What "what we know does": A posthuman review methodology

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


In this presentation I will unfold a posthuman methodology for doing reviews of bodies of literature, from the vantage point of knowledge-fields where educational politics and knowledge production is closely entangled.

Reviews are usually described as overviews or syntheses of research publications from shared knowledge-fields, and seen as such, they map “what we know” about particular objects of knowledge. In mapping the state of the art, reviews are suggested to represent synthesised or cumulative insights from knowledge-fields. This suggest that reviewing is a representational endeavour.

However, reviews can be more than a tool for the mapping and representation of existing knowledges; reviews can also be performative of what “what we know” does to educational practice. As such, reviews can perform issues that emerge, when “what we know” is saturated with contradictions, that complexify educational practice.

As case, I draw on a review of literature on the topic of ‘social educators in schools’. The literature was published following a reform of the public school in Denmark in 2013. The reform is not in focus here, but it serves as case of a larger trend, where knowledge-production on educational issues, become increasingly entangled with educational politics. From my case, I develop the empirically sensitive analytical concept of reviewing extendings,

From my review I developed an analytical strategy for attuning to ‘extendings’ between contradictory statements within the knowledge-field. The concept might be able to travel to other reviews, but I will argue, that from posthuman philosophies, reviewing should be considered performative of what particular knowledge-political fields do to their objects of knowledge. – And that it is from empirical entanglements, that it becomes possible to develop ideas that may - or may not - be able to travel to other reviews.


  • Undersøgelsesdesign, teori og metode
  • Review