Making Kin With Plastic Through Aesthetic Experimentation

  • Louisa Kate Penfold Harvard University
  • Nina Odegard Oslo Metropolitan University
Keywords: feminist new materialisms, aesthetics, plastic, early childhood education, Anthropocene


Recent scholarship in childhood studies has raised concerns about humancentric, singular discourses regarding human-plastic relations. As a result, questions of how to develop new forms of learning with materials in environmental education are now an important issue for researchers, educators, and policymakers. This paper activates a feminist new materialist ontology to position plastic as an active participant in the formation of knowledge. Drawing on visual imagery of children’s and artists’ aesthetic experimentations, we explore the intra-related and complex relationship between plastic, children, and the planet. Haraway’s concept of making kin is operationalized to highlight plastic’s multidimensional complexities as both a destructive and creative force, producing a novel framework for understanding and learning with plastic in early childhood education.


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How to Cite
Penfold, L. K., & Odegard, N. (2021). Making Kin With Plastic Through Aesthetic Experimentation. Journal of Childhood Studies, 46(2), 51-65.
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