Associate Professor Affrica Taylor, University of Canberra, Australia
Affrica Taylor is an associate professor in Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics at the University of Canberra, Australia. She is a founding member of the Common Worlds Research Collective, an international network of childhood and feminist scholars and educators whose work refuses the divide between ‘social’ and ‘natural’ worlds, is focussed on the productive entanglements of worldly relations and experiments with methodologies and pedagogies that exceed an exclusively human focus. Affrica’s longstanding interest in the interdependent and mutually-constitutive relations between people, places and other species is informed by her cultural geography background, as well as nearly two decades of teaching in remote desert and urban Australian Aboriginal communities. She also has a keen critical interest in the current environmental humanities responses to the Anthropocene, and has played a leading role in bringing these debates into the fields of environmental education and childhood studies.
Affrica’s research is both theoretical and applied. In her book, Reconfiguring the Natures of Childhood, she uses reconstructive feminist methods to re-theorise childhood and nature and to explore the pedagogical affordances of children’s real-life common world relations, including Indigenous and non-indigenous children’s relations with places and other animals. For the last seven years, she has conducted multispecies ethnographic research with young children. Her latest iteration of this research is the ‘Walking with Wildlife in Wild Weather Times’ project with preschool children at the Australian National University. This research responds to the challenges of anthropogenic climate change and species extinctions, seeks multispecies and intergenerational environmental justice, and investigates and promotes a relational ethics for multispecies living and learning in ecologically volatile times.
Professor Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Western University, Canada
Veronica is a Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education at Western University in Ontario, Canada. She is a founding member of the Common Worlds Research Collective and the Early Childhood Education Pedagogies Collaboratory. Her current research traces the common world relations of children with places, materials, and other species. In particular, she is interested in the real life-worlds that 21st-century children inherit, inhabit, and share with others – human and more-than-human; and how these life-worlds are shaped by the legacies of anthropogenic environmental damage, imperial expansion, colonial dispossession, global inequalities, and displacements. She is keenly interested in how educators might develop pedagogies that attend to children’s common world relations in the places they inhabit.
She has published on a diversity of topics relating to early childhood, including Encounters with Materials in Early Childhood Education (Routledge, 2017), Unsettling the Colonial Places and Spaces of Early Childhood Education (Routledge, 2015), Journeys: Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Practices (University of Toronto Press, 2014), and Flows, Rhythms, and Intensities of Early Childhood Education Curriculum (Peter Lang, 2010). She is currently working, with Affrica Taylor, on a book entitled Children and Animals: Common World Ethics for Entangled Lives (Routledge). She is also a co-editor of the open access Journal of Childhood Studies and the Bloomsbury book series Feminist Thought in Childhood Research.