A post-human review-methodology for reading bodies of literature diffractively

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


    Topic: Reviewing literature is an academic practice that aims at producing synthesis of literature on specific topics or research fields. Normally this is enacted towards the aim of accounting for “where we are now with the research” or “pointing out gaps in the research” or “positioning oneself within a discipline” (Burton 2011, Knopff 2013, Jackson 1980, R. Rosenthal and M. R. DiMatteo 2001). In this sense, reviews are supposed to work as echoing mirrors, as they reflect the already reflected, in laying out the state of the art. From a STS-perspective, however, reviews are equally productive of knowledge, as they perform analysis of the analysed.

    Aim: The aim of this paper is to propose a post-human (Barad, 2007) review methodology for exploring tensions within literature that responds to educational reforms. A review methodology that is able to open up for new discussions of ways of knowing “what we know”, and new forms of critique of what we can know, by reading different knowledge-productions diffractively through another.

    Theoretical framework: This review-methodology draws on post-human thinking, and is diffractive (Barad 2007), as it performs the literature through a series of differentiations, with the intent of manifesting tensions between arguments in the literature, and hereby enabling discussions of the tensions between arguments within bodies of literature.

    Methodology: As case, I draw on a review of literature on pedagogues’ work-life in public schools in Denmark. The literature was published following a reform of the Danish school system in 2013, through which pedagogues became part of the teaching staff in schools. A post formerly monopolized by teachers. By way of example, I illustrate tensions that I have diffracted through this body of literature. Tensions, that in a flattened ontology where the production of literature and practices of pedagogues are entangled, work on the practices of pedagogues in schools, and makes it a lot of work to work as a pedagogue in schools.

    Findings: The paper shows how working with a post-human review methodology allows for explorations of tensions within bodes of literature, as opposed to positioning authors in a field.

    Relevance to Nordic educational research: The paper offers a critique of the claims for representativity that are inherent in systematic reviews. Also, in exploring tensions within a field of literature, this post-human review methodology produces new forms of knowledge of “what we know”, that allows for discussions of how we can produce knowledge on educational issues, through flattened, post-human ontologies.

    Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the
    Entanglement of Matter and Meaning Duke University Press.
    Burton, J. (2011). "Book reviews: “Literature reviewing”." Journal of English for Academic Purposes
    Knopf, J. W. (2013). "Doing a Literature Review." Political Science and Politics 39(1): 127-132.
    Rosenthal, R. and DiMatteo, M.R. (2001) Meta-Analysis: Recent Developments in Quantitative Methods for Literature Reviews. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 59-82.
    StatusUdgivet - 2019
    BegivenhedNera 2019: Education in a globalized world - Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sverige
    Varighed: 6 mar. 20198 mar. 2019


    KonferenceNera 2019
    LokationUppsala University