Vibrancy, repetition and movement: Posthuman theories for reconceptualising young children in museums

Christina MACRAE, Abigail HACKETT, Rachel HOLMES, Elizabeth Mary JONES

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues for an expanded field of inquiry to conceptualise young children in museums. Drawing on Murris’ [2016. The Post-Human Child: Educational Transformation Through Philosophy with Picturebooks. London: Routledge] analysis of childhood constructions, we discuss how cognitive and socio-constructivist models of the child dominate childhood and museum studies. We argue for the potential of Murris’ figure of the posthuman child to reconceptualise children in museums. This perspective offers a greater focus on the potency of objects themselves, and the animacy of the non-human aspects of the museum. It is also underpinned by a theoretical shift from representation to non-representation [Anderson, B., and P. Harrison. (2010) “The Promise of Non-representational Theories.” In Taking-place: Non-representational Theories and Geography. Farnham: Ashgate], presenting us with new ways to address questions such as ‘what does that mean?’ when we observe children’s learning in museums. Working with data that has proved resistant to interpretation across a range of research projects, what we call ‘sticky data’, we elaborate on three themes emerging from this reconceptualisation: vibrancy, repetition and movement. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-515
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number5
Early online dateNov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018



MacRae, C., Hackett, A., Holmes, R, & Jones, L. (2018). Vibrancy, repetition and movement: Posthuman theories for reconceptualising young children in museums. Children's Geographies, 16(5), 503-515. doi: 10.1080/14733285.2017.1409884


  • Posthuman
  • Young children
  • Museums
  • Movement
  • Vibrancy
  • Ritual