The Vital Life of Kitchens in Higher Education Institutional Workspaces: Material Matterings, Affective Choreographies and Micropolitical Practices

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In higher education institutions (HEI), whose primary functions are oriented to the activities of learning, teaching and research workspace kitchens are disregarded spaces. Yet kitchens do vital but unnoticed work in everyday institutional life. This article develops a post-human, post-disciplinary and post-methodological analytical framing to give kitchens, and the confederation of connections they produce, the attention they deserve. The article draws on a post-qualitative data bricolage of mobile phone snaps, assemblage ethnography, vox pop and memory story to analyze the posthuman matterings within and of HEI kitchens. Theoretically, the article is grounded in a post-disciplinary approach which draws conceptual resources from sociology, human geography, anthropology, material culture and education. It explores the HE workspace kitchen as a productive site for the enactment of a multitude of material, affective and micro-political institutional practices. The article argues that kitchens matter as important liminal spaces for the materialization of institutional rules, values, norms, belonging and community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Posthumanism
Issue number1
Early online date8 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

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