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Material and emotional movements of everyday school life: researching the dynamics of everyday processes of schooling through the spoken memories of former school pupils

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  • Department of Education

In this paper, I explore how the interview based memories of three generations of former pupils offer complex and very textural impressions of how everyday life at school has been played out. It forms an understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in the processes of everyday life at school across time and of the pupils' incessant enfolding into the universe of the school. Through the spoken memories of the former school pupils the often implicit experiences with the quivering motions and fragmented texture of everyday school life become vivid. By following the former pupil's memories of physical and emotional movements across and within space we are given a chance to sense the dynamics, the simultaneous regularity and unpredictability of everyday school life. It offers a chance to sense some of the intensities that makes up the specificity of the complex universe of the school.  It also creates a space for wondering about the relative stable and although continuously displaced modes of knowing, relating, and attending to things, teachers and classmates embedded in the school's time-specific field of potential. For conceptualising the movements - physically and emotionally - related to everyday life in the spoken memories, and to bring out the compoundness of everyday life at school as it is remembered by the pupils, I reframe Eggermont's notion of the choreography of schooling (Eggermont, 2001) in terms of material-discursive and affective processes of becoming. This is done by thinking through the writings of Karen Barad and Brian Massumi (Barad, 2003; Massumi, 2002).


Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs, 28(3), 801-831.

Eggermont, B. (2001). The choreography of schooling as a site of struggle: Belgian primary schools, 1880-1940. History of Education, 30(2), 129-140.

Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the Virtual. Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham/London: Duke University Press.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSubjectivity and learning in everyday life : Roskilde University 2010
Number of pages1
PublisherRoskilde Universitetscenter
Publication year2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventSubjectivity and learning in everyday life - Roskilde, Denmark
Duration: 26 May 201028 May 2010


ConferenceSubjectivity and learning in everyday life

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