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Inhuman forms of life: On art as a problem for post-qualitative research

Rousell, David (2019) Inhuman forms of life: On art as a problem for post-qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. ISSN 0951-8398

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Abstract

Researchers navigating the ontological turn in educational research have increasingly looked to art as an alternative to conventional modes of qualitative inquiry. However, the rapprochement between art and post-qualitative research remains problematic. While some see this turn coinciding with established genealogies in arts-based research, others suggest that existing models of arts-based inquiry are largely incompatible with the radical onto-epistemological orientations associated with post-qualitative research. This paper argues that the integration of art into the social sciences is far from settled, while also offering a series of speculative propositions for an inhuman aesthetics that is responsive to the ontological turn. This inhuman theory of art is elaborated through Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy, and extended through an analysis of collaborative artworks produced by undergraduate visual art students. This leads to a consideration of how post-qualitative approaches might enable mutual activations between art, philosophy, and social research.

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