Diffracting the curriculum: putting ‘new’ material feminism to work to reconfigure knowledge-making practices in undergraduate higher education

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Abstract

This chapter puts “new” material feminist theory to work to re-think curricu- lum practices in undergraduate higher education. Drawing on the work of Karen Barad and her elaboration of agential realism, the chapter explores the following questions: how can thinking with new material feminism help develop and support new modes of curriculum design? How does new material feminism facilitate the development of innovative teaching and learning prac- tices? And how does new material feminism expand the means by which knowledge is produced? The chapter utilizes Barad’s notion of diffraction to illuminate how curriculum-making can be done via a patterned activity of creative interference. Empirically grounded in a module on an undergraduate BA Education Studies degree, the discussion employs practical examples of how new material feminist thinking and doing activates different ways of thinking about the body, materiality, affect, space, places, and objects in the undergraduate curriculum. More broadly, the chapter speaks into long- standing concerns about how feminist theory might support innovative teaching and learning, and how it might promote new modes of relation between our students and us as educationalists. The chapter is written from the point of view of the tutor’s reflexive insights on the module as a novel curriculum instantiation of material feminist practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
EditorsMalcolm Tight, Jeroen Huisman
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Pages37-52
Number of pages16
Volume5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83867-841-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-83867-842-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
PublisherEmerald
Volume5
ISSN (Print)2056-3752

Cite this

Taylor, C. (2019). Diffracting the curriculum: putting ‘new’ material feminism to work to reconfigure knowledge-making practices in undergraduate higher education. In M. Tight, & J. Huisman (Eds.), Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (Vol. 5, pp. 37-52). (Theory and Method in Higher Education Research; Vol. 5). Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2056-375220190000005004