Keynote Kerry Chappell


Posthumanising creativity: Making change for new educational futures

This keynote will address the conference question: how do we meet the challenges of creativity, as a central aspect of teaching and learning in schools and all levels of subject education, but also in the society at large, and in the 21st century? It will open by articulating the key challenges faced by creativity researchers, school teachers and higher educators, which reflect those faced by society at large in the 21st century. To name but a few, these include: climate change, global pandemics, homogenous neoliberalism, democracy-threatening technological advances and new forms of political violence. How can educators meet these challenges in a way which is fruitful for their students, communities and society more widely? Associate Professor Chappell will argue that creativity in education is absolutely key to doing so. She will present new arguments as to how creativity can be conceptualised in education as ‘posthumanising’. She will argue that the transformative potential of posthumanising creativity extends beyond our day-to-day pedagogical practices; rather, posthumanising creativity creates radical emerging opportunities for changing and being changed in education – in ways that can draw together the personal, social and political.

Framed by this theorising, the keynote draws on two strands of Associate Professor Chappell’s empirical research. Firstly, the transdisciplinary, science-arts research project which took place within school-based education: CREATIONS (Chappell et al, 2019). And secondly, a Higher Education research project focused around the redevelopment of the module: ‘Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel’ (Chappell, Natanel & Wren, in review). Both projects articulated and researched posthumanising creativity and creative pedagogies to generate change within their educational context, and to maximise the breaking down of boundaries. This will be exampled through the teaching resources from CREATIONS, and the student creative projects and provocative experimental film from the HE project.

The presentation will conclude by arguing that posthumanising creativity offers ways to re-structure and enact education through: breaking the boundaries of subject teaching and research; re-balancing verbal and written knowledge with embodied, felt, care-ful material, affective ways of knowing; and de-centring human knowledge to more equally include other-than-humans and emergent ethics. This gives us new ways to meet the challenges of creativity, as a central aspect of teaching and learning in education, and in 21st century society.

About the speaker

Kerry is currently an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Exeter, where she leads the MA Creative Arts in Education Programme and provides dance expertise to the course. Kerry also leads the Creativity and Emergent Educational Futures Network and is a PhD and EdD supervisor. Her research includes creativity in arts, science and transdisciplinary education and educational futures, alongside participatory research methodologies. Kerry continues to work as a dance-artist within Exeter-based dance lab collective.

You may find more information about the speaker here