Learn about the ‘materiality of play’ during talk by emerging scholar

A talk that explores the materiality of play in the context of early childhood education will be presented by York University’s Faculty of Education on April 19 as part of its Disrupting Early Childhood Series.

“The Materiality of Play: Early Childhood Education Research in Diffractive Dialogue with Dance as an Artistic Practice” will run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Zoom, and will feature guest speaker Tatiana Zakharova, an emerging scholar pursuing her doctorate at Western University (London, Canada).

A poster for the Disrupting Early Childhood SeriesInterest in play is experiencing a renaissance, with much been written in academic journals and discussed in professional and social media. Zakharova is among those interested in play, and with a background in design, she looks at materiality of play through the feminist practice of “misreading to produce a reading” (Jagodzinski, 1992, p. 172).

That is, instead of holding up play as an entity and an idea so solid that it even has a public “profile” that needs raising, Zakharova’s proposition is to tease play apart into moments that may be entirely insignificant or subject-forming, that may be joyous or violent, that may open possibilities or may be propping up chaos and indeterminacy.

This talk will be in dialogue with Justine Chambers who will engage with Zakharova’s propositions in diffractive ways from her perspective as a dancer, choreographer and mother. Zakharova will introduce her research on play and Chambers will introduce her artistic practice. Together they will present a dialogue as an invitation to reimagine our relations to play.

About Tatiana Zakharova
Zakharova is a playground designer, and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Faculty of Education at Western University (London, ON). In her multidisciplinary work, Zakharova thinks with feminist posthuman scholars to trouble the notion of play as a means of progress, imagining instead relationship-attuned play as worlding. With gratitude, Zakharova lives, walks, plays, and writes on the traditional territories of the Anishnabek, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and Ojibway/Chippewa peoples.

About Justine Chambers
Chambers is a dance artist living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement-based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday. Chambers is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.

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