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Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines
Martin Nakata
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Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines provides an alternative reading for those struggling at the contradictory and ambiguous intersections of academia and Indigenous experience. In doing so, it moves beyond the usual criticisms of the disciplines which construct the way we have come to know and understand Indigenous peoples.

Nakata, a Torres Strait Islander academic, casts a critical gaze on the research conducted by the Cambridge Expedition in the late 1890s. Meticulously analysing the linguistic, physiological, psychological and anthropological testing conducted, he offers an astute critique of the researchers’ methodologies and interpretations. He uses these insights to reveal the similar workings of recent knowledge production in Torres Strait education.

In systematically deconstructing these knowledges, Nakata draws eloquently on both the Torres Strait Islander struggle and his own personal struggle to break free from imposed definitions, and reminds us that such intellectual journeys are highly personal and political.

Nakata argues for the recognition of the complexity of the space Indigenous people now live in – the cultural interface – and proposes an alternative theoretical standpoint to account for Indigenous experience of this space.

Martin Nakata's book, Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines represents the most focussed and sustained Indigenous critique of anthropological knowledge yet published. It is impressive, rigorous, and sometimes poignant: a must-read for anyone concerned with the troubled interplay of Indigenous issues and academic institutions in Australia today. — Professor Nicholas Thomas, University of Cambridge

Nakata here reveals himself as an Indigenous philosopher of the first rank. Associate Professor Regina Ganter, Griffith UniversityProfessor Martin Nakata is the Director of Nura Gili at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He also holds the title of Chair of Australian Indigenous Education.

March 2007, pb, 234x152mm, 256pp, b/w illus
ISBN 9780855755485


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