Dean's Lecture Series 2020: Professor Jayne Osgood

In this lecture, Professor Jayne Osgood attempts a reconfiguration of ‘diversity’ in early childhood contexts by turning attention to everyday matter(s). Professor Osgood considers data that draws into sharp focus multimodal materials and embodiment to argue for an opened-out view of diversity.

The aim of the lecture is to examine how we might move beyond narrow formulations of ‘diversity’ in early childhood and instead attend to the possibilities that arise through thinking deeply and sensing ordinary routines and everyday situations.

This lecture will tell different stories about childhood diversity than those generated through curriculum frameworks, inspection regimes, and pedagogical practices.

In order to generate other stories, in this lecture Professor Osgood pays attention to how stories come about, how they come to hold currency and the affects that they have. Considering the material-semiotic-discursive and affective entanglements that unfold during the ‘celebration’ of festivals, events and celebrations within an early years setting to try to gain some purchase on understandings about other stories. Particular attention is given to the materialised and embodied celebration of Chinese New Year as it plays out in the baby room. Arguing that adopting a feminist new materialist approach demands that the world is viewed differently – as material-discursive and that our human-centric place in the world must be reassessed.

Dr Jayne Osgood is Professor of Education (Early Years & Gender) based at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University. Her present methodologies and research practices are framed by feminist new materialism. Through her work she seeks to maintain a concern with issues of social justice and to critically engage with early childhood policy, curricular frameworks and pedagogical approaches. Her work extends understandings about the workforce, families, ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts. She has published extensively within the postmodernist paradigm including Special Issues of the journal Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (2006, 2016, 2017 and 2019) and Narratives from the Nursery: negotiating professional identities in Early Childhood (Routledge, 2012) and most recently Feminist Thought in Childhood Research (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Post-developmental Approaches to Childhood Art (Bloomsbury, 2019). She is on the editorial boards of several journals including Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, and is currently Editor of Gender & Education Journal and Editor of Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology.

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