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Material-discursive changes: posthuman methodologies to (re)conceptualize postgraduate encounters in/with/through language

Evans, Sarah ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9877-157X (2021) Material-discursive changes: posthuman methodologies to (re)conceptualize postgraduate encounters in/with/through language. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 12 (1). ISSN 1892-042X

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This paper aims to demonstrate how posthuman research methodologies foster change in analytical thinking strategies to encourage new understandings of academic literacy. It details data and insights from a recent PhD study exploring postgraduate students undergoing transformational entanglements of becomings with ‘academic language’. By presenting fragments of interviews with postgraduate students sites of contradictions and assumed expectations of communicative competence are explored. This is analysed by overlaying several thoughts on top of Deleuzo-Guattarian concepts major and minor language, desire, and the pre-personal. Posthuman methodologies are used to re-think ‘the problem’ of academic language, unsettling longstanding ‘deficit model’ understandings of academic literacy. Exploring possibilities of the ‘more than’ in and of language creates generative spaces for new possibilities in analytical processes. Thus, I unsettle my own thinking practices by re-turning to the data to offer multiple diffracted readings for alternative ideas about the role of language in postgraduate learners’ becomings.

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