Posthuman Conceptions of Change in Empirical Educational Research


Special issue editors: Sofie Sauzet, Simon Ceder & Linnea Bodé

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Change is at the heart of the educational project. Mostly, the subject of change is described as the individual learning subject –the student –changing from ignorant to knowing, from not able to able. Critical pedagogies emphasizechange as the student becoming empowered. However, education is also thought of, and used as, a means changing at-risk groups, or societies at large. Posthuman (or new materialist, feminist materialism, post-ANT and so on) theory implies being part of the world, embedded, entangled and always becoming, with the ever-unfolding movements of the world. Thus, change is not the change of the individual subject, particular groups or systems, from one state to another. Rather it is about “giving to the world the power to change us, to ‘force’ our thinking.” (Stengers 2008, p. 57). Posthuman approaches questions ideas of change from a relational ontology and an ontology of movement. It is not only humans who change; rather, the world is in constant change –an intra-acting absolute movement–andthe focus is the ongoing becomings that constantly transforms the world (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013). From this ontology, change is ongoing in all aspects of life and learning. Distinguishing the transformative capacities for change, transformation, or differences can thus be difficult. How can posthuman approaches to change be studied and materialized in empirical educational research? What is being changed, who is being changed, how does change happen, and for what purpose? How can posthuman research engage in, argue for, and manifest changes to educational practices?

With this special issue, we wish to address posthuman conceptions of change in empirical educational research working with posthuman theories and methodologies. We look for contributions that address and explores education as a question of change, transformation, quantum leaps, worldings, transitions, cuts, development, shifts, revolution, evolution, transposition, innovation or learning. We look for contributions with an empirical ambition within educational or pedagogical studies from a posthuman/new materialist perspective

The special issue will be a multidisciplinary collection of articles addressing change in education through posthuman approaches with a focus on empirical research. We invite article contributions to this special issue through a range of possibilities. Here we name but a few

  • Posthuman view on transformation in empirical research
  • Change through educational experiments
  • Learning as change
  • Worldling as change
  • Aesthetic learning processes
  • Change through affirmative critique
  • Affective engagements in education
  • The role of change in action research and practice based research
  • New approaches to emancipation and critical pedagogy
  • Transformational informal learning processes
  • Change in organisations
  • Leadership and management as change
  • Change in eastern western indigenous education
  • Climate change and education
  • Measuring change
  • How the empirical changes the researcher
  • Which change is “better” and an improvement, and for who/what


  • 1st of December: Deadline for 150-word abstracts
  • 15th of December: Response on abstracts
  • 15th of February, 2020: Deadline for papers. (Papers are max 5 pages, and somewhere between the abstract and a finished article)
  • 3rd or 15th of March, 2020: Response on papers from SI editors (either at NERA Network 22 pre-conference or as written response)
  • 15th of June, 2020: Deadline for full articles
  • 1st September, 2020: Response on full articles
  • 1st of November, 2020: Deadline final article.
  • 15th of February 2021: Publication date

Please send the abstract to

If you have any questions, please send an email to, or


Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (2013). A thousand plateaus. Bloomsbury

Stengers, I. (2008). Experimenting with refrains: Subjectivity and the challenge of escaping modern dualism. Subjectivity, 22(1), 38-59