Sensing bodies: Transdisciplinary enactments of ‘thing-power’ and ‘making-with’ for educational future-making

Cooke, Carolyn; Colucci-Gray, Laura and Burnard, Pamela (2023). Sensing bodies: Transdisciplinary enactments of ‘thing-power’ and ‘making-with’ for educational future-making. Digital Culture & Education (In Press).


Dominant conceptions of education are strongly framed by narratives of ‘power-over’ materials, context, and processes, especially where digital and technological applications reduce complexities between humans, materials, and environments. The separation of knowledge, tools, and bodies in ‘disciplinary bounded’, ‘copyrighted’, and ‘patented’ spaces create a disconnect from our need for sustainable relationships, whereby the future is not given but ‘in-the-making’ (Haraway 2016). Drawing on music and science – as examples of distinct disciplines, often siloed and separated in education – this paper advances nuanced understandings of how post human conceptions of ‘thing-power’ (the power of all bodies including materials) and ‘making-with’ (whereby everything makes each other capable) contribute to the affective encounters of materialities within the classroom. By foregrounding the sensing body as a means to touch and be ‘touched’ by the world, we uniquely contribute to methodologies that illuminate the relational intensity of material sensation as part of coming to ‘know’. In doing so, we engage with the performative work of these materialities and re-define the ‘digital’ beyond the delivery of pre-planned learning pathways.

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