Thinking metabolically with shivering, sweating, and feminist science studies in early childhood education

January 28, 2020 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Winters College (room 117), York University

Featuring Dr. Nicole Land (ECS, Ryerson University)

Metabolisms matter in early childhood education. From nutrition regulations to naming muscular energy as children’s ‘wiggles’ or ‘behavioural problems’, we get to know metabolisms through particular knowledges and as specific relations in our everyday practices. In this presentation, I propose that the metabolic logics that we make possible within early childhood education cohere within a particular citational history and are enacted in our bodied relations with children, food, muscles, fats, and biochemicals. Following Hannah Landecker, a feminist science studies scholar, I grapple with what metabolic relations might become possible when we take “metabolism as a methodological prompt” (2019, p. 542) in early childhood education. Thinking with feminist science studies scholars who trace the tangles of how bioscientific knowledges come to matter in situated spaces, including Angela Willey, Deboleena Roy, and Victoria Pitts-Taylor, my central proposal in this presentation is: what possibilities for doing bodies – fats, muscles, glucose – might we open toward if we take metabolism as a pedagogical question in early childhood education? Put differently, I argue that how we do metabolisms is a high-stakes ethical and political problem in early childhood education. I take up this proposition through two threads: first, thinking with moments from pedagogical inquiry research with children and educators, I trace how we participate in both status-quo and unfamiliar metabolic relations while shivering and sweating. Then, I layer onto these moments a question of how we might craft pedagogical relations with feminist science studies and biological knowledges that answer to the complexities of 21st century worlds. I offer some speculative proposals for how thinking metabolically might nourish tentative relations between bodies, biopossibilities (Willey, 2016), biological knowledges, and feminist science studies in early childhood education.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Please RSVP by January 24, 2020 to

This talk is a part of the Disrupting Early Childhood: Inheritance, Pedagogy, Curriculum series. The next talk takes place on February 27, 2020 and features Dr. Rebekah Sheldon (Indiana University, Bloomington)