Re-turning Childhoodnature: A Diffractive Account of the Past Tracings of Childhoodnature as a Series of Theoretical Turns

  • Karen MaloneEmail author
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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Weaving my personal narrative with a cartography of the theoretical field of childhoodnature, this chapter is the account of being a scholar working in the field of environmental education and more recently childhoodnature for close to two decades. To do this disruptive work, I am exploring the use of Barad’s (Parallax 20(3): 168–187, 2014), this notion of a “re-turn” in her diffractive theorizing. Spanning a series of theoretical turns from critical theory, ecophilosophy, human geography, social cultural theory, feminist theory, and more recently posthumanist and new materialist theory, this account is embedded in the interdisciplinary fields of childhood studies, children’s geographies, children’s environments, and environmental/nature education. Littered with the intersection of stories of children growing up in a variety of “places” across the globe, the account seeks to acknowledge and trouble the view that childhoodnature does not exist without a philosophical past by tracing its theoretical ghosts.


New materialism Socially critical theory Posthumanism Diffractive theorizing Anthropocene Posthumanist ecological community Intra-acting Enmeshment Assemblages Disrupting Re-turning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationFaculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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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