Following Judith Butler's idea of “materialization,” the authors consider the effects of three different approaches to historical information about the educational relationship between indigenous and settler peoples. As a part of an argument about how one might legitimately study the establishment of such a relationship and take seriously the viewpoint of the indigenous people, the authors asks what it becomes possible to think when we eschew popular “multiple discourses” in favour of a strategic engagement with a post-interpretivist empiricism. The authors — respectively descendants of white settlers and indigenous Māori — focus on a material reality not present in the archives recording the initial interactions between the indigenous people and the first permanent British settlers in New Zealand.
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