Gail Boldt

I am a Professor in Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State University, teaching graduate seminars in theory and philosophy as they relate to contemporary issues in education. At the undergraduate level, I teach in the Elementary and Early Childhood Teacher Education program in Language and Literacy Education. I am the senior editor of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Seriesan open-access journal that is downloaded in 186 countries. I am also a psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapist and do play therapy with children and psychotherapy with adolescents and adults in a community mental health setting.  Prior to my Ph.D., I was an elementary school teacher in Honolulu.

My most recent research focuses on on how learning and change occur in my play therapy practice with children, theorized through contemporary relational psychoanalysis and through the work Deleuze and Guatarri to reconceptualize learning and change in elementary classrooms. I argue that in both education and clinic settings, our faith in language, symbolization, and conscious awareness and intention as vehicles of learning, relating, and change are over-determined and often misplaced, ignoring the centrality of preconscious affect, non-symbolized forms of relating, experiences of vitality, and flows of desire.

ETHER Seminar Two Digital Provocation Abstract: Non-Representational Re-Search and A-Signifying Semitics

How can ethico-aesthetic practices of knowing-thinking-feeling make empirically visible the lived, affective qualities of our oft-imperceptible relational ways of knowing and being/becoming? How can attending to the affective, a-signifying, and a-modal help us to consider the ways re-searching shapes and is shaped by our sense of self with others? How can exploring affective, a-signifying, and a-modal realms of sensation and experience through ethico-aesthetic practices open up new possibilities for making sense or sense-making that allows for perceiving ourselves as intra-acting with the relational in-between of human and more-than-human bodies?

In our performance-presentation, we are less interested in producing formal knowledge. Instead we are attempting to “make sense” or rather to be “sense-making” in, through, and with our recent experimentations with the “performative-we” of our deaf/non-deaf becomings (Boldt & Valente, 2021). We aim to offer an example of empirical research that expands beyond scientific-rationalist fixations on realism and representation and that explores worldings beyond the linguistic and knowable in potentializing ethico-aesthetic practices of relating with Other(s).


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