Worlding of Childhoodnature Imaginaries: Bodies Sensing Ecologically

Year: 2019

Author: Malone, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Bodies sensing ecologically is a concept I am using in order to imagine how children can engage/communicate with the more-than-human-world prior to language acquisition. Meaning through bodies; sensual knowing emerges as the means for making sense of things in the act of sensing. A childbody finding ways to be with nonhuman animals; plants; the weather; water; and materials through their bodies. Indeed, through this research you could say I am attempting to map a child response to entities sensorially. The theoretical framing of this research is supported by a diffractive theorising drawing on a relational ontology. As a ‘re-turning’ like composting I am diffracting data drawing on an emerging ‘posthumanism and vital materialist turn’ that supports a shift in focus, from culture as outside of nature, to a re-orienting of relations where the human and more-than- human world are recognised as existing in an ecologically ‘messy entanglement’. By attending to Haraway’s notion of relational natures of difference, I use a diffractive lens to be responsive to patterns that map not where differences appear but rather to map where the effects of differences go. Postqualitative methods and posthumanist approaches feature as central, diffractive analysis explores difference as connections and relations within and between different bodies, affecting each other and being affected. To embark on this research with children there is a need to be attentive to the very subtle encounters and sensitivities of a child with her/other bodies. Where child-worlding bodies attune me to the ongoing. The relationality of an everyday multiple knowing as childhoodnature. A present and past body sensing as entangled matter. There is a moment, a pause, a silence, recognition of ecological kin tracings, like tendrils of a floating sea jelly, rising and falling in the waves they pulsate in the everyday. Worlding of Childhoodnature imaginaries.