Becoming Haunted by a Data-Ghost in Early Childhood Education Documentation Practices: [A Playfully Serious Five-Act Play]

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


I am going to tell you a ghost story about ethics with a fragment of sticky data that continues to haunt me. I call it my data-ghost. I turn to notice what ghosts are doing in a study of documentation practices in early childhood education with ideas of hauntology, affect and sticky data to imagine the documentation as ghostly matters. With the aesthetic, ethical and artistic imagination in the form of a narrated playscript and accompanying visualizations, I unfold the data-ghost’s before life, proposal, emergence and sticky haunting. Through this process, I illuminate how ethical response-ability with the non-human is returned to and became embodied into feminist and posthuman materialist research creation when you follow thescent of data. I have found that when affect is taken both seriously and playfully, it becomes possible to view ethics as a haunting,thicker moment with temporal and intensifying potentialities. Consequently, I argue that when what constitutes data is shared, controlis lost and lets ethical uncertainty in that enlarges the gaze to a more affirmative ethics. Fromthis vantage point, it becomes possible to see documentation practices dislocated from policy frames and within different spacetime-matterings. I propose that in matters of ethics, affective embodied knowing from what is out of control, unseen, sticky and vulnerable needs to be noticed. Data-ghosts as thicker moments are resisted at our peril, as they act as haunting reminders to tread more lightly in our becomings with non-human ethical response-abilities
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalCultural and Pedagogical Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2022


  • Documentation practices
  • early childhood education
  • Hauntology
  • affective sticky data
  • thicker moments
  • non-human ethical response-ability


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