Free

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

J1 lecture theatre, University of Auckland, Faculty of Education

74 Epsom Ave

Auckland, Auckland 1023

New Zealand

View Map

Event description
What else does Haraway’s figure of the Mutated Modest Witness make possible in Early Childhood Research?

About this Event

Presented by Professor Jayne Osgood, Middlesex University

What else does Haraway’s figure of the Mutated Modest Witness make possible in Early Childhood Research?

This paper aims to reconfigure entrenched ideas about childhood by considering the possibilities that are generated when attention is turned to everyday habits, ordinary routines and mundane situations that play out in early childhood contexts and that are integral to the ways in which we think. As a feminist researcher, moving from a decade-long preoccupation to critique, problematise and deconstruct to a place of embracing and enacting new materialist philosophy in my more recent work, I am confronted by a cacophony of ambivalences. There is little doubt that working with feminist new materialism presents certain ontological and epistemological shifts in the approaches that can be taken to think more expansively about our relational entanglements in early childhood contexts; it involves embracing uncertainty and not knowing. Yet, traces of post-structuralism remain and reawaken fears that de-centring the human might somehow risk obscuring humanist concerns such as social class inequalities, racism, male privilege, the persistence of patriarchal systems - which shape experiences in early childhood contexts and therefore concerns that I want to keep central to my work. Hence, in my more recent and current research I have undertaken an experimental approach to research that involves putting feminist new materialist philosophy into practice. I offer an account of the affordances that are made available by taking up Haraway’s figure of the ‘mutated modest witness’ and keeping in play one of the most significant concepts in feminist epistemology, that of situated knowledge (Haraway, 1997). I argue that rather than diminishing humanist concerns this framework offers the means to exercise heightened ethical responsibility; a worldly responsibility (Haraway, 2008), where the researcher must be attuned to so much more than only the human actors in any given scenario. This approach celebrates the conceptual elasticity that feminist new materialism offers in a quest to not find, nor seek, solutions but rather generate new ways to think about, and be in the world. Taking a small number of seemingly insignificant embodied and material events and haptic moments from one London nursery, and starting from materiality, I offer a generative account of seeking to work with Barad’s (2007:384) conceptualisation of ethics as onto-epistemological, as she states: ‘ethics is about mattering, about taking account of the entangled materialisations of which we are part, including new configurations, new subjectivities, new possibilities – even the smallest cuts matter.”

Bio:

Dr Jayne Osgood is Professor of Education (Early Years & Gender) based at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University. Her present methodologies and research practices are framed by feminist new materialism. Through her work she seeks to maintain a concern with issues of social justice and to critically engage with early childhood policy, curricular frameworks and pedagogical approaches. Her work extends understandings of the workforce, families, ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts. She has published extensively within the postmodernist paradigm including Special Issues of the journal Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (2006, 2016, 2017 & 2019) and Narratives from the Nursery: negotiating professional identities in Early Childhood (Routledge, 2012) and most recently Feminist Thought in Childhood Research (2019) and Post-Developmental Approaches to Childhood Art (2019). She is on several editorial boards including Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, and is currently Co-Editor of Gender & Education Journal and Co-Editor of Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

J1 lecture theatre, University of Auckland, Faculty of Education

74 Epsom Ave

Auckland, Auckland 1023

New Zealand

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved