Chronology, Temporality, Linearity (Janan)

The (essential) distinction between settler colonialism and the colonialism that was made in Tuck and Yank’s introduction encouraged me to question the chronology of learning. For example, so often in our graduate level courses, my class and I are constantly unlearning and discovering the depth of knowledge we have to unlearn. It feels challenging to imagine an education system where the primary exposure one has to education was more critical and the “first learning then unlearning” chronology wouldn’t be so convoluted.

This feels connected to conversations we’ve been having in the previous weeks about queer studies and ethnic studies departments being tucked away in other disciplines. What does an institution look like structurally when liberatory, truthful, critical, indigenous knowledges are made a central crux of the general curriculum?

The authors’ below quote invited me to question that further:

“Decolonizing studies, when most centered in Indigenous philosophy, push back against assumptions about the linearity of history and the future, against teleological narratives of human development, and argue for renderings of time and place that exceed coloniality and conquest.” (xiii)

I’m so intrigued by this connection between temporality/linearity and indigenous/queer knowledges and hope we can discuss further! 

3 thoughts on “Chronology, Temporality, Linearity (Janan)

  1. Katina Rogers (she/her)

    Janan, I’d love to explore this further in class tonight. This gets at the issue that Matt and I mentioned last week, of saving the most critical material for the end of the semester (or end of a panel, etc). What might be possible if we felt less bound to that temporality and structure?

  2. Matt Brim


    Thanks for addressing temporality. It’s very hard for me to reconceive of time bc time is so connected to what it means to have experience. It’s therefore hard for me to get my head around the idea that time works according to knowledge systems rather than by nature. And of course it’s probably even harder to re-experience time, to have another experience of/in/with time, than to conceive of time being different in theory. There’s some great queer work done in this area, thankfully, and that work does seem to speak to the queer/Indigenous intersections. So yes, let’s talk about Indigenous temporalities this evening!


  3. Lucien Baskin

    These questions of time are fascinating and you ask them in such a deep and thoughtful way. Time seems so central to the university—pack information into four months, finish your PhD while you have funding, graduate college in four years, write a book before the tenure clock expires. Perhaps decolonization necesitares the abolition of the clock and the hierarchy?

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