Touching is Worlding: From Caring Hands to World-Making Dances in Multispecies Childhoods

  • Tuure Tammi
  • Riikka Hohti
Keywords: touch, child-animal relations, care, multispecies ethnography, dance


In this article we analyze the phenomenon of touch to discuss care and knowing within child-animal relations. The empirical part was conducted as a multispecies ethnography in a comprehensive school with an educational zoo built in a huge greenhouse. Storytelling, Despret’s idea of “versions,” and insights drawn from dance are used to take a close look at touching events between the research participants. From observations of caring hands and the material-discursive dimensions involved in stroking, the article moves on to consider ways of knowing and not-knowing that intertwine and are produced in touch. Finally, touch is discussed as a complex worlding dance that always takes more than two.

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