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Seminar by Professor Carol Taylor (Sheffield Hallam University) Posthumanist/ new material feminist imaginaries for higher education research and pedagogy

This presentation focuses on what posthumanist theory offers for higher education research and pedagogy.

Posthumanism is a mobile term, a constellation of theories, concepts, approaches and practices which share an interest in destabilizing binaries, decentering the human, and forging new ways of doing and thinking ethics in relation. Posthumanism has been seen as both a ‘reaction’ to Humanism (Wolfe, 2010) and a recognition that the current era of the Anthropocene is having a destructive impact on the planet and its inhabitants. It is for these reasons that Rosi Braidotti (2013: 2) suggests that the post-human condition has introduced a ‘qualitative shift’ in our thinking about what ‘the basic unit of common reference is for our species, our polity and our relationships’, that Karen Barad (2007: 142) urges attention to ethico-onto-epistemological understandings of how matter comes to matter in more-than-human entanglements, and Donna Haraway (2016) argues for a speculative feminist practice of ‘making kin’ through relational acts of string-figuring.

Event details

I consider how posthumanist theory can be put to work to recast how to do higher education research and pedagogy. I draw on a range of experimental pedagogic and curriculum practices to propose the theory-practice of ‘edu-crafting’ (Taylor, 2016). Edu-crafting is oriented to putting bodies, things and concepts in motion to activate non-human/ human encounters, attend to affective flows, produce heterogeneous knowledge pathways, and diffract micro-macro relations. I illuminate how posthuman edu-craftings can suggest new ways of approaching questions of pleasure, politics, ethics and aesthetics in higher education and outline how a posthumanist imaginary helps re-think and contest the oppressive sedimentations that anthropocentric institutions give rise to. 

Biographical Note: 
Carol Taylor is Professor of Gender and Higher Education in the Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, and co-editor of the journal Gender and Education.  Carol’s research utilizes feminist, neo-materialist, and posthumanist theories and frameworks to explore gendered inequalities, spatial practices, and staff and students’ participation in a range of higher education sites. She is widely-published in international journals and is co-author of Taylor, C. A. and Hughes, C. (Eds.) (2016) Posthuman Research Practices in Education, London: Palgrave Macmillan, and Taylor, C. A. and Ivinson, G. (Eds.) (2016) Material Feminisms: New Directions for Education, London: Routledge.



Carol_Taylor_Exeter_Seminar_November_2017_presentation.pdfCarol Taylor Presentation November 2017 (14155K)


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