A General Update

It has been a fair while since I have updated this blog, but for good reason. March and April were both crazy, crazy months, in which I finished my second round of participant interviews, edited the transcripts, got through a PhD milestone ‘progress review’ seminar, wrote a journal article draft, organised an overseas conference trip, all while teaching/tutoring for the first time for a sociology of education subject! This was the most stressful professional period of my life by far and consequently I spent most of May recovering.

The good news is that I passed my progress review and got really great, positive feedback. Also, other than a few minor dramas and the excessive stress of dealing with so many things at once, everything is actually going fairly well. I feel like since I survived March and April, I can survive anything this PhD journey can throw at me.

I’m really looking forward to presenting at the Gender and Education Association conference in London in a couple of weeks. My presentation will be examining how new materialist theories offer something different in theorising about gender-sex, and I’ll be relating this of course to the context of science education and ethics. Hopefully I can also get some more data analysis done before then to add that to the presentation. In July, I’ll then be able to do more intense data analysis and begin writing my analysis chapters! I wouldn’t say the end is in sight as yet, considering there is a lot of work, and specifically writing, to be done but at least I am feeling more than less on track.


A New Year

I’ve almost reached the third year of my PhD; it’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for two years. On the one hand it feels like I haven’t done much to reflect two years of work but on the other hand it feels like I’ve been working on this for many, many years. In any case, I ended 2014 on a good note by attending and presenting at the Gender and Education Association (GEA) interim conference held here in Melbourne. It was my first presentation at a conference but I believe it went very well, as indicated by the complimentary comments I received afterwards. A copy of my presentation slides can be found on my Academic.edu profile. The title is ‘Gender-Sex, Science and Ethics: The Provocation of New Materialism’ and, in basic summary, it’s about what I think new materialism has to offer generally and also specifically in terms of my research project. I argued that new materialism can and should be thought of as provocative rather than as ‘better’ than other frameworks. No doubt, a time will come when it will cease to be provocative and hopefully there’ll be then something else to use as a tool to challenge accepted knowledge. I do think that within my research field of gender and science education, frameworks such as poststructuralism and social constructionism have become overly dominant and entrenched to the point, in some instances at least, they stifle original thought or insights.

As for my general PhD progress, I am at the point now of attempting to use new materialism to analyse my interview data with ten pre-service teachers as well as considering what else I can do in terms of ‘assembling’ more data, and data that is not so human/individual centred. Not exactly easy to do! I had previously planned to do another interview with my participants but I’m not so sure at the moment this is the best thing to do, or if there is something else I could do other than another interview. Whatever I end up doing, this will no doubt take up the first quarter of the year and after that there will be more analysis before I get down to some more serious writing. I’m hoping this will also be the year that I get to go to a larger overseas international conference (potentially the next GEA conference in London) as well as gain some experience tutoring or lecturing and to publish a journal article. A big year, hopefully it will be a good and productive one with minimal disruptions (I won’t be silly enough to hope there won’t be any disruptions).

New Materialism + Related Readings

A follow up from my previous post, I thought I’d just post some resources for new materialism that I have read or am reading. I’ll continually add to this post.

Last Updated: 13/2/2015


Alaimo, Stacy; Hekman, Susan (Eds.). (2008). Material Feminisms. USA: Indiana University Press.

Barad, Karen. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. ebrary: Duke University Press

newiconDeleuze and Research Methodologies. (2013). (R. Coleman & J. Ringrose Eds.). Edinburgh Edinburgh University Press.

Dolphijn, R. and I. Van der Tuin (2013). New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Online, Open Humanities Press.

Coole, Diana; Frost, Samantha (Eds.). (2010). New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. USA: Duke University Press.

Giffney, Noreen; Hird, Myra J (Eds.). (2008). Queering the Non/Human. England: Ashgate Publishing Company.


newiconAllen, Louisa. (2015). Sexual assemblages: mobile phones/young people/school. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(1), 120-132.

Barad, Karen. (2011). Nature’s Queer Performativity. Qui Parle, 19(2), 121-158.

Barad, Karen. (2003). Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter. Signs, 28(3), 801-831.

newiconBoden, Linnea. (2013). Seeing red? The agency of computer software in the production and management of students’ school absences. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(9), 1117-1131.

Coleman, Rebecca. (2014). Inventive Feminist Theory: Representation, Materiality and Intensive Time. Women: A Cultural Review, 25(1), 27-45.

Davis, Noela. (2009). New Materialism and Feminism’s Anti-Biologism: A Response to Sara Ahmed. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 16(1), 67-80.

Dolphijn, Rick; van der Tuin, Iris. (2011). Pushing dualism to an extreme: On the philosophical impetus of a new materialism. Contemporary Philosophy Review, 44, 383–400.

newiconFox, Nick J.; Alldred, Pam. (2014). New materialist social inquiry: designs, methods and the research-assemblage. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 1-14.

Fraser, Mariam. (2002). What is the matter of feminist criticism? Economy and Society, 31(4), 606-625.

newiconHinton, Peta. (2014). ‘Situated Knowledges’ and New Materialism(s): Rethinking a Politics of Location. Women: A Cultural Review, 25(1), 99-113.

Hinton, Peta. (2013). The Quantum Dance and the World’s ‘Extraordinary Liveliness’: Refiguring Corporeal Ethics in Karen Barad’s Agential Realism. Somatechnics, 3(1), 169–189.

Hird, Myra J. (2004). Feminist Matters: New materialist considerations of sexual difference. Feminist Theory, 5(2), 223-232.

Jackson, Alecia Youngblood. (2013). Making matter making us: thinking with Grosz to find freedom in new feminist materialisms. Gender and Education, 25(6), 769-775.

Juelskjaer, Malou. (2013). Gendered subjectivities of spacetimematter. Gender and Education, 25(6), 754-768.

Juelskjaer, Malou; Schwennesen, Nete. (2012). Intra-active Entanglements – An Interview with Karen Barad. Kvinder, Kon & Forskning, 10(1-2), 10-24.

Kleinman, Adam. (2012). Intra-actions. Mousse, 34, 76-81.

Lorenz-Meyer, Dagmar. (2014). Reassembling Gender: On the Immanent Politics of Gendering Apparatuses of Bodily Production in Science. Women: A Cultural Review, 25(1), 78-98.

newiconMasny, Diana. (2013). Rhizoanalytic Pathways in Qualitative Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 19(5), 339–348.

Mazzei, Lisa A. (2013). Materialist mappings of knowing in being: researchers constituted in the production of knowledge. Gender and Education, 25(6), 776-785.

newiconPostma, Dirk. (2012). Education as Sociomaterial Critique. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 20(1), 137-156.

newiconPuar, Jasbir. (2013). ‘I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess’: intersectionality, assemblage, and affective politics. Meritum, 8(2), 371-390.

Taylor, Carol A.; Ivinson, Gabrielle. (2013). Material feminisms: new directions for education. Gender and Education, 25(6), 665-670.

newiconThiele, Kathrin. (2014). Pushing Dualisms and Differences: From ‘Equality versus Difference’ to ‘Nonmimetic Sharing’ and ‘Staying with the Trouble’. Women: A Cultural Review, 25(1), 9-26.

newiconTimeto, Frederica. (2011). Diffracting the rays of technoscience: a situated critique of representation. Poiesis Prax, 8, 151-167.

Van der Tuin, Iris. (2008). Deflationary Logic: Response to Sara Ahmed’s `Imaginary Prohibitions Some Preliminary Remarks on the Founding Gestures of the ”New Materialism”’. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 15(4), 411-416.

newiconWalker, Rachel Lowen. (2014). The Living Present as a Materialist Feminist Temporality. Women: A Cultural Review, 25(1), 40-61.

Critical of New Materialism

Ahmed, Sara. (2008). Some Preliminary Remarks on the Founding Gestures of the ‘New Materialism’. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 15(23), 23-39.

Bruining, Dennis. (2013). A Somatechnics of Moralism: New Materialism or Material Foundationalism. Somatechnics, 3(1), 149–168.

Sullivan, Nikki. (2012). The somatechnics of perception and the matter of the non/human: A critical response to the new materialism. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 19(3), 299–313.

PhD Confirmation: Passed!

This Monday I had my confirmation seminar and am happy and relieved to have been passed right away. I had positive feedback about my research proposal, which is great. Many times I have wondered if I am taking on too much, if my research is going to be too ‘against the norm’ to be accepted at all, so getting positive feedback was gratefully received. That’s not to say that I’m no longer concerned and I’m well aware I’ll have many more challenges to be faced yet! However, I’ve cleared the first big PhD hurdle and that certainly makes a difference, especially when I’m someone who has always struggled with public speaking. I can now focus my attention on the next step, which will be figuring out all the minute details of my data collection plan and gaining ethical clearance. I also want to focus some attention on such matters as finding more researcher contacts and thinking about possible journal articles and upcoming conferences etc. Research should not be done in a vacuum but as I am in a sort of uncommon research space it’s been difficult to find others who share my interests.

For my next blog post, I’m planning on writing a bit more on ‘new materialism’ and why I’ve chosen it as my research framework.


I’ve created this PhD blog for a couple of reasons. One is to reach out to the research community, to hopefully make contacts in my areas of interest and to share some of my thoughts. The other reason is to use this as a way to track my own progress. I’m just beginning my second year and my path has been far from straight forward. I began my PhD with the intention of researching masculinities but have now ended up in the area of  ‘gender-sex’ (my term that I will explain further about later), science, education and ethics.

Before I get into that though, it might be useful to first explain a bit about who I am.

My name is Blue Mahy and I’m based in the faculty of education at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I have a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Deakin University. My major was professional and creative writing, with minors in communications and literary studies.

In my undergrad I became very interested in learning about gender, sexuality, queer theory, poststructuralism and other similar areas. After taking a unit called Men and Masculinities I became particularly interested in this subject and therefore it became my intention to carry this interest into doing a PhD. However, my readings and suggestions made by my supervisors led me onto a somewhat different path.

Today, my intention is to conduct research with pre-service teachers, to examine the relationships between gender-sex, science, education and science-ethical issues, primarily using conceptual ideas from the ‘new materialism’ paradigm, especially those from theorist Karen Barad.

So, welcome to my blog and please get in contact with me if we share similar interests!