Events Calendar

Dr. Mindy Blaise Cross-Sector Public Lecture

Monday, October 16, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
John George Althouse Faculty of Education Building (FEB)
Room: 1139

Title:  "Recomposing Relations: Building Feminist Common Worlds Methods in Early Childhood Education"

Cost: Free

RSVP: Yes, to (space is limited) by Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

Dr. Mindy Blaise is a professor of early childhood education at Victoria University, Australia. Before becoming an academic, Mindy taught kindergarten in Seattle, Washington and Bryan, Texas. She is a co-founding member (with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Affrica Taylor) and principal researcher of the Common Worlds Research Collective. Mindy experiments with feminisms and post-empiricism to invent new practices that are necessary for encountering uncertain futures.

Abstract: This presentation is based on a multisensory and affect focused multispecies ethnography of children’s relations with the more-than-human. This Australian-based project involves working with early childhood teachers and teacher educators to engage creatively and more expansively with difference. This paper is about feminism and how it can be deployed in early childhood education to move away from focusing simply on matters of fact, towards addressing matters of concern (Blaise, Hamm, & Iorio, 2017; Latour, 2004, 2005). Inspired by the emerging field of feminist environmental humanities, I am attempting to recompose animal-child relations in ways that dismantle traditional separations (i.e., man/woman, nature/culture, adult/child). Recomposing relations requires a counter-logic to ‘best practice’, developmentalism and other hierarchical ways of thinking. I do this recomposing by thinking with feminist, ecologist and philosopher Val Plumwood’s (1993) non-hierarchical concept of difference and philosopher, artist, dancer and research-creation practitioner Erin Manning’s (2009, 2012) scholarship on movement and relationscapes. These concepts are necessary for producing new modes of thinking and feeling that language simply does not know yet. I show how more-than-human relations are recomposing relations that are continuous and non-hierarchical, rather than grounded in dualisms. In doing so, I am working with the more-than-human to build feminist common worlds methods to generate new conditions for more-than-human relatings that are ethical and political.

Faculty of Education
Jen Heidenheim

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