Margaret Kerr

Recovering what has been left behind: an interdisciplinary exploration of interconnected ways of knowing

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The hypotheses I hope to investigate in my PhD are that:

  • Historically, hegemonic belief systems and structural violence in Scotland and Western Europe as a whole, have disenfranchised intuitive and holistic ways of knowing
  • Interdisciplinary arts practice, in dialogue with indigenous ontologies and epistemologies can help to restore these ways of knowing
  • Restoring these ways of knowing can be of benefit to our understanding of each other, of history and our relationships with the more-than human

I hope to validate and refine an embodied methodology for site-specific historical research in the arts which I developed in my MFA in Art and Humanities at DJCAD. I will investigate how this intuitive way of doing history can be informed by, and enter into dialogue with indigenous science perspectives. In particular, perspectives on matter, temporality and intersubjective relationships. Working outdoors in locations around Scotland will allow an intuitive and conjectural investigation of their human and more-than-human history. In the process of this, I will explore the historical precedents of our current European bias towards ‘objective knowledge’, and how these precedents can be made conscious in order to develop more inclusive and interconnected epistemologies and ontologies. My hope is that my research will contribute to new interdisciplinary collaborations between History and Contemporary Art. Ultimately, my aim is to discover how what is learned from this study might inform an ethic of care in our relationships with each other and with the rest of nature.

Names of Supervisors: Natasha Lushetich & Michael Morris