Guest Lecture: Alternative Understandings About How Matter Comes to Matter in the Baby Room. Presented by Dr Jayne Osgood.

Jayne Osgood delivered this presentation as part of her speaking tour in Australia and New Zealand in the early part of 2020. This lecture was delivered at the Graduate School of Education in the University of Melbourne.

In this lecture, Dr Jayne Osgood attempts a reconfiguration of ‘diversity’ in early childhood contexts by turning attention to everyday matter(s). Considering data that draws into sharp focus multimodal materials and embodiment to argue for an opened-out view of diversity. The aim of the lecture is to examine how we might move beyond narrow formulations of ‘diversity’ in early childhood and instead attend to the possibilities that arise through thinking deeply and sensing ordinary routines and everyday situations. Inspired by Haraway (2016:35) Dr Osgood tells different stories about childhood diversity than those generated through curriculum frameworks, inspection regimes, and pedagogical practices. Haraway stresses: “It matters what thoughts think thoughts. It matters what knowledges know knowledge. It matters what relations relate relations. It matters what worlds world worlds. It matters what stories tell stories.”  In order to generate other stories, this lecture pays attention to how stories come about, how they come to hold currency and the affects that they have. Considering the material-semiotic-discursive and affective entanglements that unfold during the ‘celebration’ of festivals, events and celebrations within an early years setting to try to gain some purchase on understandings about other stories. Particular attention is given to the materialised and embodied celebration of Chinese New Year as it plays out in the baby room. Professor Osgood argues that adopting a feminist new materialist approach demands that the world is viewed differently – as material-discursive and that our human-centric place in the world must be reassessed.


Leave a Reply