LCT Centre Roundtable | Cultivating Values: Knower-building in the Humanities
While knowledge-building is much discussed, there has been less focus on knower-building. In this Roundtable I shall explore knower-building in the humanities. I am focusing on a key text from the field of ‘ethnopoetics’. I will show how a field can build its specialised ways of seeing the world by developing highly specialised values systems. We will come at this by stepping through how this text builds a nuanced axiological constellation that positions a range of meanings as similar or opposed to each other while also emphasising that its world view can be applied to an ever-expanding range of phenomena.
In broad terms, the text establishes an ideal knower who can perceptively interpret and appreciate a range of potentially new situations with a particular kind of principled judgement. It does this through a small set of rhetorical strategies that recur through the text: the positioning of meanings as from a particular perspective; the opposing of such meanings to others; the likening of meanings that at first glance may seem disparate; the charging of these with values; and finally the accretion of examples that illustrate the wide ranging scope of the text’s world view. Although exemplified through a single text, the talk will suggest that these rhetorical strategies, and their functions in cultivating particular dispositions, are crucial elements in many specialised fields often considered knower codes.
About the speaker
Dr Yaegan Doran is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Research Fellow in the LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on language, semiosis, knowledge and education from the perspectives of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory, spanning the interdisciplinary fields of educational linguistics, multimodality, and language and identity.