In this introduction to a special issue of Environmental Education Research on New Materialisms and Environmental Education, we begin with a brief overview to this publishing project and to scholarship on new materialisms and environmental education. Against this backdrop, we then discuss various themes of significance arising from the broader tumult of thought that occurs in the 17 papers that bring these areas into conversation. In brief, papers gathered in this collection illustrate a series of engagements with: (1) new empiricism and post-qualitative inquiry; (2) the meeting of politics, ethics, and decolonial theory with new materialisms; (3) conceptions of nature, environment, sustainability and the human subject; and (4) new materialisms as environmental pedagogy. We recognise that readers will imagine, detect and respond in diverse ways to the papers and the thematics on their own terms too, noting that other inclusions in the collection would likely have generated different patterns and affordances for insight, challenge and debate. Thus, we argue that in some senses, the collection must remain open rather than closed, while we also invite further contributions on the topics, that engage with what the collection does and does not offer, and to rework it. In other words, we trust our introduction underscores the immanent performativity expected of many of the new materialisms, and highlights their potential to forge axiological pathways away from dominant onto-epistemologies of environmental education research.
- decolonial theory
- environmental education research
- new materialisms