Fri May 08 2015
by: Brian Hutchinson
UBC Ph.D. candidate, Patrick Stewart, has successfully defended a 52,438-word dissertation that contained almost no punctuation or uppercase letters. In writing the dissertation, “Indigenous Architecture through Indigenous Knowledge,” the 61-year-old architect from the Nisga’a First Nation said he “wanted to make a point” about aboriginal culture, colonialism, and “the blind acceptance of English language conventions in academia.”
“in my defense my style of writing is not laziness or lack of knowledge of proper usage of the english language it is a form of grammatical resistance as a deconstructionist in the manner of many writers especially american poet ee cummings he graduated with a master degree in english from harvard university and they called him experimental and innovative not words likely to be used to describe an indigenous writer who breaks all the rules of writing (the behavioural ethics board at the university of british columbia suggested that i hire an editor as it appeared that i did not know the english language) times though they are changing”
Stewart’s research supervisor, educational studies associate professor Michael Marker, found the experience interesting. For some non-aboriginal UBC scholars, Stewart’s dissertation “was provocative, almost shocking in a sense. We had to make a very strong case for the inclusion of his approach.”
Link to full text.
Story via UBC News.