C&S SIG Childhood/s of the Anthropocene Seminar

In this paper we explore what decentring the child in posthumanism does to our research practices, to our conceptualisations of and relationalities to the child. Crucially, we explore the imperative for other ways to encounter the child – that pursue a decolonising and de/recentralising agenda. We pursue tentacular lines of enquiry through a series of interwoven stories – some more familiar than others. It is by queering old narratives that new and unexpected stories concerning pedagogical documentation, sustainability and environmental education, and the child’s contaminated connection to ‘nature’ begin to emerge. This paper attempts to mobilise ‘the posthuman child’ as feral, an uncomfortable in-between that invites us to grapple with the disease of life on a damaged planet. Central to our storytelling is recycled, ‘natural’ materials found in a Reggio Emilia kindergarten in Norway. Specifically, cork has guided us; insisting that we take the noninnocence of matter to the heart of enquiries. We do this to illustrate the potential of feminist new materialism to respond with situated, embodied, affective insights and provocations that might offer ways to consume, cohabit and wrestle in more care-full ways with the Anthropocene ecologies that we are intricately and endlessly enmeshed in.

Jayne Osgood is Professor of Childhood Studies at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University.

Her work addresses issues of social justice through critical engagements with policy, curricular frameworks, and pedagogical approaches in ECEC. She has published extensively within the postmodernist paradigm with over 100 publications in the form of books, chapters and journal papers, her most recent books include Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Art (Bloomsbury, 2019). She has served on the editorial boards of various journals and is a long-standing board member at Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. She is currently editor at Gender & Education Journal and Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology Journal. She is also Book Series Editor for Bloomsbury (Feminist Thought in Childhood Research; and Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood) and Springer (Keythinkers in Education).

Image Credit: Gas Mask Boy, Banksy (2009)

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