WorkshopWorkshop: Relational Knowing and Subjectivity


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