1st Edition

Knowledge Production in Material Spaces Disturbing Conferences and Composing Events

    234 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Knowledge Production in Material Spaces is a curation of the interventions that the authors undertook at a range of academic conferences since 2016. It problematizes disciplined practices and expectations governing academic conference spaces and generates new ways of thinking and doing conferences otherwise.

    The authors use posthuman, feminist materialist and post-qualitative theories to disrupt knowledge production in neoliberal and bureaucratic conferences spaces. The analysis they offer, and the rhizomatic writing and presentational styles they use, promote a form of educational activism through theory. They interrogate the conference space as a regulated, normalized and standardized mode of academic knowledge production – which they call the ‘AcademicConferenceMachine’ – and playfully subvert the dominant meanings and modes of conferences and workshops to show how we can better interact and produce research, with and for each other. The authors indicate how creative conference practices promote playful possibilities to imagine and produce knowledge differently.

    This book will appeal to audiences ranging from established professionals to early career scholars, doctoral and master’s students in Education and the social sciences.






    Thinking-with dirt: Viral configurations of/for knowing


    Tables, or not: Multiple productions of tablediffractions through spacetimemattering

    Playful Cuts and Cartographic Mapping: Gender-in-the-making – with Teija Rantala

    String figuring sympoiesis: Stringly matterings for doing knowledge-making differently



    Sketching schizoid narratives – with Teija Rantala

    Intermissions Multiple



    Nikki Fairchild is Associate Head (Research and Innovation), School of Education and Sociology, University of Portsmouth. Her research focuses on place-spaces in Early Childhood classrooms and gardens and how they impact on bodies, this is activated using speculative embodied methodologies and theoretically informed by critical feminist materialisms and posthumanisms.

    Carol A. Taylor is Professor of Higher Education and Gender, and Director of Research (Education), at the University of Bath. Her research focuses on entangled relations of knowledge-power-gender-space-ethics in higher education. She utilizes transdisciplinary, feminist materialist and posthumanist theories and methodologies and experimental academic writing practices to contest dominant knowledge formations.

    Angelo Benozzo is an undisciplined researcher in work and organizational psychology at the University of Valle d’Aosta in Italy where he also lectures qualitative research methods. His research can be described as lying at the crossroads between organizational psychology, critical management studies, qualitative research, and cultural studies.

    Neil Carey’s Ph.D. explored creative fiction as queer disruptor for socio-cultural stories attaching to (homo)sexuality. As well as emerging work on internationalization of higher education, research interests focus on queer and discursive methodologies. He co-authored ‘Discourse: the basics’ for Routledge (2017) and publishes in a range of academic journals.

    Mirka Koro received her Ph.D., University of Helsinki. She is Professor of qualitative research and Director of doctoral programs at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. Her scholarship operates in the intersection of methodology, philosophy, and socio-cultural critique.

    Constanse Elmenhorst is an Independent scholar and works as a kindergarten teacher. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and her research focus is on the how materiality is present and revealed in everyday interactions both in Early Childhood and conference spaces.

    The task: to produce an account that is less an archive than a field of conditions, a set of practices. To anarchive: activate the surplus of experience in the event, make felt how what eludes capture nonetheless makes a difference. To turn without turning against: the AcademicConferenceMachine is not the enemy so much as the symptom (of frontality, of measurability, of discipline). To move beyond authority, allowing the words to tunnel their own uneasy resonances, turning the soil, creating new paths. To become-earthworm .

    Erin Manning, Research Chair – Speculative Pragmatism, Art, and Pedagogy, Director, SenseLab, Concordia University, Canada.


    In this provocative and disruptive new book, Fairchild and colleagues offer a lively, creative, and necessary intervention into the academic-conference-industry landscape. Questions of ethics, environments, and politics abound, read through intra-actions between (conference) events, geographies, human and non-human actors, and more. What results is a post-qualitative, post-methodological tour deforce: Knowledge Production in Material Spaces will disturb your taken-for granted assumptions about and entanglements within the neoliberal academy.

    Michael D. Giardina, Professor, Florida State University, and Director, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI)


    This exciting book mobilises posthuman and feminist materialist theory to agitate the ‘Academic Conference Machine’. Issuing from a series of experimental conference presentations by the authorial collective, it converts the exhilarations of those original events, with their speeding pulses, sweaty palms and disobedient formats, into energetic, event-ful writing that opens new spaces for knowledge and action inside the neoliberal machine.

    Maggie MacLure, Professor, Education and Social Research, Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, U.K.


    This book is a playful intra-action with a geopolitical world, with multiverse connections, care and response-ability as vibrant nourishments. The six authors (CG Collective) and one more do not stand still; they do collective thinking and doings – IDEAS and materialities with ten events. Experimentations, speculations, process-orientations – push and risk the academic conferences continuously.

    Ann Merete Otterstad, Professor, OsloMet University, Oslo, Norway


    After reading this book, attending or planning a conference will never be the same again. The authors put posthumanist feminist thinking, concepts and metaphors to work with great inventiveness and playfulness and they enable ways to know and learn otherwise within ‘the conference’ and beyond.

    Malou Juelskjær, Associate Professor in Social Psychology, University of Aarhus, Denmark


    A beautifully curated book? Yes, but more of an event to be curiously returned to time after time as readers become respons-able for disturbing the taken for granted, normative and dominant modes of knowledge production and the AcademicConferenceMachine. An assemblage of theory and creative practices for different embodied and ethical possibilities.

    Alison Pullen, Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Macquarie University, Australia

    "The book is inspirational  and  post-critical,  it  challenges  traditional  forms  of  conference  doings  that  dominate academia  andoffers  real  insight  into  a  new  discourse  of  academic  conference  spaces  that  has emerged as a response to the rigor-tradition-neoliberal crises of our time." - Eva Mikuska