Letters to Editors

Georgina Stewart, Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

This presentation reflects on my recent encounter with academic racism involving a letter to the editor of a local academic scientific journal, published in response to a Special Issue on the theme of Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) in which my article was included. This episode involves several entangled questions of editorial ethics and the ethics of scholarship more generally, related to the intent and attitude of journals and their editors towards material dealing with Mātauranga Māori. Editors are at risk of wandering into the swampy debate between science and Māori knowledge, which is currently enjoying some prominence in public and social media, proving vexatious for local academic and scientific communities. In this presentation, I consider the role of a journal as host to the work it publishes, which makes the relationship between editors and authors somewhat like that between hosts and their guests. I am interested in the status of such letters, and the roles played by journals and editors, in relation to the dogged debates between science and Indigenous knowledge.


  Bio: Georgina Tuari Stewart: Co-Editor, New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies-Te Hautaka Mātai Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Associate Editor, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand and Educational Philosophy and Theory. Books: Māori Philosophy: Indigenous thinking from Aotearoa (Bloomsbury, 2020); Writing for Publication: Liminal Reflections for Academics (Springer, 2021).

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