Video: Portal-time and wander lines – What does virusing-with make possible in childhood research? (Professor Jayne Osgood, Childhood and Society Seminar)

This paper emerged from the forces of a global pandemic that has invited us to wrestle with what ‘virusing-with’, as an everyday, bodily and affective practice, makes possible in educational research. We feel the Coronavirus perform its agency in ways that are imperceptible but palpably sensed – in our everyday lives as early childhood scholars, teachers, grand/mothers, aunties – we encounter childhood in the Capitalocene in new, troubling, and yet hopeful ways. We ask, what does virusing-with make possible? What is its potential to disrupt and reformulate how wander lines take shape? Might it be creative of ‘a knowing that must always remain out of bounds’? (Manning, 2019, p. 3). We wonder how ‘normal’ has been displaced, where ‘factories of knowledge’ (Manning, 2020, p. 4) (i.e. kindergartens and universities) are forced to produce other ways of becoming? In order to wrestle with these questions we work in the speculative mode by presenting a series of extraordinary events. We turn to extraordinarily ordinary everyday events – events that are felt from our positions of white privilege; that are agitated from encounters at kindergarten; and from the forces generated from images of animals caught up in the virus. We take these moments as invitations to reformulate and renew ways of thinking-doing qualitative research that push ideas and practices about childhood in the Capitalocene in more generative directions, that celebrate the agentic relationalities between the human, non-human and more-than-human.

Bio: Dr Jayne Osgood is Professor of Education (Early Years & Gender) based at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University. Her present methodologies and research practices are framed by feminist new materialism. Through her work she seeks to maintain a concern with issues of social justice and to critically engage with early childhood policy, curricular frameworks and pedagogical approaches. Through her work she seeks to extend understandings of the workforce, families, ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts. She has published extensively within the postmodernist paradigm including Special Issues of the journal Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (2006, 2016 and 2017) and Narratives from the Nursery: negotiating professional identities in Early Childhood (Routledge, 2012) and currently Feminist Thought in Childhood Research (Bloomsbury Series). She is a member of several editorial boards including Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, British Education Research Journal, and is Co-Editor of Gender & Education Journal and Co-Editor of Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology.