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Pedagogical Matters

New Materialisms and Curriculum Studies

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Nathan Snaza, Debbie Sonu, Sarah E. Truman and Zofia Dr. Zaliwska

This edited collection takes up the wild and sudden surge of new materialisms in the field of curriculum studies. New materialisms shift away from the strong focus on discourse associated with the linguistic or cultural turn in theory and toward recent work in the physical and biological sciences; in doing so, they posit ontologies of becoming that re-configure our sense of what a human person is and how that person relates to the more-than-human ecologies in which it is nested. Ignited by an urgency to disrupt the dangers of anthropocentrism and systems of domination in the work of curriculum and pedagogy, this book builds upon the axiom that agency is not a uniquely human capacity but something inherent in all matter. This collection blurs the boundaries of human and non-human, animate and inanimate, to focus on webs of interrelations. Each chapter explores these questions while attending to the ethical, aesthetic, and political tasks of education—both in and out of school contexts. It is essential reading for anyone interested in feminist, queer, anti-racist, ecological, and posthumanist theories and practices of education.

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Contributors

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Elizabeth de Freitas is a Professor in the Education and Social Research Institute, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on philosophical investigations of mathematics, science and technology, pursuing the implications and applications of this work in education. Her recent work examines gesture, sensation, and embodiment in various kinds of mathematical activity, with the aim of developing a new materialist philosophy of mathematics. She also studies the material and social semiotics of classrooms, seeking new research methods that can address biosocial and biopolitical entanglements. She writes extensively on social science research methodology, exploring alternative ways of engaging with digital data, and developing experimental research methods that draw on speculative computing and inventive diagramming. She has published three books and over fifty chapters and articles on a range of educational topics.

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