Pedagogies of mattering in Higher Education: thinking-with posthumanist and feminist materialist theory-praxis

Nicola Fairchild, Karen Gravett, Carol A. Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


'Pedagogies of mattering’ employs posthumanist and feminist materialist theory to rethink the practice of relational pedagogies in higher education. In their original article Gravett, Taylor and Fairchild (2021) developed the theoretical underpinning of pedagogies of mattering and produced new insights for exploring how posthumanist and feminist materialist theory could be used to articulate alternative ways to experience curriculum, learning and teaching, and assessment. Building on the original article this chapter extends the authors’ conceptualisation of pedagogies of mattering in relation to six new concepts: love and kindness; belonging and power; creativity and criticality. These are not stand-alone or paired but are concepts-in-relation. We acknowledge we have enacted agential cuts (Barad, 2007) in choosing to focus on these concepts and enacted a cutting together-apart (Barad, 2014) in grouping them. We do so as these six new concepts are relational to our earlier work (Gravett, Taylor and Fairchild, 2021), and build on them here to provide new instantiations to exemplify how pedagogies of mattering can provide a more expansive conceptualisation of higher education pedagogy and practice. The examples in this chapter highlight how affirmative and caring relationships include a broader range of actors, and tune into the objects, bodies and spaces. These human and non-human bodies constitute the material mattering of learning and teaching as an in-situ practice of relationality in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards Posthumanism in Education
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical Entanglements and Pedagogical Mappings
EditorsJessie A. Bustillos Morales, Shiva Zarabadi
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003365693
ISBN (Print)9781032430980
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge New and Critical Studies in Education


  • pedagogies
  • higher education
  • mattering
  • posthuman
  • feminist materialism

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