Original Research - Special Collection: Spatial Justice & Reconciliation

Facing our whiteness in doing Ubuntu research. Finding spatial justice for the researcher

Julian Müller, Sheila Trahar
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3510 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3510 | © 2016 Julian Müller, Sheila Trahar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 May 2016 | Published: 01 December 2016

About the author(s)

Julian Müller, Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Sheila Trahar, Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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In this article, the two authors, academics from different contexts and both aware of their whiteness, focus on their own vulnerable selves. The aim is to reflect on their specific agency in this project and to create awareness for subjectivity in research. What are the challenges of two white academics – the one from a first world country with a baggage of colonialism, and the other from South Africa with the apartheid baggage? On the one hand, they are not ‘vulnerable’ selves but indeed very privileged selves. On the other hand, there is an awareness of the fact that this very privilege puts researchers in a vulnerable situation, especially in doing research on Ubuntu in an African context.


Researcher; Colonialisation; Whiteness; Spatial justice


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