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Manchester Institute of Education


Indicative events for Knowledge, Power and Identity.

11 February 2019, discussion of draft paper to be circulated by Susan Brown (MIE, University)

25 February 2019, Lydia Meryll (Honorary Senior Fellow in Knowledge Exchange, The University of Manchester) will talk about her progress and experiences in taking forward sustainability education initiatives – across Manchester and beyond

Past events


5 February 2018, Silvia Scirocchi (Universita di Roma, Italy, International visitor to KPI for 6 months), offered a fascinating discussion about the challenges (including ethical dilemmas) of researching with and about refugees, based on her experience of working in Madrid and Lisbon with detained asylum seekers.

16 April 2018, presentation by Dr Amana Mattos (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), talked on ‘Ultraconservative discourses and the trick of “gender ideology” in schooling: gender and sexuality in dispute in Brazil’

8 May 2018, joint session between KPI and CEPALS to discuss paper by Johannes Angermuller (Warwick University) ‘Post-truth – the strong programme in discourse research’

22 October 2018, Professor Debra Hayes (Hallsworth Fellow, University of Sydney,  Australia) discuss with us her forthcoming book chapter on posthumanism and education 

30 October 2018, Lecture on 'Fanon, Education, Action: Psychoanalytic and Educational Considerations' by Erica Burman (Professor of Education, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester). Erica’s talk on psychoanalytic and educational aspects of her new book Fanon, Education, Action: Child as Method just published by Routledge (also sponsored by Black History Month).

12 November 2018, Research training event for all MIE staff and postgrads, hosted by KPI, on ‘What counts as quality in qualitative research?’

26 November 2018,  Dr Gail Davidge (The University of Manchester): discussion of her current research based in the Law department of UoM on 'Children and young people with special educational needs and their new rights in England: Exploring policy, research and practice'

6 December 2018, Jacqueline Garavito Lopez (Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia), international visitor to KPI this semester shares with us where she is up to on her doctoral research on ‘parenting as a political practice’

10 December 2018, discussion of draft paper ‘Analysing how photography in educational research can contribute to social justice’ Andy Howes and Susie Miles (both of MIE, University of Manchester)


The Replacement Child Figure: An Allegory for Scholars of Education, Psychology, and Childhood

Ellen Wilkinson Building Room A5.5, University of Manchester, 22 June 2017, 10am-11.30am

Lisa Farley, York University, Toronto

This paper represents a larger effort to theorize the complexities of inner life beyond the individualizing and pathologizing force of psychological categories. With Julia Kristeva (1995), I therefore begin with the assumption that “social history is one of the elements of organization and permanency that constitute psychical life” (p. 28). Drawing on Sigmund Freud’s (1917) concepts of mourning and melancholia, I examine how social legacies of traumatic loss organize and shape emotional life symbolized in the literary figure of the “replacement child” (Schwab, 2010). While debates over Freud’s concepts point to a split in his construction of melancholia as the pathological other to the health of mourning, I highlight an ambiguity that gives way to a reading of both conditions as “a productive pair” (Stillwaggon, 2017, p. 34). From this vantage, the very same child who melancholically materializes unspeakable loss may also be read as the child who invites the belated work of mourning. My aim is therefore to examine the replacement figure as placeholder for the painful past that may also animate the creative work of re-signifying a relationship to this very history.

To examine these claims, I offer a discussion of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s (2014) novel, Adult Onset, which tells the story of a replacement child confronting the return of traumatic history. For scholars of education, psychology, and childhood, MacDonald’s novel illustrates how the social world takes up residence in the life of the mind, and in this sense, offers an allegory of working through loss as central to adult efforts to represent and receive childhood. The novel invites readers to notice their own tendencies – and the tendency of the fields in which they work – to repeat pervasive narratives of childhood, learning, and development, and to question what deeper histories these narrative fend off. My discussion underscores the ethical qualities of reading literary accounts of the work adults do with their own childhoods to open new conceptualizations beyond the fated future born of unconscious repetition.

Lisa Farley is an Associate Professor at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her research examines psychoanalytic theories of childhood to investigate the creative conditions of growth in contexts of social and historical conflict. Her work appears in History & Memory, Psychoanalysis and History, American Imago, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Curriculum Inquiry, The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies and Pedagogy, Culture & Society. She currently has a monograph under contract with SUNY Press, entitled Childhood Beyond Pathology, which investigates five child figurations in the contemporary scene to articulate new ways of conceptualizing the inner work of growth beyond individualizing categories of diagnosis and development.

Islamic psychoanalysis / psychoanalytic Islam

University of Manchester, 26-27 June 2017

This international conference organised by the College of Psychoanalysts – UK with the support of Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix and CIDRAL University of Manchester promises to function as a site for dialogue. This conference will be an opportunity to speak across the many conflicting traditions of work that comprise psychoanalysis, and of different interpretations of Islam and what it is to be a Muslim today.

Keynote speakers 

  • Amal Treacher Kabesh (Associate Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, author of Postcolonial Masculinities: Emotions, Histories and Ethics, Ashgate, 2013 and Egyptian Revolutions: Repetition, Conflict, Identification, Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming;
  • Gohar Homayounpour (Psychoanalyst, member of the International Psychoanalytic Association, training and supervising psychoanalyst of the Freudian Group of Tehran, lecturer at Shahid Beheshti University, author of Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran, MIT Press, 2013) and
  • Andrea Mura (Lecturer in Comparative Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, author of The Symbolic Scenarios of Islamism, Routledge, 2016) who will speak on ‘Euro-Islam: Slanted Margins and Deflected Mirrors’ on Tuesday 27 June, 13.45-15.00 Lecture Theatre G22. There will be papers in parallel sessions from England, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Turkey and the USA. 


There are bursaries available for postgraduate students, funded by School of Environment, Education and Development and by Arts Methods at Manchester, for which students should contact us by email at:

Asylum: action and reaction

28th June 2017, 10am - 5pm, Roscoe Building, The University of Manchester

The University as an anchor institution: questions of knowledge, power and identity' 

Thursday, 4 May 2017, Knowledge, Power & Identity (sub)group meeting

Dr Carl Emery (MIE, )  

Please contact Carl for further information:


Unhinging our friends: Deleuze, psychology and the shock of thought

Thursday, 8 September 2016, Room A5.5, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester

Dr Maria Nichterlein, Melbourne

Maria Nichterlein will talk about her new book (co-authored with John Morss), Deleuze and Psychology (and we will have a discussion with Maria and Manchester Deleuzians). Maria is a psychologist who trained in Chile during the times of dictatorship. She has worked as such in Chile, Australia and New Zealand. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia  

This event is followed by:  

Deleuze and the clinic: Critical interventions

Friday, 9 September 2016,  Room AG3/4, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester 

Dr Maria Nichterlein, Melbourne

A workshop led by Maria Nichterlein, co-author of ‘Deleuze and Psychology’. Maria’s description of the workshop: “As many have noted already, Deleuze had a constant interest in the clinic but his interest was very different to the one we are familiar with. In this workshop I am interested in exploring this interest both in his work with Guattari and on his own. I will be interested particularly in looking at the ways in which his ideas challenge us to ‘think otherwise’. Maria has practiced as a clinician for more than 30 years and has done so in different countries and using different names.”

The posthuman child: decolonising childhood discourses

23 June 2016

Karin Murris

Drawing on her new book The Posthuman Child, Karin will talk about the need to decolonise some dominant approaches to child and childhood through a critical posthumanist orientation. Karin will engage briefly with the ‘root’ of the problem that humanism poses for justice:  the Cartesian dualisms that exclude the other than ‘fully-human’, such as females, slaves, animals, children and matter.  The main focus of her presentation will be on the implications of this new ontology and epistemology for how we view child through a series of photos made by a six year old at the occasion of his sister’s wedding. Karin will conclude that a radical moving away from the exclusive anthropocentric focus on the psychological, the social and the discursive in education is particularly urgent for more just encounters with people who are not only young, but who also live in poverty and whose ‘home’ language is not English. 

Karin Murris (PhD) is Associate Professor at the School of Education, University of Cape Town (UCT). Her research interests include philosophy of education, philosophy with children (P4C), Reggio Emilia, early education studies and children’s literature. After working as an educational consultant and Visiting Professor at the University of Wales, Karin moved to South Africa to take up an academic position as a philosopher of education at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 2012, she moved to the University of Cape Town. She is Principal Investigator of a large three year research project Decolonising Early Childhood Discourses: Critical Posthumanism in Higher Education funded by the National Research Foundation. Her professional articles and academic papers can be downloaded from

Apart from two textbooks, she is also the author of The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks (Contesting Early Childhood Series) (2016), and (with Joanna Haynes) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012; Routledge Research in Education Series). Karin is currently co-editing the Routledge International Handbook on Philosophy for Children scheduled to be published this year.

Incandescent alphabets

9 June 2016

Annie Rogers

Annie G. Rogers is Professor of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is affiliated with the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis in San Francisco and the College of Psychoanalysts in Ireland. She is the author of A Shining Affliction (Penguin Viking, 1995) and The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma (Random House, 2006), as well as academic articles, memoir, short fiction and poetry. She will be speaking at 6pm at University of Manchester at an event co-organised by Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture supported by the Sexualities Summer School University of Manchester with Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix (there will be details of the event on the Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix Facebook page). It will be in Room A5.5 of Ellen Wilkinson Building of University of Manchester. Details also from  Annie Rogers new book Incandescent Alphabets will be published in May.

Advances in cultural-historical theory  

9-11 May 2016 

This three day set of events, was jointly sponsored by the British Education Research Association and the North West Doctoral Training Centre over two days which aim to develop theoretical work in cultural-historical theory was hosted by the Manchester Institute of Education and members of the Knowledge, Power and Identity and Social Theories of Learning groups. The two days were organised around formal presentations, informal discussions and debates.

Two visiting international scholars leading in the field - Professor Fernando Gonzalez Rey (Central University of Brasilia) and Professor Hanne Haavind (University of Oslo) - led our discussions. The second day included keynotes from Gonzalez Rey on ‘Revisiting the cultural-historical legacy in psychology:  moving forward on the topics of dialogue and subjectivity’ and Haavind on ‘Contesting and recognising historical changes and selves in development:  The case of boys and girls moving themselves out of childhood and into their teens in a multicultural context in Norway’.

In addition two invited academics provided reactions to these keynotes: Peter Jones from Sheffield Hallam University and Erica Burman from MIE. There was ample opportunities for discussion across the two days.

The event was organised in partnership with the North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) and was co-sponsored by the British Education Research Association Special Interest Group on Sociocultural Theory, and encouraged participation from emerging scholars of cultural-historical theory. 

Video links for this event

Institutional education: Multi-layered ambiguous contradictory practice and democracy and school – alternative education – professional identities  

18 April 2016

Dr Robert Hamm

There is probably some point in describing the institutional educational pathway as a process of progressive zombification. As a metaphor may have some charm but is overly simplified,whereas it is more helpful to approach what goes on in educational institutions as multi-layered, ambiguous and often even contradictory practice of active agents. Irrespective of their age and institutional position, role, status they are always engaged in processes of identity bargaining, and in negotiations concerning the legitimacy of definition, articulation and shaping of (their lived) reality. From this background I will start our meeting with a brief introduction on some issues of: democracy and school – alternative education – professional identities.  

Robert Hamm has worked as an educator in alternative childcare settings in Germany for 15 years. He has lived in Ireland since 2000 where he is involved in the management structure of a multi-denominational school. He has critically written about rituals and reflection processes in schools, professionalisation and institutionalisation of education, and child protection policies. His interests extend further into the area of sport development, cultural politics, history and interventionist science.

New directions: Foucault and the genealogy of the educational good

1 March 2016

Dr Ansgar Allen, University of Sheffield

Since Foucault, genealogy has become a scholarly pursuit, a developing specialism for those wishing to outline in some detail the 'microphysics of power' in any given context. This imposes definite restraints on those mounting a genealogical critique that go beyond the necessary strictures of its philosophy of power. In this seminar I will explore the possibility of a more speculative but no less exacting form of genealogy by taking on the idea of the educational good: 

As educators, and as students, we believe in education with ever more conviction and passion as we attempt to rescue it from instrumentalism, from examination, from cynicism, from capitalism, or whatever. But what if there were something suspect about this commitment itself? What if this commitment of ours that we inherit, brings with it its own problems? What if there is something problematic in this belief that education is inherently good? What if each attempt to defend education only strengthens, and makes unquestionable, this perhaps questionable commitment? Because we must believe in order to defend education, that it is worth defending in the first place.

In this seminar I would like to question this assumption, and sow a little doubt. I would like to question, and make questionable, our attachment to education. 

Ragged University: Power differentials and problems in scale  

29 February 2016

Alex Dunedin (founder of Ragged University)

Running a grassroots community organisation comes with certain hidden problems.  Alex talked about some of the issues encountered in delivering Ragged University; a free education project inspired by the Ragged Schools. 

Who you are effects who will engage with your work and what resources you get access to.  Negotiating the practicalities involves regularly confronting the disparities in access which come with differentials in status and size of organisation. Alex discussed how this forces a change in the mode of operating in such a way as to reinforce the existing problems of scale.

Cross disciplinary contributions to understanding research and practice dynamics with children: Building the conversation across the human and social sciences

11 February 2016 

Hosted by the Child Health Research Network: Focusing on the health, education and social needs of children and young people

The day was organised around four sessions: 

  1. Participation: theory, method, practice;
  2. Reading and writing records of childhood;
  3. Methodological innovations, and
  4. Voices, agents and/in history. 

Speakers included: 

  • Professor Erica Burman (UoM) - 'Introduction: children, disciplines, methods and representation'
  • Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein (Reading University) - ‘Childhood and transgender: Bodies, sexualities’
  • Dr Janet McDonagh (UoM) - ‘“Nothing about us without us”. Involving young people in service development and research’
  • Dr Anat Greenstein (MMU) - 'Creative utopias as a form of critical exploration with young disabled people'
  • Dr Johanna Motzkau (Open University) - ‘Child protection as a listening project: Exploring the experience of hearing and enacting evidence in multi-agency practice’
  • Dr Ana Cardon-Coyne (UoM) - ‘A problem of categories?  Children and juveniles as workers, soldiers and heroes during the First World War’
  • Dr Daniela Caselli (UoM) - ‘The Children’s Society’s archive’
  • Dr Gill Craig (City University) - 'Our normal thing is to eat': what are women trying to achieve when feeding disabled children and what can we learn from their narratives about constructions of the child?
  • Naz Nizami (PhD researcher, UoM) - ‘Analysing the crown prosecution Service pre-trial therapy guidance’
  • Beth Parker (DECP trainee, UoM) - 'Exploring events in educational psychology practice using an ANT lens'
  • Dr Aaron Moore (UoM) - 'The birth of political consciousness during WWII: education, childhood, and youth in Imperial Japan’ 

Sessions  were chaired by Professor Sue Kirk, Professor Peter Callery, Professor Erica Burman and Dr Daniela Caselli.


Gender and migration

30 June 2015 

Professor Ingrid Palmary and Itziar Gandarias

Presentations and discussions with two visiting international researchers working in the field of gender and migration, Professor Ingrid Palmary, Centre for the Study of Migration and Society, University of Witswatersrand, South Africa, and Itziar Gandarias,Doctoral Researcher from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Double launch event - Interrogating disability and childhood

16 June 2015

This event will launch two recent projects that take a critical look at both disability and childhood and explore how they acquire their meaning in relation to local and global contexts. 

Disabled children and disabling childhoods in the global South: Reconfiguring discourse and practice – A special issue of Disability and the Global South

Edited by Erica Burman, Anat Greenstein and Manasi Kumar 

This special issue contains empirical papers that explore the lives of disabled children in a variety of global contexts such as Brazil, Canada, India, Kenya and Vietnam, as well as conceptual papers that discuss the meanings and creation of disability in the context of globalisation and technology. The different papers in the issue explore how global and local contexts, such as poverty, street connectedness or cultural beliefs shape the meanings of disability and work to disable and enable different childhoods. 

We will be joined by several authors of articles in the special issue, the editor of Disability and the Global South, Dr Shaun Grech, and the co-editor of a previous issue on Global Mental Health, Dr China Mills. 

Radical inclusive education: Connecting disability, teaching and activism (Routledge, 2015)

Anat Greenstein

The book explores how current educational practices, such as standardised tests and league tables, exclude and fail many disabled students, and naturalise educational inequalities around gender, class, ethnicity and ability. Informed by the social model of disability, the book argues that educational theories and practices that are geared towards social justice and inclusion need to recognise and value the diversity of human embodiments, needs and capacities, and foster pedagogical practices that support relations of interdependency.