Crafting Non-western Ways of Writing
While writing my PhD thesis on Tibetan Buddhism and feminism, and working particularly on the decolonialization of knowledge, I found a plethora of literature on challenging the colonial perspective at a conceptual level. Obviously, those enriched conceptual understandings were useful. But I was looking for more than that. Decolonial theorist Walter Mignolo (2011) said, “decoloniality focuses on changing the terms of the conversation and not only its content” (p. 133). In meaning-making and the style of argument, a deliberate epistemic disobedience should be used to challenge conventional Eurocentric hegemonies (Mignolo, 2009). To me, decoloniality was about conceptual liberation from both western hegemonic knowledge and praxis. My PhD thesis was an autoethnography on my experience exploring an organic relationship between Tibetan Buddhism and feminism. Edward Said tells us that it is “a fallacy to assume that the swarming, unpredictable, and problematic mess in which the lives of human beings are lived can be understood on the basis of what book-text-say” (Said, 1979, p. 93). I became aware of that fallacy when the distance between my experience and a traditional method of academic writing to capture those experiences became profound. As a feminist, Bangladeshi, and spiritual woman, I realized that to bring out the non-western voice and view, I had to craft non-western ways of writing. This non-western way is crafted through alternative epistemology, subjectivity, and style of narratives.
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