Walking with the Glenridge Quarry

How might attuning to wit(h)ness marks reconfigure our non-innocent encounters with place?

This post is reproduced from the Common Worlds Research Collective’s series of microblogs. The original post can be found here: http://commonworlds.net/how-might-attuning-to-withness-marks-reconfigure-our-non-innocent-encounters-with-place/

How might attuning to wit(h)ness marks reconfigure our place-relations as non-innocent encounters with place? In a previous microblog I suggested storying witness marks as a useful concept for thinking with encounters at the Glenridge Quarry. While witness marks may be useful for witnessing and storying the multiple historicities in our pedagogical work at the Quarry (Hamm, 2015; Nxumalo, 2016), here I think with Louise Boscacci’s (2018) concept of wit(h)nessing and propose that wit(h)ness marks point to our entangled relations with the site’s presences and futurities. Boscacci writes that wit(h)nessing “renders any a-bodiedencounter explicitly relational: it is an encounter-exchange” (p. 345). Wit(h)ness marks thus remind us that our pedagogical work is non-innocent – we disrupt the land; we hear snail shells crunch with every step – and that our presence at the Quarry does not exist outside of an encounter-exchange. Attuning to our wit(h)ness marks may be one way of crafting differently response-able pedagogies.


Boscacci, L. (2018). Wit(h)nessing. Environmental Humanities10(1), 343–347.

Hamm, C. (2015). Walking with place: Storying reconciliation pedagogies in early childhood education. Canadian Children, 40(2), 56-66. 

Nxumalo, F. (2016). Storying practices of witnessing: Refiguring quality in everyday pedagogical encounters. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17(1), 39–53.