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Subversion, Conversion, DevelopmentCross-Cultural Knowledge Exchange and the Politics of Design$
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James Leach and Lee Wilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027168

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027168.001.0001

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Postcolonial Databasing?

Postcolonial Databasing?

Subverting Old Appropriations, Developing New Associations

(p.57) 4 Postcolonial Databasing?
Subversion, Conversion, Development

Helen Verran

Michael Christie

The MIT Press

This chapter considers how researchers might approach the design of databases that have postcolonial effects in their operation, using the example of the contemporary workings of Aboriginal knowledge traditions in Australia. Core to our approach is the claim that a database of Aboriginal knowledge should amount to a particular connecting, and a particular keeping separate of Aboriginal knowledge traditions and techno-scientific knowledge traditions. Writing out of our experience of a particular project, originally proposed as examining and developing digital technologies for intergenerational transmission of Aboriginal knowledge, our paper takes the form of question and answer: questions that we came up against in the life of project, and answers that gradually emerged as we delicately made our way towards generative outcomes.

Keywords:   Imaginaries, Databases, Aboriginal Australia, Knowledge, Metaphysics, Technology

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