Phematerialism: Response-able Research and Pedagogy

A special issue of Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology

Editors: Katie Strom, Jessica Ringrose, Jayne Osgood, Emma Renold


PhEmaterialisms is an international working group formed in 2015 consisting of educators, researchers, students, and artists seeking to create generative ways of researching, teaching, and collaborating (Renold, 2017; Ringrose et al., 2018; Osgood et al., 2019). Connecting this group is a shared commitment to putting posthuman theories to work with the aim of addressing urgent issues of injustice. PhEmaterialism combines feminist posthumanism (Braidotti, 2013; Haraway, 2008/2016) and the new materialisms (Barad 2007; Van der Tuin, 2016), and is grounded in a genealogy of poststructural, postcolonial, postqualitative, intersectional feminist, and queer work in education. PhEmaterialism also engages with a number of ontological shifts which include decentering the humanist “man of reason” and promoting a worldview of affective assemblages composed of heterogeneous human and nonhuman, material and discursive elements (Braidotti, 2013; Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; Strom, 2015; Ringrose et. al, 2018). PheMaterialisms also calls on research methods to become response-able (Barad, 2007) by recognizing ethico-onto-epistemological relationality in all research processes.


This special issue of Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology will feature works that demonstrate the creative, affective and ethico-political doing of posthuman feminist educational research and teaching in a “post-truth” era. While we acknowledge the situated nature of knowledge (Haraway, 1988) and the agential cuts enacted to produce such knowledge/claims (Barad, 2007), we are also mindful of how contemporary right-wing socio-political forces thrive upon the instability of the ‘truth’ (e.g., the recent ‘hoax papers’ attacking ‘grievance studies’)  through tactics of disinformation, media manipulation, and strategies to promote panic and confusion (Marwick and Lewis, 2017).  We argue that PhEmaterialist practices can help us grapple with growing educational complexities, enabling strategies to resist and create alternatives to the patterns of injustice occurring the world over, from burgeoning ethno-nationalist political movements, to rising global poverty levels, to massive population displacements, to environmental degradation, to toxic internet movements grounded in misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia (Strom & Martin, 2017).


Articles featured in this special issue should address the overarching question: How do the principles of feminism posthuman and new materialism recalibrate and reimagine what matters for educational research, pedagogical and political practice? For example, articles might explore how posthuman materialist theories can help us develop collective, ethico-onto-epistemological practices of thinking-feeling-doing educational scholarship; create response-able ways of making educational research matter in the world; entangle with and in-form feminist theories and methodologies; and generate new formations of  intersectional justice, with human and more than human others, across varying educational contexts.


Format: PhEmaterialisms lends itself to a range of creative outputs, and RERM’s online publication format provides affordances beyond that of a typical print journal. Therefore, in addition to text-only submissions, we are interested in those that incorporate digital art, film, graphic images, audio, or other forms of multi media (note that video/audio submissions need to be submitted via YouTube/ Vimeo).


Abstract Submission: Please send your 500 word abstracts, including title, keywords, and overview of your proposed submission for consideration for the SI to Katie Strom ( by December 1, 2018. For multi-media submissions, abstracts should indicate the format you will use. Manuscripts or creative works will be due on April 1, 2019.



Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway. Durham: Duke University Press.

Braidotti, R. (2013). The posthuman. Polity.

Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). Capitalism and schizophrenia: A thousand plateaus. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Haraway, D. (1988). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist studies, 14(3), 575-599.

Haraway, D. (2008) When Species Meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Haraway, D. (2016). Staying with the trouble: making kin with chthulecene. Durham: Duke University Press.

Lloyd, G. (2002). The man of reason: "Male" and" female" in western philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Osgood, J. and Robinson, K. H. (2019) Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods: Generative Entanglements, London: Bloomsbury.

Renold, E. (2017). ‘Feel what I feel’: making da(r)ta with teen girls for creative activisms on how sexual violence matters. Journal of Gender Studies.

Ringrose, J. Warfield, K. and Zarabadi, S. (2018) Feminist Posthumanisms, New Materialisms and Education, London: Routledge.

Strom, K. (2015). Teaching as assemblage: Negotiating learning and practice in the first year of teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(4), 321-333.

Strom, K., & Martin, A. (2017). Thinking with theory in an era of Trump. Issues in Teacher Education, 26(3), 3-22.

Van Der Tuin, I. (2016). Generational feminism. [Place of publication not identifed]: Lexington Books.