Researching Colonized Subjects: Looking Again, Seeing Anew

  • Redeeming Saudi Women through ‘Universal Human Rights’

    Lama Alharbi, Department of English 

    This paper focuses on the ways in which the discourse of “universal human rights” plays a role in the discursive construction of Saudi women in the American news reports. The critical discourse analysis of the circulating discourses around Saudi women reveals that they are discursively constructed as oppressed, discriminated against, and non-agentive women. However, this representation of Saudi women essentializes them, washing out their heterogeneous lives and experiences. This paper argues that there is a need to crucially examine the notion of “universal human rights,” which is often used to frame discussions of Saudi women and their access to rights. Such examination necessitates a discussion of the ideologies that circulate around the discourse of universal human rights.

    Decolonial Research Methodologies: A Needed Approach to Contemporary Acculturation Scholarship

    Mark Beekman, Department of Communications Media 

    As time and space continues to shrink in the digital world, the global village continues to grow. Many nations around the globe now receive so many immigrants that the predominant culture eventually becomes the less dominant one, and a hybrid culture is born. Acculturation and adaptation is a gradual process of adjustment that affects immigrants, host cultures, indigenous peoples, and researchers. But both processes are stressful, requiring time and acceptance from both the host culture and newcomers. As research on these populations and communities in transition is conducted, indigenous populations are often misrepresented in that scholarship. This paper argues that researchers should strive to embrace non-imperialistic research methods in their work, which fosters self-reflection for social scientists and gives voice to research participants who have been marginalized and misrepresented in the past. Decolonial scholarship such as this aims to break down the traditional hard lines between the researcher and his/her “subjects.” This paper will discuss contemporary acculturation scholarship and argue for the importance of decolonial research in contemporary intercultural studies.