Literacies, materiality, and working-class lives
Thiel, Jennifer Ann Johnson
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Conceived as a special issue journal that comprises of five essays called encounters, this post-qualitative dissertation using Deleuzoguattarian and feminist new materialist theories, examines autobiographical accounts, the multimodal out-of-school literacies of children in a working-class working poor neighborhood, and the preservice teacher education classroom as a site of muchness. Each of these essays represents the expressions of what are situational and fleeting understandings of the phenomenon of muchness. Each encounter is linked by its origin (muchness) but very distinct from one another in the ways they conceptualize how muchness unfolds. This dissertation is guided by three research questions: 1) What is muchness? 2) How is muchness related to early childhood literacies, and 3) Under what conditions does muchness flourish for adults and children? Muchness is defined as intellectual fullness that manifests through a compulsion to be engaged in an activity that one has a particular affinity for or curiosity about. To this end, this research observes muchness manifesting in three interconnected, overlapping and mutually influential ways: through affect (embodied and emotional engagements), through objects (everyday materials and things), and through composition (exercising creativity). These three expressions of muchness are illustrated in depth throughout this special issue journal and its contents.