Walking in rhythm with Deleuze and a dog inside the classroom: being and becoming happy and well together

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3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper plateau describes children’s interspecies relation with a classroom canine, utilising posthumanism, post-structuralism and new materialism as its research paradigm and methodology. Once feelings are cognitised or articulated, their true essence can be lost. Therefore, elucidating moment-to-moment child–dog interactions through the lens of affect theory attempts to materialise the invisible, embodied, ‘unthought’ and non-conscious experience. Through consideration of Deleuzian concepts such as the ‘rhizome’ and ‘Body-without-Organs’ being enacted it illuminates new, ‘situated knowledge’. This is explicated and revealed using visual methods with ‘data’ produced by both, the children and their classroom dog such as photographs and video footage mounted on the dogs harness, from a GoPro micro camera. In addition, individual drawings, artefacts and paintings completed by the children are profound points in the research process, which are referred to as ‘plateaus’. These then become emergent as a children’s comic book where their relationship with ‘Dave’, their classroom dog is materialised. Through their interspecies relationship both child and dog exercise agency, co-constitute and transform one another and occupy a space of shared relations and multiple subjectivities. The affectual capacities of both child and dog also co-create an affective atmosphere and emotional spaces. Through ethnographic, participant observation and the ‘researcher’s body’ as a tool, they visually create illustrations through the sketching of ‘etudes’ (drawing exercises) to draw forth this embodied experience to reveal multiple lines and entanglements, mapping a landscape of interconnections and relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Humanities
Volume45
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2019

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