Responsibility and nonhuman contributions to agency
Keynote 15 June 2022
Dr Karin Murris
Professor of Early Childhood Education University of Oulu, Finland and Emerita Professor of Education University of Cape Town, South Africa
In my talk I will explore the relationship between moral responsibility and nonhuman contributions to agency. Adopting agential realism as my philosophical framework, I will challenge conventional notions of causality that assume a connection between independent events in linear time. Through examples from educational research on digital play with children and their human and other-than-human families in South Africa, I will put forward the thesis that the politics at work in the material construction of scientific practices reconfigures objectivity, responsibility, and inclusion in democratic education. Responsibility so conceived is about enabling human and other-than-human ‘others’ to respond in scientific relatings. I will conclude by drawing the implications for (teacher)education in the geological era controversially called ‘the Anthropocene’ and how it could contribute to care for the world science participates in creating.
Karin Murris (PhD) is Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Oulu (Finland) and Emerita Professor of Pedagogy and Philosophy, University of Cape Town (South Africa). She is a teacher educator and grounded in academic philosophy and a postqualitative research paradigm, her main interests are in philosophy of education, childhood studies, ethics, democratic postdevelopmental pedagogies, children’s literature and digital play. She is principal investigator of various projects, including The Post-Qualitative Research in Higher Education Collective (2021-2023), Children, Technology andPlay (2019-2020) and Decolonising Early Childhood: Critical Posthumanism in Higher Education (2016-2019) in South Africa. Her books include: The Posthuman Child (2016), and (with Joanna Haynes) Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently (2018), Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012). She is co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children (2017) and editor of Navigating the Postqualitative, New Materialist and Critical Posthumanist Terrain Across Disciplines (2021) and A Glossary for Doing Postqualitative, New Materialist and Critical Posthumanist Research Across Disciplines (2022). She is Chief Editor of the Routledge Postqualitative, New Materialist and Critical Posthumanist Research series and section editor of Routledge Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods (in progress). Her Posthuman Child Manifesto you can find on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikN-LGhBawQ.