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ESE between discourse and Materiality. New empirical and theoretical perspectives on realisms, materialisms and discourse

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  • Jonas Greve Lysgaard
  • Alan Reid, Monash University, Australia
  • Kristoffer Lolk Fjeldsted, Denmark
  • Hanna Hofverberg, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Petra Hansson, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
This symposium brings together ESE researchers from across the field with a special interest in questions related to different notions of materialism and realism. The purpose of the two linked symposiums is to continue and develop fruitful discussions started in Porto 2014 and develop new perspectives on how the ESE field deals with those uncanny issues that always seem to resist our best discursive analytical efforts. New concepts of materialism and realism are influencing the existing focus on the importance of language as the main realm of power structures and construction of meaning in the humanities and social sciences. However, this is happening to a lesser degree in education. This symposium is an effort to reflect on new approaches to materialism within the ESE field. Since the millennial turn the theoretical perspectives of socio-materialism (Dolphin & Tuin, 2012), speculative realism (Meillasoux, 2007; Bryant, 2013), and agential realism (Barad, 2003) have emerged. They are all motivated by a critical attitude towards the dominating position social constructivism and discursive analysis has gained as tools of deconstruction (Dolphin & Tuin, 2012; Meillasoux, 2007; Bryant, 2013; Barad, 2003). While it can be argued that some areas within ESE (e.g. outdoor education) are already inclined to draw on perspectives that does not only focus on language, we would like to learn from new emerging approaches to materiality and realisms in order push the overall field of ESE, and discuss and critique whether language as ontological structure can be understood as having obtained status as a priori (Barad, 2003: 802). Through this symposium we explore the potential for reconceptualizing notions of the material and the Real to complement the widespread focus on discourse as the epistemological cornerstone of all ESE research. We argue that the field of ESE holds special potential to spearhead a reconceptualization of this sort. One reason for this is that ESE has a strong interest in changing the Real, e.g changing learners behavior, attitudes, teaching, learning opportunities, etc. towards a more sustainable life style and yet, have a strong inclination towards discourse theory and discourse analysis. The symposium is interdisciplinary and will draw on different perspectives such as phenomenology, pragmatism, critical realism, German Idealism, etc., to reflect on the role of materialities and realisms in theoretical and empirical ESE research. In this first part of the symposium we focus on introducing new theoretical and empirical perspectives on realism and materialism it links directly with the second part of the symposium "ESE between discourse and Materiality. Mobility, corporeality, space and new trajectories." References Barad, K. (2003) “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter,” in Signs, vol. 28, N° 3-2003, Gender and Science: New Issues. The University of Chicago Press. Bryant, L. (2013) “Politics and Speculative Realism,” in Austin, M., Ennis, P. J., Gironi, F., Gokey T., & Jackson, R. (red.) Speculations IV. Brooklyn, NY: Punctum books. Dolphin, R. & Tuin, I. v. d. (2012) New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Open Humanities Press. Meillassoux, Q. (2007) After Finitude, English translation of Aprèés la Finitude (2006). Continuum.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year10 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2015
Event‘European Conference on Educational Research: Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 7 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


Conference‘European Conference on Educational Research

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