Posthuman Child and the Diffractive Teacher: Decolonizing the Nature/Culture Binary

  • Karin MurrisEmail author
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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This chapter gives an overview of how the substance ontology of Western philosophy thrives on the power producing Nature/Culture dichotomy, has caused asymmetrical violence, infiltrated everyday language, created academic divisions, produced hierarchical categories and classifications, and underpins colonialism and colonizing notions of relationships – not only between humans and subhumans (e.g., child) but also between humans and more-than-humans (e.g., animals, matter). This chapter shows how critical posthumanism as a navigational tool offers a different relational ontology – more akin to African Indigenous scholarship and ways of living – that reconfigures subjectivity and brings into existence the notions of posthuman child and the sympoietic diffractive teacher (human or nonhuman) critically urgent notions to consider for education in the Anthropocene.


Posthuman child Diffractive teacher Decolonizing education Ontoepistemic injustice Developmentalism Postdevelopmental child 



This work is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa [Grant number 98992].


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karen Malone
    • 1
  • Iris Duhn
    • 2
  • Marek Tesar
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Educational ResearchWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Education, Peninsula CampusMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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