Queering understandings of how matter comes to matter in the baby room (Professor Jayne Osgood)
Date & time: 7th March 2018, 1-2pm
Location: C106, College Building, Middlesex University, London
In this paper, I focus on material-discursive-semiotic entanglements and how that enables a reconfiguration of what we understand diversity to be in early childhood contexts. I will work with data that draws into sharp focus noodles, spit, sound, movement, and embodiment to argue for an opened-out view of diversity. The aim of the chapter is to examine how we might move beyond critique alone to attend to the possibilities that open up when we turn our attention to ordinary routines and mundane situations to reconfigure justice, equality and fairness in early years education. To do this I consider the ways in which discourses, curriculum frameworks, inspection regimes, research, pedagogical practices and routine happenings are entangled within everyday events in an early childhood centre. By considering the material-semiotic-discursive and affective entanglements during festivals, events and celebrations within an early years centre, I account for associations and traceable attachments in which education can be understood as more than an exclusively human endeavour. I pay particular focus to the materialised and embodied celebration of Chinese New Year as it plays out in the baby room in one London nursery. This new materialist approach is informed by feminist philosophers Jane Bennett and Donna Haraway and calls for us to view the world, and our human place in that world, afresh.