What Might a Material Turn to Educational Histories Add to the History of Education? Proof-eating the Pudding
(2021) In Van Ruyskensvelde, Sarah, Thyssen, Geert, Herman, Frederik, Van Gorp, Angelo and Verstraete, Pieter. (Eds) Folds of Past, Present and Future: Reconfiguring Contemporary Histories of Education, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2021. pp. 449-468.
In this chapter, I discuss the implications of the material turn for the historiography of education. In dialogue with Marc Depaepe’s historiographical arguments and his work on the material culture of education, I present some reflections that follow the thread of my own research on school uniforms in the last two decades. Having started with some grand theoretical claims about the role of these school artefacts in broader power/knowledge regimes, the subsequent steps of my research led me to consider the relevance of the materiality of uniforms, their materials, styles, and textures, their color and visibility, and some patterns of their circulation between home and school and their commodification. The research required the development of a multisensorial approach that paid much more attention to the details and minutiae of schools. In the last section, I reflect on two short essays by Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault, pointing to their contributions to not only rethinking ut also remaking historical studies of educational material culture. © 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.
historiography of education; Marc depaepe; material turn; school objects; school uniforms