Seminar in New Materiality - Spring 2018

The ‘Seminar in New Materiality’ is offered in the Faculty of Education in Spring 2018. The seminar is offered collectively by an interdisciplinary group of faculty members in Education, who invite graduate students and faculty members to join us in the Spring 2018 term to read and discuss the theories, research and pedagogies of new materiality. New materiality, also known as relational or posthuman ontologies de-centre human exceptionality and boundaries between the non-human and human, with implications for key ideas in education such as agency, identity, learning, transformation and social justice. Our goal in this seminar is to provide a rich context for discussion as we explore together how these new perspectives might shape our research and practice.

Guest speakers who are leading thinkers in new materialities scholarship will visit the seminar including: Dr. Iris van der Tuin, Dr. Deborah Youdell, Dr. Elizabeth de Freitas and Dr. Lisa Mazzei.

Course leaders:

Suzanne Smythe, Cher Hill, Margaret MacDonald, Diane Dagenais, Nathalie Sinclair, Kelleen Toohey

Graduate students who wish to attend course meetings and guest lectures as a Directed Studies for course credit may do so by completing the DS form and sending it back to Graduate Programs office.

New Materiality Seminar meeting dates (if you are registered you attend all dates):
*New Materiality Seminar Guest Speaker dates (open to students, faculty and members of the public, please RSVP Dr. Suzanne Smythe

Date Time Guest Speaker
Monday, Jan 15th 1:00 – 4:00 PM (PST)
SFU's Burnaby campus, West Mall Centre Building, WMC2532
*Monday, Jan 22nd 12:30 – 2:00 PM (PST) Iris van der Tuin
Abstract: Epistemology in a Speculative Key
SFU's Burnaby campus, Halpern Centre, HC126
Monday, Jan 29th 1:00 – 4:20 PM (PST) N/A SFU's Burnaby campus, West Mall Centre Building, WMC2532
*Tuesday, Feb 13th 12:30 – 4:20 PM (PST) Deborah Youdell and Martin R. Lindley
Abstract: We are biosocial: why sociology and biology should collaborate to understand the materiality of learning
SFU's Burnaby campus, Halpern Centre, HC114

Monday, Feb 19th

1:00 – 4:00 PM (PST) N/A SFU's Burnaby campus, West Mall Centre Building, WMC2532

Monday, Mar 5th

1:00 – 4:00 PM (PST) N/A SFU's Burnaby campus, West Mall Centre Building, WMC2532

*Monday, Mar 19th

12:30 – 4:20 PM (PST) Elizabeth De Freitas SFU's Burnaby campus, Halpern Centre, HC126
Monday, Mar 26th 1:00 – 4:00 PM (PST) N/A SFU's Burnaby campus, West Mall Centre Building, WMC2532
*Thursday, Apr 5th 12:30 – 4:20 PM (PST) Lisa Mazzei
SFU's Burnaby campus, Halpern Centre, HC126

RSVP:  Please send an email to if you plan to attend.

Guest Speaker Bios

Iris van der Tuin is associate professor in, and program director of, Liberal Arts and Sciences at Utrecht University (Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies). She is also director of the School of Liberal Arts. Trained as a feminist epistemologist and working as an interdisciplinarian, she is specialized in gender studies and new materialisms (especially pertaining to humanities scholarship that traverses ‘the two cultures’). She co-authored New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies (Open Humanities Press, 2012) with Rick Dolphijn, wrote Generational Feminism: New Materialist Introduction to a Generative Approach (Lexington Books, 2015), and edited Nature for Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender(Macmillan Reference USA, 2016). Iris currently chairs the COST Action New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on ‘How Matter comes to Matter’ (2014-18) and works in the H2020project Ethics of Coding: A Report on the Algorithmic Condition (2017, chaired by Felicity Colman). Iris is founding editor with Rosi Braidotti of the book series New Materialisms of Edinburgh University Press and associate editor-in-chief of Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender.

Deborah Youdell is a Professor of Sociology of Education in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. She is is the author of School Trouble: identity, power and politics in education and Impossible Bodies and Impossible Selves: exclusions and student subjectivities. She is co-author with David Gillborn of the award-winning book Rationing Education: policy, practice, reform and equity. Her recent work is at the forefront of the developing field of biosocial education, which brings emerging knowledge in the new biological sciences together with sociological accounts of schooling and student subjectivities to generate new insights into learning and the learner. She is co-author with molecular biologist Martin R. Lindley, Biosocial Education, which will be published in 2018. She is on the Executive Editorial Board of the British Journal of Sociology of Education and is on the Editorial Boards of Race Ethnicity Education and Gender and Education. 

Dr. Martin R Lindley is a senior lecturer in human biology ergonomics at Loughborough University. He studies the biological mechanisms underpinning the proposed action of dietary fatty acids. In 2014, he established the Translation Chemical Biology (TCB) research group, which brings together expertise from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and The Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University.

Elizabeth de Freitas is a professor in the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on philosophical investigations of mathematics, science and technology, pursuing the implications and applications of this work across the social sciences and humanities. She has published 5 books and over 50 chapters and articles on a range of topics such as gesture studies, diagramming practices, digital media studies, material semiotics, teacher identity, narrative inquiry, classroom discourse, school architecture, critical pedagogy, and curriculum studies. Her recent work examines the material practices and bio-political dimensions of STEM activity, both recreational and expert. She also writes extensively on social science research methodology, exploring alternative ways of engaging with digital and quantitative data, and developing experimental and speculative research methods. Her research has been funded by the Canada Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the European Union Erasmus Plus Programme.

Lisa A. Mazzei is Associate Professor in the Department of Education Studies, Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Philosophy, and Program Director for the Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education Doctoral Program at the University of Oregon (USA). Her research with white teachers and engagement with philosophical concepts has resulted in a body of work that considers silence in qualitative inquiry and a mapping of inquiry as a process methodology. She is the author of Inhabited Silence in Qualitative Research (Peter Lang), co-editor of Voice in Qualitative Inquiry(Routledge) and co-author of Thinking with Theory in Qualitative Research (Routledge). In collaboration with Alecia Jackson, she focuses on thinking with theory as a new analytic for qualitative inquiry.


SFU acknowledges the traditional territories of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), and Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm) Nations, on whose lands the Burnaby campus resides.