The Posthuman Child: decolonising childhood discourses
  • Room 211, Rolle Building, Plymouth University

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Drawing on her new book The Posthuman Child, Karin Murris from the University of Cape Town (UCT) will talk about the need to decolonise some dominant approaches to child and childhood through a critical posthumanist orientation. 

Karin will engage briefly with the ‘root’ of the problem that humanism poses for justice: the Cartesian dualisms that exclude the other than ‘fully-human’, such as females, slaves, animals, children and matter. The main focus of her presentation will be on the implications of this new ontology and epistemology for how we view child through a series of photos made by a six year old at the occasion of his sister’s wedding. 

Karin will conclude that a radical moving away from the exclusive anthropocentric focus on the psychological, the social and the discursive in education is particularly urgent for more just encounters with people who are not only young, but who also live in poverty and whose ‘home’ language is not English.

Speaker biography

Karin Murris (PhD) is Associate Professor at the School of Education, University of Cape Town (UCT). Her research interests include philosophy of education, philosophy with children (P4C), Reggio Emilia, early education studies and children’s literature. After working as an educational consultant and Visiting Professor at the University of Wales, Karin moved to South Africa to take up an academic position as a philosopher of education at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 2012, she moved to the University of Cape Town. She is Principal Investigator of a large three year research project Decolonising Early Childhood Discourses: Critical Posthumanism in Higher Education funded by the National Research Foundation. Her professional articles and academic papers can be downloaded from https://uct.academia.edu/KarinMurris

Apart from two textbooks, she is also the author of The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks (Contesting Early Childhood Series) (2016), and (with Joanna Haynes) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012; Routledge Research in Education Series). Karin is currently co-editing the Routledge International Handbook on Philosophy for Children scheduled to be published this year. 

This seminar is free to attend but booking is essential via the above link. 

Please contact joanna.haynes@plymouth.ac.uk or ihc@plymouth.ac.uk if you have any queries.



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