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My tongue on your theory: the bittersweet reminder of every-thing unnameable

Holmes, Rachel (2015) My tongue on your theory: the bittersweet reminder of every-thing unnameable. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37 (5). pp. 662-679. ISSN 1469-3739

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Abstract

Across research in UK Higher Education, the most immanent demands for quality have taken the shape of the Research Assessment Exercise and the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The theorist, Martin, is cautious of the relationship academics have engendered with the process of the REF, asking are we actually creating a Frankenstein monster, becoming complicit in generating quality thresholds and standards that will become our own tormentors? I am taken by the idea of the monster when pursuing alternative discourses of childhood in educational research – fear of its potential to torment seduces me with the promise of dis-order, de-formity, chaos and mutation. The aim of this paper is to resist a fixed, knowable form of ‘quality’ (in) research, moving between the idea of ‘monster’ and the formlessness of ‘monstrosity’ to oppose the epistemological, ontological and ethical paradigms of reason.

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