Post-qualitative approach to researching temporalities: Making post-anthropocentric futures

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The global, social and political challenges of the Anthropocene require a step-change in everyday practice and qualitative researchers are not exempt from this need. In particular, the Anthropocene poses the challenge of how we understand time, as its rapidly escalating effects, evidenced for instance through climate change or species extinction, seem simultaneously too fast and too slow, and thus too overwhelming (to tackle). The presentation will thus first focus on this imperative to conceptualise temporalities in new ways, beyond the linearity of neo-liberal time.

Secondly, the presentation will set out how new understandings of temporality can have far-reaching effects on the doing of research. At the time of the Anthropocene, it is vital that research does not only dwell in the realms of collecting descriptive data of the past, but also moves towards more speculative agendas to imagine and create alternative futures. Conceiving of time and its experience in alternative ways is a vital step in this process.

To think through and illustrate the requirements and potentialities of new approaches to temporality, the two presenters will draw on their experiences of different research projects. One of these examined the nature of learning relationships between adults and young people in the context of the National Citizenship Scheme in the UK. In the course of the fieldwork, the centrality of time and its experience for revitalising learning of both youth and adults became evident. In another project, the School Climate Strikes of 2019 were the focus, and the demands of youth for an expanded notion of ‘the public’ to include human and more-than-human elements inevitably touched on how time and particularly ‘the future’ and its properties need to be re-thought.

The presenters will draw on post-disciplinary literature on creating knowledge, from Black Studies (McKittrick, Moten & Harney), indigenous approaches (Wall Kimmerer), speculative methods (Wiklie et al.) and non-representational methods (Vannini) to inform their proposals for a new approach to temporalities. They hope to provide both a theoretically informed approach as well as a guide posing questions for practical application in everyday qualitative work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
EventEuropean Congress of Qualitative Inquiry: Qualitative Inquiry in the Anthropocene: Affirmative and generative possibilities for (Post)Anthropocentric futures - Portsmouth University, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jan 202313 Jan 2023


ConferenceEuropean Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Temporalities
  • post-qualitative inquiry
  • post-anthropocentric futures

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