1st Edition

In Conversation with Karen Barad Doings of Agential Realism

Edited By Karin Murris, Vivienne Bozalek Copyright 2023
    206 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In Conversation with Karen Barad: Doings of Agential Realism is an accessible introduction to Karen Barad’s agential realist philosophy. The authors take on a unique approach to involve the readers in in/formal conversations between Karen, postgraduate and other researchers at a research event held in 2017 at Cape Town, South Africa.

    It features chapters that have been contributed by seminar delegates and organisers, which put forth the continuing impact that Karen Barad has had on their empirical work, research writing and drawing practices. The text further discusses the ethical and political significance of Karen’s work, especially in the context of de/colonizing South African higher education. The chapters offer a series of worked posthumanist pedagogical examples and describe how a research seminar was organised differently and more in line with Baradian radical philosophy. At its heart, this book makes a methodological and pedagogical contribution to the surge in literature on agential realism, whilst simultaneously challenging dominant research binaries and arguing for a more egalitarian way of working together in knowledge-creation by troubling human and more-than-human hierarchies. The book’s uniqueness is further fortified through its description of in/formal conversations, which are diffracted through chapters, a doing of agential realism to reconfigure relationships between lecturer and student, expert and novice, supervisor and supervised, researcher and research participants. These radical conversations are dis/continuing.

    This book will be invaluable for students and individuals interested in advancing their understanding of agential realism and Karen Barad’s influence at large, as well as students and scholars interested in postqualitative methods in all disciplines.

    List of Figures

    List of Contributors


    Introduction: Glimpsing the Colours on the Palette: ° ’ " Slowing Down Together/Apart

    Karin Murris and Vivienne Bozalek

    Chapter Night Sky: Temporal Diffraction: A Constellation *** of ‘New’ Electrifying Insights in Conversation with Karen Barad

    Vivienne Bozalek and Karin Murris

    Chapter Black Blood Matters: Moving Human and Non-human Bodies from ‘Question & Answer’ to a ‘Pedagogy of Questioning’

    Walter Kohan, Rose-Anne Reynolds and Karin Murris

    Chapter Red: Re-membering as a Sacred Practice

    Rose-Anne Reynolds

    Chapter Red Ochre: Marking Time, Marking Bodies: Relations Matter

    Theresa M. Giorza

    Chapter Teal: Re-searching Research: Troubling Lines as a Worlding Practice

    Joanne Peers

    Chapter Ultramarine: On Aftermaths, Afterlives and Afterimages

    Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton

    Chapter Red Brown: Gestures for Engineering and Medical Education: Drawing on Our Barad Encounter

    Siddique Motala and Veronica Mitchell

    Chapter Orange: Diffracting Drawing

    Kai Wood Mah and Patrick Lynn Rivers

    Chapter Iridescent: Th/reading through Mull: Cutting a Fashion Theory Course Together-Apart

    Nike Romano

    (No)End: Rainbow Æffects: Diffracting Colours and Futures Pallets

    Vivienne Bozalek and Karin Murris



    Karin Murris is Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Oulu, Finland, and Emerita Professor of Pedagogy and Philosophy, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is a teacher educator, grounded in academic philosophy and a postqualitative research paradigm. Her main interests are in posthuman child studies, philosophy in education, ethics and democratic pedagogies. www.karinmurris.com

    Vivienne Bozalek is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning at Rhodes University and Emerita Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her research interests pertain to the political ethics of care and social justice, posthumanism and feminist new materialisms, innovative pedagogical practices in higher education, and postqualitative and participatory methodologies.

    "In conversation with a generous South African research community, an ethics of re-turning and staying-with is beautifully unfolded on agential realist philosophy and concepts and a diverse empirical material."

    Malou Juelskjær, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Copenhagen, Denmark

    "This innovative collection of essays brings Karen Barad’s agential realism to life in the context of South African higher education. Drawing the reader in through playful, performative exchanges, the contributions creatively reimagine multidisciplinary research and rebuild pedagogical practices."

    Astrid Schrader, University of Exeter, UK

    "What does it mean to make agential realism a thinking, writing, and collaborative practice? The book addresses this question with immense care guided by deep concern for de/colonializing education in the South African context."

    Magdalena Górska, Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands