Our Lab uses  multi-sensory technologies and methods to study  learning and behaviour  in authentic settings and situations, or "living labs". We are interested in developing new ways to understand the affective, sensory, and perceptual dimensions of learning as an embodied and relational process. We are currently investigating the use of  wearable biosensors, body cameras, and environmental sensors in conjunction with sensory approaches to ethnography, design-based research, and socially-engaged arts practice. 





Sensing poetics of black space: A research creation project of spatial and environmental exploration of the black outdoors with youth, artists and researchers in Manchester

Laura Trafi-Prats, Yvonne Sinclair, Liz de Freitas.

Funded by the MMU Research Development Fellowship 2020/21. 

The emergence of literacy in very young children: place and materiality in a more-than-human world

Abi Hackett

Funded by the British Academy Fellowship (2017-2020)

The sensory nursery: The life-world of two-year olds in Nursery School

Christine MacRae

Martenscroft Longitudinal Study.

Funded by Manchester Met Strategic Opportunities Fund (2016-2019)

Minor Movements: Developing arts-based methods through a postdoctoral residency at the SenseLab (2019)

David Rousell

Funded by an RKE Researcher Development Fellowship (MMU)

The Listening Body: Multi-sensory soundwalking as embodied learning (2017-2018)

David Rousell, with Mark Wright and Michael Gallagher
Funded by the Biosocial Research Lab 

Can You Feel the Force? (2016-2018)

Elizabeth de Freitas, with Ricardo Nemirovsky

Funded by the Biosocial Research Lab 

Listening in and out of more-than-human worlds (2017-2018)

Michael Gallagher, with Mark Wright

Funded by Leverhulme Trust, Artist in Residence Grant 

Researching the biosocial nature of young children’s voice. (2017).

Abigail Hackett 

Funded by the Biosocial Research Lab 

The Sensory Nursery (2017-2020)

Christina MacRae

Funded by Strategic Opportunities Fund (MMU)


Journal Articles 

MacRae, M. (2020). Tactful hands and vibrant mattering in the sand tray. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. pp.146879842090185-146879842090185. 

MacRae, M. (2019). ‘Grace Taking Form’. Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy. 4(1), pp.151-166. 

MacRae, C. (2019) The Red Blanket: A dance of animacy. Global Studies of Childhood. pp.204361061983289-204361061983289.​

de Freitas, E. (2017). The biosocial subject: Sensor technology and worldly sensibility. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.

de Freitas, E. (2016). Material encounters and media events: What (kind of mathematics) can a body do? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 91 (2), 185-202.

de Freitas, E. (2016). Re-assembling the student body in classroom video data. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29(4), 553-572.

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2015). Tense and aspect in word problems about motion: Diagram, gesture and the felt experience of time.  Mathematics Education Research Journal, 27(3), 311-330.

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, N. (2014). The haptic nature of gesture: Rethinking gesture with new multi-touch digital technologies. Gesture Studies, 14(3), 351-374..

de Freitas, E. (2014). How theories of perception deploy the line: Reconfiguring students’ bodies through topo-philosophy. Educational Theory 64(3), 285-301.

Flood, V. J., F. G. Amar, R. Nemirovsky, B. W. Harrer, M. R. M. Bruce and M. C. Wittmann (2015). Paying Attention to Gesture when Students Talk Chemistry: Interactional Resources for Responsive Teaching. Journal of Chemical Education 92(1): 11-22. 

Gallagher, M. (2016) Sound as affect: difference, power and spatiality. Emotion, Space and Society, 20: 42-48.

Gallagher, M. (2015) Field recording and the sounding of spaces. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33, 3: 560 - 576.

Gallagher, M. (2015) Sounding ruins: reflections on the production of an ‘audio drift’. Cultural Geographies, 22, 3: 467–485.

Hackett, A. Pool, S. Rowsell, J. and Aghajan, B. (2015). Seen and unseen: using video data in ethnographic fieldwork. Qualitative Research Journal, 15, 4: 430-444.

MacLure, M. (2016) The refrain of the a-grammatical child: finding another language in/for qualitative research. Cultural Studies ⇔ Critical Methodologies, Vol 16, 2: 173-182.

MacLure, M. (2013) The Wonder of Data. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 13(4): 228-232

MacLure. M. (2013) Researching without representation? Language and materiality in post-qualitative methodology. (Special Issue: Post-Qualitative Research) International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6): 658-667

McKnight, L., Rousell, D., Charteris, J., Thomas, K., & Burke, G. (2017). The Invisible Hand: Designing curriculum in the afterward. The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Rousell, D. (2019). Inhuman forms of life: On art as a problem for post-qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 

Rousell, D., & Fell, F. (2018). Becoming a Work of Art: Collaboration, materiality and posthumanism in visual arts education. International Journal of Education Through Art, (special issue on Speculative Realism(s) in Arts Education), 14(1), 91-110.

Rousell, D. & Cutcher, A. (2014). Echoes of a C/a/r/tography: Mapping the practicum experiences of pre-service visual arts teachers in the ‘Visual Echoes’ project. Australian Arts Education 36(2), pp. 69-83.

Sellar, S. & Lingard, B. (2018). International large-scale assessments, affective worlds and policy impacts in education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 

Sellar, S. (2014). A feel for numbers: Affect, data and education policy. Critical Studies in Education, 56(1), 131-146.

Springgay, S, & Truman, S. E. (2017). A Transmaterial Approach to Walking Methodologies: Embodiment, Affect, and a Sonic Art Performance. Body & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X17732626

Trafi-Prats, L. (2015) Pedagogies of cinematic affect and a childhood-yet-to-come. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. 12, 2: 162-164.

Trafí-Prats, L. (2015) Reactivating ARTIUM’s collection: the time-image and its mode of address as prosthetic pedagogy in museums. Qualitative Inquiry, 21, 6: 575-588.

Book Chapters 

Bergqvist, A. (2017). Framing Effects in Museums Narratives: Objectivity in Interpretation Revisited. In V. Harrison, A. Bergqvist and G. Kemp, (Eds.). Philosophy and Museums: Essays in the Philosophy of Museums (pp. 295-318). Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 79. Cambridge University Press.

Caton, L & Hackett, A (forthcoming, 2018). Head-mounted, chest-mounted, tripod or roaming? Ontological possibilities for doing visual research with children and GoPro cameras. In Kucirkova, N, Rowsell, J, Falloon, G (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Learning with Technology in Early Childhood. London: Routledge.

de Freitas, E. (in press -2019). Digital research methods and sensor technologies: Rethinking the temporality of digital life. In J. Lynch (Ed.). Practice methodologies in education. Routledge.

de Freitas, E., Ferrara, F. & Ferrari, G. (2017). The coordinated movements of a learning assemblage: Secondary school students exploring Wii graphing technology. In Ferrara, F. & Ferrari, G. Innovation and technology in mathematics education. Springer Verlag.
de Freitas, E. (2017). The new materialism of Charles Hinton: Spatial reasoning in 4D digital mazes. In Ferrara, F. & Ferrari, G. Innovation and technology in mathematics education. Springer Verlag.

Hackett, A.(2015) Multimodality and sensory ethnography. In J. Roswell and K. Pahl (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies. Routledge: 295-307.

Hall, R., Ma, J. Y., & Nemirovsky, R. (2015). Re-scaling bodies in/as representational instruments in GPS drawing. In V. R. Lee (Ed.), Learning Technologies and the Body: Integration and Implementation in Formal and Informal Learning Environments (pp. 112-131). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hall, R., R. Nemirovsky, J. Ma and M. Kelton (2016). Towards a Generous Discussion of Interplay between Natural Descriptive and Hidden Machinery Approaches in Knowledge and Interaction Analysis. In A. A. diSessa, M. Levin and J. S. Brown (Eds.), Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences. (pp. 496-519). New York, NY, Routledge.

MacLure, M (2017) Qualitative methodology and the new materialisms: “A little of Dionysus’s blood”? In Denzin, N.K. & Giardina, M.D. (eds) Qualitative Inquiry in Neoliberal Times. Routledge.

Koro-Ljungberg, M, MacLure, M. & Ulmer, J. (2017) ‘Data’ and its problematics. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (eds) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 5th Edition. London & New York: Sage.

MacLure, M. (2015) The ‘new materialisms’: a thorn in the flesh of critical qualitative inquiry? In G. Cannella, M.S. Perez & P. Pasque (eds) Critical Qualitative Inquiry:  Foundations and Futures. California: Left Coast Press.

MacLure, M, Holmes, R, Jones, L. & Macrae, C. (2015) Silence as resistance to analysis. Or, on not opening one's mouth properly. Reprinted in A.M. Otterstad & A.B. Reinertsen (eds) Metodefestival og øyeblikksrealisme; forskningsmetodologi i barnehagefeltet. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget.

Nemirovsky, R. and M. Kelton (2016). Navigating Turbulent Waters: Objectivity, Interpretation, and Experience in the Analysis of Interaction. In A. A. diSessa, M. Levin and J. S. Brown (eds.) Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences  (pp. 458-479).  New York, NY, Routledge.

Rousell, D. (2017). Mapping the Data Event: A posthumanist approach to art|education|research in a regional university. In L. Knight & A. Cutcher (eds.) Arts, Research, Education: connections and directions (pp. 203-220). New York: Springer International Publishing. 

Rousell, D., Cutcher, A., & Irwin, R. (2019). Making-Lines: Movement, affect and aesthetic causality in arts-based educational research. In K. Snepvangers & S. Davis (eds.). Embodied and walking pedagogies engaging the visual domain: Research co-creation and practice. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing.

Rousell, D., Laszcik, L., Irwin, R., & Cook, P. (2018).  Environmental Arts Pedagogy: A/r/tographic  experimentations with movement and materiality. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie, K. Malone, & E. Barratt (eds.) International Research Handbook on ChildhoodNature. The Netherlands, Springer.

Trafí-Prats, L. (2016) An art research of urban spatial practices and mobilizing images: emancipating bodies and signs at Montevideo's espacio de arte contemporáneo, in The Routledge International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research, 227-237.

Truman, S., E. & Springgay, S. (2015). The primacy of movement in research-creation: New Materialist approaches to art research and pedagogy. In Laverty, M. & Lewis, T. (Eds.) Art's Teachings, Teaching's Art: Philosophical, critical, and educational musings (pp. 151-162). New York, NY: Springer.

Conference Presentations 

I. Brahmi, S. Djahel, D. Magoni, and J. Murphy. (2015). A Spatial Correlation Aware Scheme for Efficient Data Aggregation in Wireless Sensor Networks. IEEE P2MNET, 26-29 October 2015, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA.

de Freitas, E. (2018). Spinoza x Deleuze x Massumi: Learning in a sensory milieu. Keynote speaker at the Art Education Research Institute Methods conference, University of Northern Illinois, US (April).

de Freitas, E. (2018). Mathematics and material media: The role of sense and sensation in mathematical activity. EPISTEME-7 Conference to Review Research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, Mumbai, India (January)

de Freitas, E. (2017). Keynote Response to Bruno Latour, at the European New Materialism Network annual conference, Unesco, Paris (June 2017)

de Freitas, E. (2017). Biosocial becomings: Rethinking the biopolitics of mathematics education research. Keynote. 9th International Mathematics Education and Society Conference. Volos, Greece (April)

de Freitas, E. (2016). Exploring new materialism. Keynote at American Education Research Association Annual Meeting pre-conference, Washington, US (Arts-based education research SIG).

de Freitas, E. (2015). Material encounters, media events, and inventive diagramming: What (kind of mathematics) can a body do? Invited Speaker at EU ERC sponsored conference: Beyond Perception. University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

de Freitas, E. (2015). Number sense and calculating matter. Keynote at Summer Institute in Qualitative Inquiry: Putting theory to work. Education and Social Research Institute. Manchester Metropolitan University.

MacLure, M. (2017) Divination: mobilising sense and the event. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Antonio (April)

MacLure, M. (2017) Rethinking reflexivity in the ‘ontological turn’. Keynote, European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Leuven, Feb.

Rousell, D., Gallagher, M., and Wright, M. (2018). Becoming a listening body: Sound walking as sensational pedagogy. 5th Annual Arts-based Research conference, Tate Gallery, Liverpool. 

Rousell, D. (2017). Sensing Bodies: Researching with more than human senses and sensors. Digital Semantics symposium, Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Rousell, D. (2015). Surface Accretions: Prototyping posthumanist learning environments by walking and mapping an immersive cartography. International Conference on New Materialisms IV. Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.