This paper offers a Playful Archive which t(h)reads a path through research undertaken in childhood studies over the past decade that insist uncertainty, speculation, and curiosity displace conventions that rest upon a search for knowability, linearity and solutions. The intention is for this Playful Archive to weave the promise of post-foundational inquiry through a series of provocations and propositions. The partial glimpses offered through images, poetry, and accounts of speculative research practices gesture towards the potential that doing research differently can make in the pursuit of making a difference in the world – research is understood as affective, unruly and ultimately activist in the difference it makes in how it comes about, in the act, and how it lingers and haunts long after (Manning, 2021). The paper works with a range of feminist theories and philosophies but is most heavily indebted to Haraway (2016) and her invitations to: serious play, go visiting, and to engage in practices of worlding to reorient both thought and practice. The paper seeks to address the question: what gets overturned or displaced when engaging in post-foundational research? The paper contests that complexifying what research is, how it is done, and what it generates involves bringing matter, affect, philosophy, ethics and theory together to push aside taken-for-granted practices and pursue research in an altogether different key.
Dr. 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 engagement with policy, curricular frameworks, and pedagogical approaches in Early Childhood Education & Care. She is committed to extending understandings of the workforce, families, gender and sexualities, ‘child’, and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts through creative, affective methodologies. She has published extensively within the post- modernist paradigm with over 100 publications in the form of books, chapters and journal papers, her most recent books include Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Research Observation (2023); Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods (Bloomsbury, 2019); and Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Art (Bloomsbury, 2019). She has presented over 150 conference papers, including 40 Keynote addresses at a range of international conferences. 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 for the journals: Gender & Education and Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology. She is also Book Series Editor for both Bloomsbury (Feminist Thought in Childhood Research) and Springer (Keythinkers in Education).