Objects, bodies and space: Gender and embodied practices of mattering in the classroom

Carol A. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (SciVal)


This article focuses on objects, bodies and space to explore how the mundane materialities of classrooms do crucial but often unnoticed performative work in enacting gendered power. Drawing on ethnographic data from a UK sixth form college study, the article analyses a series of 'material moments' to elaborate a material feminist analysis of embodied practices of mattering. I argue that 'practices, doings and actions' (Barad, K. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. London: Duke University Press), while often hidden or taken for granted, are a constitutive material force in producing what and who matters within classrooms. By highlighting objects, bodies and space as entangled material agencies, the article raises new questions about gendered pedagogic practices. It proposes the necessity to rethink classroom space as an emergent intersection of multiple, mobile materialities, and argues that doing so is a crucial task for a material feminist praxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-703
Number of pages16
JournalGender and Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • bodies
  • classroom
  • gender
  • Karen Barad
  • materiality
  • objects
  • space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Education


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