Mika, C., Stewart, G.
Māori in the Kingdom of the Gaze: Subjects or critics?
(2015) Educational Philosophy and Theory, 13 p. Article in Press.
For Māori, a real opportunity exists to flesh out some terms and concepts that Western thinkers have adopted and that precede disciplines but necessarily inform them. In this article, we are intent on describing one of these precursory phenomena—Foucault’s Gaze—within a framework that accords with a Māori philosophical framework. Our discussion is focused on the potential and limits of colonised thinking, which has huge implications for such disciplines as education, among others. We have placed Foucault’s Gaze alongside a Māori metaphysics and have speculated on the Gaze’s surveillant/expectant strategies with some key Māori primordial phenomena in mind, such as ‘te kore’ (nothingness) and ‘āhua’ (form). We posit the Gaze as an entity and thus aim to render it more relevant to Māori, so that it can be addressed appropriately. We also (but relatedly) preface that discussion by theorising on some of the challenges that confront us as Māori authors in even referring counter-colonially to the Gaze. Whilst we do not seek to destabilise the Gaze by positing it as a metaphysically based entity, we do hint at the possibility that critical indigenous philosophy may even for a short time bring the Gaze into focus for Māori. By introducing an awareness of an alternative (Māori) metaphysics, we may have unsettled the self-certainty of the Gaze.
Foucault; Gaze; metaphysics; Māori