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Searching for Methodology: Feminist Relational Materialism and the Teacher-Student Writing Conference

1 January 2013


Using feminist relational materialism as a theoretical map, this paper seeks to reimage traditional case study methodology through the use of diffractive methodology. Reading and writing data diffractively is to refuse to privilege teacher and student talk and to instead study how material-discursive practices intra-act as phenomenon. To do this, we developed question-sets based upon Barad’s (2007) work to interrupt our habits of thinking in regard to a teacher-student writing conference. These question sets provoke our thinking with data from fourth grade teacher-student writing conferences. We play with diffractive methodology highlighting one teacher-student writing conference as intra-activity. Experiencing the teacher-student writing conference again (and again) the question-sets diffract a response and a response diffracts the question-sets, calling us to a continuous becoming, an ethical consideration of how our research and teaching practices matter. We are left wondering if there is a methodology to search for or if methodology is an invitation to an ongoing performance, to join a dance of-the-world, in a constant making and re-making and wondering of what might be?


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