Diffractive Pedagogies- dancing across new materialist imaginaries

Hickey-Moody, Anna Catherine; Palmer, Helen and Sayers, Esther. 2016. Diffractive Pedagogies- dancing across new materialist imaginaries. Gender and Education, 28(2), pp. 213-229. ISSN 0954-0253 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper outlines the affirmative potential of diffractive pedagogies, presenting learning through dance as its central empirical focus. Drawing on data from the university classroom and new materialist scholarship, we consider the problem of learning through the body for university students. We argue that embodied creative processes within pedagogical contexts can liberate those who learn from reproducing, or being reproduced, as the finite set of reductive yet historically determined and governed images, figures or metaphors assigned to them. Building on a feminist investment in the agency of materiality we think through the problem of the body as a site of learning in the university. Learning in higher education is popularly thought as pertaining to the transfer of abstract knowledge, and this process typically occurs in ways that largely ignore the physicality of learning. A pedagogical system which presents repeated structures and patterns of discourse as more valued vehicles for learning than experimentation and creation recognises only preconceived, representational models of thought and expression. This philosophical imaginary therefore requires reconfiguring, to allow for embodied and creative learning processes that are open-ended, nomadic and affirmative.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for the Arts and Learning


3 March 2016Published
11 December 2015Accepted

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Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2015 13:11

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:12

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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