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Follow the Judas sheep: Materializing Post-Qualitative Methodology in Zooethnographic Space

Journal article
Authors Helena Pedersen
Published in QSE. International journal of qualitative studies in education
Volume 26
Issue 6
Pages 717-731
ISSN 0951-8398
Publication year 2013
Published at
Pages 717-731
Language en
Keywords Posthumanism, veterinary education, slaughterhouse, animals, zooethnography
Subject categories Pedagogy, Didactics, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified


What becomes of education when performed in a slaughterhouse? Drawing on Raunig’s Marxian–Deleuzian treatise on the machine, the article configures the veterinary education curriculum and the animal production system as two symbiotic apparatuses connected by innumerable flows, routes, movements, rhythms, and passages. Using critical posthumanist analyses to work through empirical material from zooethnographic fieldwork in veterinary education, the article maps how human and animal subjectivities are formed along with crisscrossing biochoreographies of pedagogical and animal production rituals in intimate interplay. The article argues that as education becomes materially enclosed in the process of animal slaughter, teaching becomes distributed among human and nonhuman actants, students (and the education researcher) become a collective human component, or prosthesis, of the slaughter apparatus, and pedagogy itself becomes a prosthesis of slaughter. As student affect is recruited in the “educationalization” of violence, students’ expressions of abjection in the slaughterhouse may be configured as an integral and necessary part of, rather than a disturbing side-effect of, slaughter education. At an epistemological level, this indicates that critical posthumanist inquiry accommodates a particular potential to bring forth “the edges” in qualitative education research.

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