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School gardening, teaching, and a pedagogy of enclosures : threads of an arts-based métissage Ostertag, Julia Kathleen 2015

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     SCHOOL GARDENING, TEACHING, AND A PEDAGOGY OF ENCLOSURES: THREADS OF AN ARTS-BASED MÉTISSAGE     by    JULIA KATHLEEN OSTERTAG    B.A.H., Queen’s University, 2003 B.Ed., Lakehead University, 2005 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2009    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES  (Curriculum Studies)    THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   April 2015     © Julia Kathleen Ostertag, 2015  ii Abstract	  In conversation with a growing school gardening movement (Williams & Brown, 2012), this arts-based research draws on material feminist and posthumanist (Alaimo & Hekman, 2008; Barad, 2003; Haraway, 2004, 2008) scholarship to reconfigure what it means to become a teacher. In particular, I explore ‘becoming teachers together’ with a garden as a way to reimagine alternatives for the persistent and familiar figure of the teacher as a rational, autonomous individual working within the closed doors of the traditional classroom (Britzman, 2003; Jackson, 1990). Indigenous scholarship, particularly around gift giving (Kuokkanen, 2007) and decolonization (Gaztambide-Fernández, 2012), offers unsettling insights into human and nonhuman entanglements such as the ‘garden-as-teacher.’ In this work, I linger beside (Sedgwick, 2003) both the possibilities and impossibilities of teaching with gardens, compelled to respond (Simon, 2006) to the difficult history of school gardens, particularly during Nazi Germany and in the Canadian residential school system, and the etymological knots that link gardens with material and discursive practices of enclosure. The art theory and practices that shape this research are site-specific installation art (Augaitis & Ritter, 2008; Bishop, 2005, 2012; Bourriaud, 2002; Függe & Fleck, 2006; Kester, 2011), especially collaborations with Vancouver artist Sharon Kallis (Kallis, 2014) and an interview with Ron Benner (Benner, 2008). Responding to O’Donoghue’s (2010) provocation to consider classrooms as installations, I developed the installation series Threads sown, grown & given from April 2012 until August 2014 at The UBC Orchard Garden (a teaching and learning garden at the University of British Columbia) and in the teacher education building. The resulting métissage (Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers & Leggo, 2009) of narratives includes (a) the garden becoming a teacher, (b) student teachers becoming teachers during three research events related to the installation series, and (c) my own personal of becoming a teacher, scholar, and teacher educator. By attending to failure (Halberstam, 2011), this arts-based research creates conditions for what I term a ‘pedagogy of enclosures’ to engage with the ethical responsibilities and limitations of becoming teachers together, particularly in teacher education and garden-based education within the context of settler colonialism and the neoliberalization of the academy.   iii Preface	  This dissertation is the original and unpublished work of the author, Julia K. Ostertag. The University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board covered all research with human participants under ethics certificate number H12-01313 (School Garden Installation). While this is a single-authored paper, it is not solely the outcome of an independent intellectual process. Rather, this dissertation is profoundly shaped by collaborations with human and nonhuman contributors. Key collaborators are recognized in the acknowledgements and many of their contributions are described throughout the dissertation.   	   	   iv Table	  of	  Contents	  Abstract .................................................................................................................................... ii	  Preface ..................................................................................................................................... iii	  Table of Contents ................................................................................................................... iv	  List of Figures ......................................................................................................................... vi	  List of Supplementary Material ......................................................................................... viii	  Dedication ............................................................................................................................... xi	  Overture ................................................................................................................................. xii	  Chapter 1 – Introduction ....................................................................................................... 1	  The site and site-specific installation series: Threads sown, grown & given ................. 5	  Threads sown, grown & given ........................................................................................... 9	  Growing the research questions ....................................................................................... 12	  When theories and methodologies grow together .......................................................... 16	  Situating the research within a methodological métissage ............................................ 23	  Arts-based research .......................................................................................................... 24	  Site-specific installation art ............................................................................................. 29	  Life writing, metaphor, autobiography, and historical research ...................................... 31	  Photographs and photography ......................................................................................... 36	  Journaling, blogging, interviews, and student teachers’ Field Notes .............................. 39	  Flax & fireweed: Plant participants ................................................................................. 42	  Guide to reading and walking down these garden paths ............................................... 46	  Chapter 2 – Down the garden path again? A critical history of school gardens ............ 51	  Epicurus’ Garden School ................................................................................................. 52	  Residential schools, school gardens, and school farms .................................................. 55	  German school gardens & Nazi ideology ........................................................................ 64	  School gardening: Impossible possibilities? .................................................................... 72	  Chapter 3 – Threads given: The gift and the garden ........................................................ 75	   v Reading about the gift while Olivier goes to daycare .................................................... 81	  The circle and its discontents ........................................................................................... 85	  Gatherings, giftings, and the mound ............................................................................... 90	  Threat of the gift ................................................................................................................ 95	  Research, reconciliation, regeneration, and the gift .................................................... 101	  Chapter 4 – ‘&’: Knotting materials and discourses together ....................................... 108	  It all comes together ........................................................................................................ 114	  Coming together and being alone .................................................................................. 119	  What about the individual? ............................................................................................ 122	  Failure and the limitations of arts-based research ......................................................... 125	  Failure of setting ............................................................................................................ 127	  Alone in the wilderness/garden ..................................................................................... 130	  The shame of difficult knowledge .................................................................................. 133	  Spinning threads and becoming spiders together ........................................................ 143	  Chapter 5 – Threads grown: An unruly metaphor for becoming teachers together .... 152	  Student teachers performing freedom and control ...................................................... 159	  Can a garden be a teacher? ............................................................................................ 171	  Growing a research project ............................................................................................ 178	  Mourning the limits of growth ....................................................................................... 185	  Chapter 6 – Threads sown: Sowing a grid of that most useful line ................................ 193	  Rooted to the soil ............................................................................................................. 199	  Designing grids in the dirt .............................................................................................. 203	  The grid falls apart .......................................................................................................... 214	  Frames, enclosure, nation, territory .............................................................................. 218	  Sowing queer, feminist, postcolonial seeds in the Anthropocene? .............................. 224	  Chapter 7 – Gathering the threads .................................................................................... 233	  A pedagogy of enclosures ................................................................................................ 239	  References ............................................................................................................................ 242	    vi List	  of	  Figures	  Figure 1 - Fröbel’s (as cited in Herrington, 2001) children’s garden. Each gridded plot is labelled with a child’s name. The borders are for grains and other communal plantings. ..... 2	  Figure 2 - Student teachers gather under the old apple tree, The Orchard Garden, Threads grown, 2012 ............................................................................................................................ 6	  Figure 3 - Flax desks blooming at The Orchard Garden, Threads sown, 2012 .............................. 9	  Figure 4 - Flax growing at The Orchard Garden, Threads grown, 2012 ...................................... 43	  Figure 5 - Fireweed blossoms and a honeybee at The Orchard Garden, Threads given, 2013 .... 44	  Figure 6 - Brandon Indian School, Garden boys harvesting carrots, 1902 (The United Church Archives, n.d.) .......................................................................................................... 57	  Figure 7 - Cover of a German school gardening guidebook by Portheine (1938) to guide teachers in adopting the new 1937 ministerial policy for school gardens in all schools. The shocking materiality of receiving this original publication (stamped by the Nazi regime) in the mail through an Amazon book order was—and remains—profoundly unsettling. .............................................................................................................................. 68	  Figure 8 - Gift of flax tow and a circle of fireweed, The Orchard Garden, Threads given, 2013 ....................................................................................................................................... 75	  Figure 9 - Gift of linen memory webs and fireweed, The Orchard Garden, Threads given, 2013 ....................................................................................................................................... 76	  Figure 10 - Planting a circle of fireweed rhizomes, Threads given, March 2013 ......................... 86	  Figure 11 - Fireweed mound, Threads given, 2013 ...................................................................... 91	  Figure 12 - Cutting down the fireweed blossoms, Threads given, 2013 ...................................... 97	  Figure 13 - Threats of the gift, Threads given, August 2013 ...................................................... 100	  Figure 14 – Memory bundle knotted in a linen spider web, Threads given, 2013 ..................... 104	  Figure 15 - Indoor ‘&’ installation poster, 2012 ......................................................................... 109	  Figure 16 - Spinning in the basement, ‘&’ installation, 2012 [Photo credit: Spring Gillard] .... 111	  Figure 17 - Entanglements of becoming teachers together, ‘&’ installation research event, November 20, 2012 ............................................................................................................. 116	  Figure 18 - Teacher education building classroom hallway with graduating class photographs ......................................................................................................................... 117	   vii Figure 19 - The frame of the indoor installation, 2012 ............................................................... 122	  Figure 20 - Debra Sparrow and student teachers in conversation, November 20, 2012 research event ...................................................................................................................... 140	  Figure 21 - Jeannie’s garden reflection for our collaboratively spun memory web, Threads given, 2013 .......................................................................................................................... 144	  Figure 22 - Spinning cops of linen for the blackboard at the ‘&’ installation ............................ 148	  Figure 23 - Gently containing/braiding the flax desks, Threads grown research event, August 2, 2012 [Photo credit: Chessa Adsit-Morris] .......................................................... 157	  Figure 24 - Performing ‘Conflict between teacher control and student freedom,’ Threads grown, The Orchard Garden [Photo credit: Chessa Adsit-Morris] ..................................... 165	  Figure 25 - Return to order in the performance of ‘Conflict between teacher control and student freedom,’ Threads grown [Photo credit: Chessa Adsit-Morris] ............................. 166	  Figure 26 - Witnessing freedom and constraint from the walls of the classroom, Threads grown [Photo credit: Chessa Adsit-Morris] ........................................................................ 168	  Figure 27 - Sowing a grid, Threads sown, 2012 ......................................................................... 193	  Figure 28 - Design drawing for Threads sown, April 2012 ........................................................ 198	  Figure 29 - Sacred green lawns, UBC Main Mall ...................................................................... 204	  Figure 30 – Loving the grid, Threads sown ................................................................................ 213	  Figure 31 – Building and sowing the gridded classroom, Threads sown ................................... 214	  Figure 32 - The grid falls apart, Threads grown, The Orchard Garden ...................................... 216	  Figure 33 - Staking territory, claiming land, Threads grown ..................................................... 219	  Figure 34 – Weeding and tidying the outdoor classroom, Threads sown [Photo credit: Djamila Moore] ................................................................................................................... 226	  Figure 35 - Mess at The Orchard Garden office ......................................................................... 228	  Figure 36 - New Orchard Garden plot at Totem Field, prior to planting (April, 2014) ............. 230	  Figure 37 - Things fall apart, failure, fog, Threads given, 2013 ................................................. 236	  Figure 38 - Final photograph of Threads sown, grown & given, The Orchard Garden, August 2014 ..................................................................................................................................... 237	      viii List	  of	  Supplementary	  Material	  1 - Threads sown, grown & given: A site-specific installation series at The Orchard Garden (Ostertag, 2015)……………………………………………See  	   ix Acknowledgments	  I would like to offer many thanks for the opportunity to live, study, and garden at UBC as a guest on the traditional, unceded, ancestral lands of the həәn̓q̓əәmin̓əәm̓ speaking xʷməәθkʷəәy̓əәm (Musqueam, People of the River Grass).  Thank you to the human and more-than-human team that is The UBC Orchard Garden. It is impossible to list you all, however, I have especial gratitude for the old apple tree, flax, fireweed, Dr. Susan Gerofsky, Dr. Andrew Riseman, Dr. Maja Krzic, Samira, Djamila, Kate, Chessa, Toni, Heather, Panthea, Claire, Galen, Scott, Roz, Kwesi, Laura, Brendan, Jay, Natasha, Leanna…an ever-growing and unfolding collective of garden educators! Susan, you have been my co-conspirator in all things Orchard Garden related, and I thank you for your boundless friendship, music, creativity, and generosity. Thank you to my supportive, challenging, open-minded, and trusting committee—co-supervisors Dr. Dónal O Donoghue and Dr. Tony Clarke, and committee member Dr. Tracy Friedel. Sharing ideas with you has been a wonderful privilege. Jeannie, we met at the garden and now our lives and thinking are entangled in a million ways. Thank you for entering this research journey with me, and never faltering along the way! Thank you Sharon Kallis and the Urban Weaver Project at MacLean Park for teaching me to spin, to weave with English Ivy, to work with plants and people in collaborative art projects. Thank you also to Ron Benner and Debra Sparrow for sharing your love of art, plants, and learning. To Barb Rimmer and the Flax to Linen project in Victoria, as well as Anik Choinière in Vancouver, I am indebted for learning how to process and work with linen. Thank you to Elsa and Heather for inviting me along in the Gift & Reciprocity reading group. And thank you to Elizabeth, whom I can no longer fully thank, for inviting me into your writing group with Fish, Mali, Jay, Amy, and Alana. Thank you to SSHRC for providing me with a 4-year doctoral fellowship and the on-going support from the Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy. Also, thank you to the Teacher  x Education Office for offering space for the indoor installation, as well as Lena Schrieb for designing the poster. Thank you to Ofira, Ido, Mike, Nora, Andrew, Erika…and all our children…and the entire community at Acadia Park for making life rich, for building webs of friendship, food, and song strong enough to sustain us all. On that note –Save Acadia Park! Merci pour l’amour de ma famille: Ugo, Olivier, Colleen, Joachim, Sonja, Sebastian, Matthias, Pat, Martin, Jean, Priscille, Janvier, Barbara et le ‘petit mystère’ to come…words fail me here. Danke.  	   xi Dedication	  For Helga, Elizabeth, and the possibilities of gardens  	   xii Overture	  imagine sitting at a desk the classroom is quiet and still  when a robin chirps, “Cheer-up, cheer-up,” and a breeze drifts by through the window sill  suddenly  walls crumbling into a verdant mass swirling in a pale blue sea  images and memories tastes and textures smells and songs  call from, within  this time, that time this place, that place  blurring all boundaries clamouring for attention  buzzzzzzzzz  threading through words and worlds a bee passes by  awakens the restless dreamer another blue flax flower greets the sky   1 Chapter	  1	  –	  Introduction	  The popular image of teaching as an individual activity, privatized by the walls between classrooms, is an image students bring to their teaching practice. The “walls” serve a metaphorical function as well: teachers are expected to work alone, without any help. In such a privatized world, the teaching methods required to sustain it are specific and unchanging. (Britzman, 2003, p. 63) As you and I enter the gate together and walk into the garden, this space of enclosure and containment, we could respond to the garden in many ways. We could go our separate ways and rest peacefully in the dappled shade of the apple trees. Perhaps I would pick up a hoe and begin to weed, while you would learn the names of the plants and animals in the garden, and, after a while, we would meet again to harvest fresh vegetables and flowers for a communal meal, and share the space with a lively class of students. We could also ask creative and unsettling questions about the very frames that bring us together in the garden—who and what are the ‘we’ of our togetherness? How was our coming together made possible within the history, aesthetics, design, materials, and discourses of gardens? As educators, how do these frames shape our practices of knowing and teaching so that we may engage ethically with things that matter? Going down these garden paths, however, will not be easy. Amidst the beauty and vitality of life, we will also twist and turn along the journey into places of solitude, death, decay, and failure (Halberstam, 2011). This may seem an unbecoming route, particularly when the gardens that concern me most in this dissertation are school gardens, idyllic places once again being brought to life by a rapidly growing school-gardening movement (Williams & Brown, 2012), where we envision children connecting with land outside of the brick walls of the school, eating healthy food, and moving their bodies to the rhythms of the seasons. However, gardens are never one thing, and their meaning, historically and today, is constantly shifting. Ever since Epicurus’ Garden School in ancient Greece, educational gardens have appeared and disappeared from school landscapes and educational thought, shaped by complex social, political, and environmental conditions as well as well-intentioned discourses about connecting children with nature, escaping the stresses of the city, and learning how to grow healthy food. Moreover, inasmuch as many of these gardens are intended to escape the confines of the indoor classroom,  2 they are frequently rigidly arranged in neat, orderly rows, very much like the gridded landscape of the indoor classroom (see Figure 1).  Figure 1 - Fröbel’s (as cited in Herrington, 2001) children’s garden. Each gridded plot is labelled with a child’s name. The borders are for grains and other communal plantings. Note. From “Kindergarten: Garden Pedagogy from Romanticism to Reform,” by S. Herrington, 2001, Landscape Journal, 20(1), pp. 33. Copyright 2001 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Reprinted with permission. These parallels between indoor and outdoor education go beyond the design of learning spaces and include complicated historical discourses separating nature and culture and perpetuating social injustices. Responding to the complicated legacies of school gardening requires going down the garden path again and again in order to understand the particular times and places, materials, and discourses that bring school gardens into being and contribute to their  3 growth or demise. This notion of garden paths, and the uncertain relationship between knowledge and reality that is at play in gardens, is a generative and difficult space for academic inquiry. For instance, in English linguistics, ‘garden path sentences’ (such as, ‘the old garden with care’) involve grammatical forms that require the reader to re-read a sentence in order to grasp the author’s intent. As such, these sentences challenge habitual interpretations of language. Re-reading school gardening historically and as a site-specific installation may work to “trip” (Haraway, 2004, p. 201) us in the overly familiar spaces and discourses of the garden as we try to understand what school gardening, as paradox and im/possibility, is all about. Time, place, language, discourse, and materiality (Barad, 2003) will figure centrally in going down these school garden paths again and again. To begin with, understanding the etymology of the word garden is helpful, since the English word for garden is related to the word for enclosure. According to Wikipedia, The etymology of the word gardening refers to enclosure: it is from Middle English gardin, from Anglo-French gardin, jardin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gard, gart, an enclosure or compound, as in Stuttgart. See Grad (Slavic settlement) for more complete etymology. The words yard, court, and Latin hortus (meaning "garden," hence horticulture and orchard), are cognates—all referring to an enclosed space. (Garden, 2015)  With its linguistic origins in English, French, and German, this etymology of the word garden does not offer a universal definition of gardens and what gardening means in diverse places and times. However, considering that garden-based education remains a highly Eurocentric pedagogical practice and discourse (and my own positionality within this European lineage), I have found myself returning again and again to this etymology as a provocation to think carefully and ethically about gardens. In particular, this notion of enclosure unsettles more day-to-day references to gardens and outdoor classrooms as utopic places to escape the confines of indoor educational experience. A garden, as Hunt defines it, is  a bounded space that makes reference to the world beyond its boundaries.… Hunt attributes this outside referencing to the garden maker’s desire to epitomize the whole world within the limited space of the garden, in other words, to recapture all of nature within the garden. (Gillette, 2011, p. 137) Recalling the relationship between gardens and enclosures offers a frame for thinking about the diverse materials and discourses at play within the intersections of nature and culture, and even  4 calls into question this binary as one of the most difficult legacies of Eurowestern thought (Cruikshank, 2005, p. 245). Michel Foucault’s (1986) concept of heterotopia provides another useful starting place for rethinking our understanding of the garden.  Unlike utopias, which are etymologically “no-places,” heterotopias, or counter-sites are a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality. (Foucault, 1986, p. 24) According to Foucault (1986), the garden is a contradictory site that is perhaps the oldest example of a heterotopia: “The garden is the smallest parcel of the world and then it is the totality of the world. The garden has been a sort of happy, universalizing heterotopia since the beginnings of antiquity” (pp. 25–26). School gardens become heterotopias par excellence, since their existence is frequently due to utopic desires, although the many contradictory discourses and materials entangled in the real sites of these gardens suggest that they enact more than they can contain. Focusing on the garden as enclosure as I do in this dissertation has allowed me “to call the frame into question” (Butler, 2010, p. 9), and, as Butler (2010) wrote, to show that the frame never quite contained the scene it was meant to limn, that something was already outside, which made the very sense of the inside possible, recognizable. The frame never quite determined precisely what it is we see, think, recognize, and apprehend. Something exceeds the frame that troubles our sense of reality. (p. 9) What can we learn by troubling this familiar frame of the garden, and, by extension, the familiar frames of the classroom and the teacher? In this dissertation, what I term a pedagogy of enclosures becomes the rather unexpected framework for troubling, understanding, and re-imagining personal and collective human and more-than-human entanglements in educational gardens and teaching relationships more generally. Methodologically, site-specific installation art (Bishop, 2005, 2012; Bourriaud, 2002; Kester, 2011) opens up conditions for arts-based research within and beside the frames of school gardens and what comes together when entering into these heterotopias, these liminal, indeterminate times and spaces of teaching and learning. In this introduction, I describe this dissertation’s central threads by sharing with you the study’s guiding research questions, theoretical frameworks, and methodological positions.  5 Within the chapters that follow, historical, theoretical, and methodological questions get taken up in greater detail as I write alongside the site-specific installation, Threads sown, grown & given, the experimental space for thinking, teaching, and making (Ingold, 2013) that was—and continues to be—generated by this arts-based research. These chapters can be read and engaged with in various ways, hence at the conclusion of the introduction I provide some potential navigational options on how you might like to go down these garden paths. Before turning to the research questions, however, I want to invite you to The University of British Columbia (UBC) Orchard Garden and the site-specific installation series Threads sown, grown & given. These are places where I have been a visitor (Chambers, 2006), where I have invited student teachers onto this emergent research journey, and where I experimented with the majority of the practices and questions that follow in this dissertation. The	  site	  and	  site-­‐specific	  installation	  series:	  Threads	  sown,	  grown	  &	  given	  Place and spaces matters a great deal in this research, although, as Claudia Ruitenberg (2005) reminded, “Where we learn becomes part of what we learn, but not in any determinable way” (p. 214, emphasis in original). The place of this research is much more, therefore, than The Orchard Garden, a teaching and learning garden on the campus of the UBC. As you engage with this dissertation, place will constantly shift, allowing for unstable topographies to emerge that exceed the conventional notion of ‘nature’ that continues to be the focus for much place-based and environmental education. Here, ‘Place’ means much more—and much more unstably—than the natural environment alone. Each place has a history, often a contested history, of the people who inhabited it in past times. Each place has an aesthetics, offers a sensory environment of sound, movement and image that is open to multiple interpretations. And each (inhabited) place has a spatial configuration through which power and other socio-politico-cultural mechanisms are at play. (Ruitenberg, 2005, p. 215) It is into The Orchard Garden, a particularly unstable place at UBC, that I now invite you (see Ostertag, n.d.). The Orchard Garden began in 2005 as a student-led food production garden for the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and became a partnership project in 2010 with the Faculties of Education and the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Led by a student team of undergraduate and graduate students in Education and Land and Food Systems, over 1,000 education students (student teachers and graduate students) attended classes in the  6 garden between 2010 and 2014. While each visit was unique, over the years of educational programming a storyline weaving place, history, memory, geography, and politics emerged that became part of the teaching philosophy at the garden. The following brief narrative invites you down the garden paths at The Orchard Garden, where I worked, volunteered, researched, and gardened for 5 years as its education coordinator. A group of student teachers gathers together in a loose circle beneath the old apple tree (see Figure 2), surrounded by rows upon rows of dishevelled vegetable garden beds and wild jumbles of poppies, yarrow, and other flowers. The air hums with bees—honeybees from our three hives and hundreds of other unnameable local species. Swallows swoop above us. A sparrow sings on the top branch of the old tree. “Welcome to The Orchard Garden,” I say as attention slowly drifts into the circle.  Figure 2 - Student teachers gather under the old apple tree, The Orchard Garden, Threads grown, 2012  7 “We like to welcome groups here beneath this old apple tree to recognize the history of the land within which we are situated. When UBC was founded, it was an agricultural university, and fields covered most of the campus. At one time, an orchard spanned from here, behind Land and Food Systems, to the Faculty of Education. This tree, and a few others back there in the parking lot, are all that remain from the orchard.” I point to the old trees amidst the cars. “The orchards were mostly torn out when the university expanded after World War II. In fact, when I came to UBC in 2007 for my master’s, I taught as a teaching assistant in a portable located right here. The portables were torn down between 2005 and 2010.” I laugh at the strange, unexpected twists and turns in life. “Now, where I used to teach about food systems in a building, I teach outside in a garden and build an installation that once again replicates an indoor classroom.” “What do you do with the food?” a student asks pragmatically. “The food is mostly grown by students for the Agora Café, a student-run café in the building just beside the garden. During the summer we have a CSA—which stands for Community Supported Agriculture—where people come by every week to pick up bags of produce which they purchased before the growing season started. It’s a very local and seasonal way to eat, and it supports farmers with a steady, guaranteed income during the growing season. We also use the food during class visits, special events, and at a summer institute for local teachers interested in school gardening,” I reply. “However, we can get into more of that later,” I say as I steer the conversation back to the history of the garden. “In terms of our name, The Orchard Garden, it seems fitting that this garden, a student-directed collaboration between the Faculties of Education and Land and Food Systems, should be marked by apple trees, since the apple is so often considered the symbol for education. However, this agricultural history is only one part of the story. The land here remains the unceded and ancestral territory of the həәn̓q̓əәmin̓əәm̓ speaking Musqueam people. We are privileged to garden as visitors on this land….” I pause, wondering about the authenticity of my words, the protocols of this university, and the continued legacies of colonialism that my words cannot erase nor reconcile. Are we really visitors or guests on this land, as many state in their  8 acknowledgments of colonial history? I return to my woefully inadequate, linear historical narrative of land and soil as I know to tell it. “The history of this land also extends back into geological time, to periods of glaciation that deposited the sandy soil upon which we now stand. While gardening may seem like a way to connect with the here and now, I invite you to consider the history of the land and its people wherever you garden or wherever your school may have a garden. These histories matter….” With that, my welcoming remarks trail off. The students are nodding respectfully, although it is unlikely that these words are unsettling their understandings of the relationships between education, land, and people. “Oh well,” I think, “repeating these words in multiple contexts may one day create enough space to shake the tree.” Unable to resist the desire to shake the tree a little more, however, I ask, “Has anyone heard of some of the issues facing the future of the garden?” A few faces brighten. A few hands are raised. “Yes, I heard the garden is going to be destroyed to build new residences!” one student says excitedly. “Yes, this is likely our last year here. The university is building a new housing hub here, ironically called the Orchard Commons, though we’re not sure how many trees will actually remain. There will be a series of high-rises here, up to 18 storeys, to house international students as part of a very expensive college program to fully qualify them to study at UBC.” “What? That’s crazy! But this is so beautiful and important! UBC can’t do that!” Exclamations of outrage erupt from the entire class, including the instructor. Together, we rant about how a corporate university uses its brand, “Place of Mind,” and yet does not appear to value places and their socio-ecological histories in the educational vision for UBC. “So, these are all issues that may confront you as you become teachers at schools with gardens. History, politics, land, and culture are deeply intertwined, and it’s all very emotional. I guess what’s happening at The Orchard Garden is just a great example of all this complexity.” I try to seize this as a teachable moment but feel a sense of betrayal in doing so. This garden is more  9 than a teachable moment, a pedagogical tool for learning. This little marginal space has made certain assemblages of things, emotions, ideas, knowledge, and relationships possible that simply did not exist before. These are not objects that can be possessed or preserved, yet they matter deeply. Threads	  sown,	  grown	  &	  given	  In the unstable places of The Orchard Garden, things and ideas have come and gone, unsettled through long histories of glaciation, inhabitation, colonization, relentless ‘development,’ and imagination. From April 2012 until August 2014, I participated in enclosing and unsettling this heterotopia through the site-specific installation series Threads sown, grown & given as part of this arts-based dissertation research. The installation began with Threads sown, when I planted a classroom-sized rectangular plot at the garden into a classroom-shaped   Figure 3 - Flax desks blooming at The Orchard Garden, Threads sown, 2012 grid of flax desks. There were 24 student-sized desks of flax that came from seeds saved at the garden the previous year, and one larger teacher’s desk at the front of the room grown from Evelin seed, which I had ordered by mail from Ontario. Around the desks I planted a wall of  10 grains, and, with the exception of an open door at the back of the classroom, the entire space was enclosed by a simple cedar frame (see Figure 3). In August, for Threads grown, I hung four wooden window frames in the installation space that depicted black and white photographs of the difficult history of school gardening printed onto white canvas. Images of school gardens from residential schools and during Nazi Germany were particularly unsettling, juxtaposed with the vitality of the late-summer garden. On August 2, 2012, I hosted my first research event at the garden with a class of student teachers and their instructor, Jeannie Kerr.1 After the research event,2 I harvested the flax from the installation space and began to process the fibres for linen (a process called retting). From November 13–30, 2012, the installation series moved into a public space in the basement of the teacher education building at UBC, with an official opening on November 13. This became the indoor ‘&’ installation of Threads sown, grown & given, in which the materials and discourses from the summer were spun into linen thread, and I began imagining the final gift-giving installation for the spring. For three weeks, I sat in the basement at a round table and spun flax to linen thread with a wooden drop spindle. Surrounded by the installation materials—weathered canvas windows, a new window with vivid coloured pictures from Thread sown/Threads grown during the summer, and a blackboard with photographs, quotes, and an ever-increasing number of cops of linen thread—I talked with friends, colleagues, student teachers, and passers-by who visited the installation. On November 20, 2012, I held my second research event with Jeannie Kerr and another group of student teachers, this time for a class focusing on Indigenous education. As part of the workshop, we invited Debra Sparrow, a Musqueam First Nations weaver and artist, to speak with the students about art, education, and relationships with the land.                                                 1 As the research progressed, Jeannie Kerr became more of a research collaborator than research participant, and our doctoral research projects reflect this close relationship. Through this intense collaboration (that included co-presenting at educational conferences), it became clear to Jeannie that retaining her anonymity in my research was unnecessary (Jeannie also refers to me by name in her own dissertation, see Kerr, 2013). 2 Three central research events with participating student teachers accompanied the installation series. Each event followed a different structure, although they were all at least 3 hours long and included hands-on activities, time for students to write reflections in their Field Notes (a three-page notebook), and whole-class conversation. I describe them as events rather than workshops to recognize that while the moments with the student teachers in the installation were a fleeting few hours, the outcomes for this research—and the research participants—extended beyond (and prior) to these ephemeral encounters and our narrations thereof.  11 In March 2013, I hosted my third and final research event with student teachers at The Orchard Garden. The students were workshop participants interested in garden-based education, and this was our sixth workshop with the group. Jeannie Kerr participated once again, not as an instructor this time, but drawn into the research project as a collaborator, friend, and doctoral student colleague. For Threads given, we collaboratively spun beautiful linen memory webs throughout the wooden frame of the installation. In the webs we knotted bundles of canvas cut from the windows depicting the history of school gardens, now written over with our personal garden memories and reflections. Later that spring, I planted a ring of fireweed rhizomes at the centre of the classroom, wondering as I did so if these linen webs and fireweed plants would ever become gifts of regeneration to the land, to cultivate and sustain relationships of responsibility to all others (Kuokkanen, 2007). Throughout the remainder of that second summer, I tended the gift giving installation, adding flax straw mats and soft flax tow to the circular mound of fireweed. Bound by a promise to the team of student gardeners, I struggled with my obligation to remove the fluffy seeds from the flowering fireweed, since the student gardeners had only reluctantly accepted my plan to plant weeds in the food gardens at The Orchard Garden on this particular condition. I, however, longed for the fireweed seeds to fill the air and ground. By the summer of 2013, we knew that this would be our last season at the garden since construction for a new college for international students at UBC—Vantage College at the Orchard Commons (University of British Columbia Vantage College, n.d.)—was scheduled to begin in 2014. By the end of April 2014, the student team—with support from UBC’s administration—had relocated The Orchard Garden to a research field station called Totem Field located a 5-minute walk away from the original garden. By mid-August 2014, large earth-moving equipment had levelled and cleared everything at the original garden, including numerous large trees; however, the wooden frame marking the site of Threads sown, grown & given remained standing, the plants within it an unruly mass of weeds (including a few surviving fireweed plants in bloom once again). Digging beneath the wild profusion, however, I could still find flax mats and memory bundles, and one frail, silvery strand of linen spider web remained suspended in the air, spanning the doorway of the classroom. It was at this time that I left Vancouver to write the final chapters of this dissertation from Owen Sound, my childhood hometown in Ontario. I was gone by the time the bulldozers and diggers arrived to  12 destroy the installation that I had documented in nearly 200 photographs in a time-lapse series from April 2012-August 2014 (see Ostertag, 2015). Growing	  the	  research	  questions	  While in the following sections I engage with the theories and methodologies that shaped this research project, I will turn now to the layers of questions that shaped and emerged from this site-specific installation arts-based research process. Philosophically, these questions continuously turn around concerns with the nature/culture binary, and the way Eurowestern worldviews, educational practices, and research methodologies have participated in this longstanding dualism (Braidotti, 2009; Kuokkanen, 2007; Latour, 2004; Plumwood, 2002). Originally, when I began studying posthumanist, material feminist, actor-network theories, and Indigenous scholars, I imagined that school gardens may create possibilities for reconfiguring what and who is a teacher. My hope was that teaching with gardens might lead to a distributed and relational sense of the teacher, one that includes the more-than-human and breaks free from the confines of the rational, autonomous teacher enclosed within the four-walled classroom that continues to shape teacher identities and pedagogical relationships and spaces. At the same time, however, I was haunted and unsettled by the etymology of gardens as enclosures and compelled to respond (Simon, 2006) to the difficult knowledge (Pitt & Britzman, 2003) brought forward by school garden history, a narrative knotted into my personal autobiography as a German-Canadian settler occupying a position of privilege at a large Canadian university. Could I truly imagine gardens-as-teachers, as I theoretically longed to and occasionally sensed was possible, and still respond to and somehow reconcile this difficult history? It is this internal tension—between longing for human and more-than-human togetherness in how we become teachers juxtaposed with a profound sense of unease regarding school gardening history, discourses, and practices—that made the methodological and theoretical contributions of arts-based research particularly salient and compelling. Specifically, contemporary art theory and artistic practices in site-specific installation art (O’Donoghue, 2010) offered creative practices for unsettling familiar, taken-for-granted relationships with gardens, outdoor classrooms, indoor teaching spaces, and teacher identities without trying to escape or go beyond their enclosures. From April 2012 until August 2014, the installation series Threads sown, grown & given created  13 conditions for growing a research project that considers the following emergent questions. The first research question of this dissertation was as follows: (1) How do we (humans and more-than-humans) become teachers together? Specifically, the ‘we’ in this inquiry includes the entanglements of • a garden becoming a teacher; • student teachers becoming teachers; and • my personal journey of becoming a teacher, scholar, and teacher educator. This first question explores the notion of ‘togetherness’ within the context of posthumanist, material feminist, and Indigenous calls for more relational, place-based, material, and practice-oriented pedagogies. Since this research was located within a teacher education program and my work with student teachers at The Orchard Garden, the focus was on ‘becoming teachers’ rather than student becomings. Nevertheless, the endless openness to learning and new relationships that becoming teachers necessitates certainly draws on the experiences of becoming students and relationships with students. More specifically, the teaching collective I was hoping to assemble with Threads sown, grown & given was (a) the human and nonhuman entanglements brought together in the garden; (b) student teachers through a series of participatory research events with the installation series; and (c) my own interactions, reflections, movements, dreams, affects, and failures as I created, documented, and accompanied the installation series. This notion of togetherness, however, profoundly challenges conventional teacher identities and the processes through which we become teachers (Britzman, 2003; Irwin & O’Donoghue, 2012). As such, the dissertation questions what it means to ‘become teachers,’ where becoming a teacher includes the notion of the garden-as-teacher (a cliché, oppressive ideology, and opening for generative possibilities), student teachers becoming teachers, and my journey of becoming a teacher within a teacher education program and now a doctoral program. While many doctoral students in my program graduate and become teacher educators, during my doctoral education fellow graduate students, professors, and I rarely, if ever, openly, theoretically, or practically explored our teaching practices for teacher education (see Kosnik et al., 2011; Zeichner, 2005). Furthermore, in teacher education it is difficult to challenge the process of teacher becoming since everyone, particularly teacher candidates, “bring to teacher education their educational biography and some  14 well-worn and commonsensical images of teacher’s work” (Britzman, 2003, p. 27). Finally, while this is a study in teacher education, it is not an analysis of a teacher education program. Rather, working with the garden, the student teachers, Jeannie Kerr in her capacity as teacher educator, and with a student team of gardeners and educators at The Orchard Garden created spaces and encounters at the margins of the formal teacher education program and the academy to play with, challenge, and confront the possibilities and impossibilities of becoming teachers together. As much as ‘becoming teachers together’ is a highly generative concept that responds to urgent social and ecological crises and recognizes the limitations of traditional teaching identities and practices, this dissertation also responds to failure (Halberstam, 2011); difficult knowledge (Pitt & Britzman, 2003); shame (Werry & O’Gorman, 2007); death, decay, and mourning (Nowviskie, 2014); and solitude and loneliness (Arendt, 1966) that emerged alongside the arts-based research. The emerging notion of the Anthropocene (Steffen, Grinevald, Crutzen, & McNeill, 2011); the corporate and neoliberal shift in university education (Berg, Guhman & Nunn, 2014; Kuokkanen, 2007) and education more generally (Tuck, 2013); the pervasiveness of grids in landscapes and pedagogies (Cosgrove, 2008; Davis, 2013); and the ongoing legacies of colonialism, racism, patriarchy, and other social injustices all contribute to the enclosures I encountered during the research that continue to frame how we become teachers together, particularly in relation to land (Tuck & Yang, 2012). Arts-based research created the possibilities for process- and practice-oriented research (Irwin & Springgay, 2008) wherein I could attend to these tensions, these intense sensations of failure during the research, and recognize that these narratives were integral—rather than antithetical—to researching and creating conditions for becoming teachers together. These considerations led to a second research question: (2) What possibilities do arts-based research provide for teacher education?  More specifically, what conditions for researching and engaging ethically with teacher becomings are made possible through site-specific installation art practices and theory, particularly in the context of school gardening? For instance, as an advocate for school-gardening initiatives and being cognizant of how most school gardening projects are highly marginalized, underfunded, and tenuous, I was aware  15 of the risks involved in a rigorous critique of school gardening projects (including our own Orchard Garden) when the existence of these gardens is threatened on a daily basis. Arts-based research approaches offered me possibilities for engaging critically, ethically, and generatively with the challenging aspects of school gardening rather than assuming a destructive and distanced position of moralistic criticism. Rogoff (2008) captured these tensions when she wrote that art and the word theory are closely imbricated, since conceptual artists “address how culture is perceived when it is viewed from the back door or from an oblique angle, through miscomprehension and mistranslation, and what it means to be in a position of culturally longing for that which is historically and politically forbidden to you” (p. 104). Furthermore, just as photographs and the processes of photography bring forward the significance of frames and framing (Butler, 2010), arts-based research practices brought to my attention the importance of enclosures in researching and teaching with gardens. For instance, attending to (and tending to) the gridded flax classroom—as aesthetically beautiful, as compulsively inescapable, as devastating failure when wind and rain wreaked havoc on the straight lines—were gifts that arts-based research made possible. Instead of going beyond the Anthropocene, the corporate university, colonial legacies, instances of solitude, loneliness, and profound failure during the research, I recognized that lingering beside (Sedgwick, 2003) these grids, lines, and frames was more generative than attempting to escape them into a utopic dream of human and nonhuman togetherness: “the irreducibly spatial positionality of beside also seems to offer some useful resistance to the ease with which beneath and beyond turn from spatial descriptors into implicit narratives of, respectively, origin and telos” (p. 8). As Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (2003) beautifully suggested, “Beside comprises a wide range of desiring, identifying, representing, repelling, paralleling, differentiating, rivalling, leaning, twisting, mimicking, withdrawing, attracting, aggressing, warping, and other relations” (p. 8). It was through creatively thinking, gardening, teaching, and writing beside the enclosures of becoming teachers together that a métissage (Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers, & Leggo, 2009) of narratives emerged that I describe as a pedagogy of enclosures.  This pedagogy of enclosures becomes a way of ethically attending to and creatively engaging with the boundary-making practices that are always present when things, discourses, plants, animals, and people come together, particularly in pedagogical encounters. Settler colonialism  16 and decolonization (Denzin, 2008; Gaztambide-Fernández, 2012; Scully, 2012; Simpson, 2014; Tuck & Yang, 2012) become necessary frameworks for unsettling relations with gardens, teaching, and land, since enclosures, such as Donald’s (2012) concept of frontier logics and the pedagogy of the fort,3 are constantly constraining the possibilities for becoming teachers together. As such, while this research leans toward settler colonial studies and land education4 (Tuck, McKenzie & McCoy, 2014), I recognize the need for future work to focus more specifically on settler colonialism in garden-based education wherein Indigenous scholarship and understanding settler colonialism become central to the research process. However, in attending to pedagogies of enclosures more generally (particularly, though not exclusively, settler colonial boundary-making practices) through a humble stance of loving criticality (Rogoff, 2008), I hope to compel educators to creatively and ethically attend to boundary-making practices in education, in gardening, and in research itself. When	  theories	  and	  methodologies	  grow	  together	  In the following pages, I outline the central theoretical and methodological frameworks that have shaped this dissertation. I begin with the theoretical frameworks and then turn to methodological considerations; however, in this process-oriented work of conceptualizing, planting, reflecting on, teaching within, and responding to the installation series, theory did not proceed the creative process of arts-based research undertaken in this study. In this dissertation, theories and methodologies grew together. Throughout the entire process, I have engaged in                                                 3 Donald’s (2012) analysis of the pedagogy of the fort holds particular meaning for me, since I worked as a historic park interpreter at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay in 2005. As a white woman with agricultural experience, I was hired to portray the life of a Métis woman who presumably would have lived inside the fort and worked on the fort’s farm. One day, a young boy visiting the museum asked me about the First Nations people living in the tipis outside the fort walls. “I know that you’re acting,” he said to me while I mucked out the cow stalls dressed in moccasins and a cotton version of a Métis dress. “But the ones outside the fort in the tipis, they’re real, right?” It was a terrifying revelation, and my response was muddled confusion as I tried to stay ‘in role’ as per my job requirements and attend to the complex ethical issues this boy’s question had raised. As Donald wrote, “Fort pedagogy works according to an insistence that everyone must be brought inside and become like the insider, or they will be eliminated” (p. 44).  4 According to Tuck, McKenzie and McCoy (2014), “Land education puts Indigenous epistemological and ontological accounts of land at the center, including Indigenous understandings of land, Indigenous language in relation to land, and Indigenous critiques of settler colonialism. It attends to constructions and storying of land and repatriation by Indigenous peoples, documenting and advancing Indigenous agency and land rights…Land education, as we have constructed it here, emphasizes educational research that engages acute analyses of settler colonialism as a structure, a set of relations and conditions” (p. 13)  17 conversations with theorists, colleagues, and the land (many of these conversations entered into my research journal and appear throughout the dissertation). Conversing and thinking with theorists (Jackson & Mazzei, 2012) takes place while I am doubting, dreaming, regretting, worrying, forgetting, remembering, reading, writing and, of course, digging, weeding, planting, harvesting, and teaching. Through inquiring into the boundaries between some key binaries in western Eurocentric (nature/culture, teacher/student, mind/body, wild/domesticated, male/female, human/animal, etc.), this dissertation has been shaped by conversations in feminist science studies (Haraway, 2004), posthumanism (Barad, 2003; Sundberg, 2010, 2014; Whatmore, 2006), actor-network-theory (Gough, 2009; Latour, 2004), and material feminisms (Alaimo & Hekman, 2008). Indigenous scholarship (Apffel-Marglin & PRATEC, 1998; Cruikshank, 2005; King, 2013; Kuokkanen, 2007; Marker, 2006) intersects with and unsettles much of this Eurocentric theorizing, and has been a necessary and productive gift that I have received in this research and attempted to linger beside, rather than ‘drawing on’ or ‘using’ these heterogeneous and particular knowledge traditions and practices in this research. Before delving into the significant contributions these theories have brought to this work, however, I would like to acknowledge two related limitations. First, the theoretical stances upon which I draw are currently very popular in certain academic circles, with a profusion of work emerging that experiments with new materialist and Deleuzeguattarian language, theory, and methodologies (Springgay & Rotas, 2014; see also Jackson & Mazzei, 2012). At some level, this theoretical and methodological innovation is exciting and feels like something is finally happening in academia to “shake the tree” (Gough, 2009) of knowledge that scholars have inherited and upheld for so long. However, as with all things, this theoretical shift is framing who and what is ‘in’ in academia, boundaries marked by enclosed citation traditions, exclusionary language conventions, and what I sense as many scholars’ lack of positioning regarding their complicity in framing who and what belongs in this emerging theoretical landscape. This brings me to my second area of concern, since what is currently not sufficiently recognized in these theoretical conversations is the work of Indigenous scholars on reconfiguring, unsettling, and decolonizing the entire grounds upon which it is possible to even conceive of a nature/culture binary.  18 As I have already hinted at above, while feminist science studies, posthumanist, and material feminist theory are committed to reworking some key binaries in western thought, the relationship of these Eurowestern epistemologies with Indigenous scholarship is a significant area of tension within material feminist and posthumanist scholarship (and within this research). In many cases, Indigenous knowledge remains marginal and romanticized or erased, silenced, and appropriated (see the critique of Latour’s work and the ontological turn in Todd, 2014). For instance, in their important collected edition introducing the notion of material feminisms, Alaimo and Hekman (2008) stated in the introduction, “The essays we have collected here are seeking to define what Bruno Latour calls a ‘new settlement,’ a way of understanding the relationship between discourse and matter that does not privilege the former to the exclusion of the latter” (p. 6). Unfortunately, as I suggest above, this collection is interested in ‘new settlements’ in terms of human/nonhuman collectives but is silent on unsettling colonialism and recognizing the work of Indigenous scholars in these discussions. As a nonindigenous scholar, Juanita Sundberg (2014) echoed my concerns by writing, “Despite my enthusiasm, I am concerned that posthumanist theory remains within the orbit of Eurocentred epistemologies and ontologies. Indeed, the literature continuously refers to a foundational ontological split between nature and culture as if it is universal” (p. 35). Separating nature and culture (as I admittedly do in this dissertation), however, is not a universal split recognized by all cultures and, likely, all species. Indigenous scholars, such as Sami scholar Rauna Kuokkanen (2007), have recognized how academia “is founded on very limited conceptions of knowledge and the world. Because of this constrained perception, the academy cannot even grasp or hear views that are grounded in other epistemic conventions” (pp. 2–3). This “epistemic ignorance” (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 6) makes Indigenous knowledge incommensurable with Anglophone Eurocentric academic theory and practices. Sundberg (2014) acknowledged these divides and the particularities of Indigenous epistemes, which is why she consciously maintained—as I have also in this dissertation—“an analytical separation between posthumanist theory and Indigenous epistemes even as there may be overlapping themes and goals” (p. 34). Rather than overcoming these incommensurabilities or potentially misappropriating diverse Indigenous knowledge practices, my work as a white Anglophone Eurocentric academic is to linger beside (Sedgwick, 2003) these differences and begin the humble act of explaining myself.  19 Okanagan scholar Jeannette Armstrong (as cited in Regan, 2010) wrote of this act of ‘explaining myself’ through the language of gardening: Imagine how you as writers from the dominant society might turn over some of the rocks in your own garden for examination. Imagine … courageously questioning and examining the values that allow the de-humanizing of peoples through domination.… Imagine writing in honesty, free from the romantic bias about the courageous “pioneering spirit” of colonialist practice and imperialist process. Imagine interpreting for us your own people’s thinking towards us, instead of interpreting for us, our thinking, our lives, our stories. (pp. 234–235) By turning over the rocks in my own garden, Indigenous knowledge systems are not the object of nonindigenous research. Rather, “the decolonizing project reverses this equation, making Western systems of knowledge the object of inquiry” (Denzin, 2008, p. 439). Denzin (2008) described his own difficult positionality as a nonindigenous scholar who nevertheless seeks to be an allied other, “a fellow traveler of sorts, an antipositivist, an insider who wishes to deconstruct the Western academy and its positivist epistemologies from within” (p. 439). This methodological stance, Denzin (2008) continued, questions objectivity and neutrality, acknowledges the moral and political nature of research, can be autoethnographic, participatory, and collaborative, and, it can also be humble. This humility is necessary, since otherwise nonindigenous scholars risk recentring white, settler narratives (see Guthman, 2011), rather than sharing knowledge-making practices that acknowledge, receive, and reciprocate the gifts of Indigenous scholars. Sundberg (2014) offered excellent suggestions for nonindigenous scholars who are committed to doing what Spivak described as one’s “homework” and decolonizing posthumanist theory and methods by locating one’s epistemological and ontological assumptions. These decolonizing practices include a commitment to learning from and engaging with Indigenous scholars actively contributing to the conversation on reframing western academic discourses and practices; acknowledging the particularities within Indigenous scholarship and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholarship; and attending to performances by which we call “forth imaginaries of modern, well-educated Selves and naive, superstitious Others” (Sundberg, 2014, p. 37). In addition, ecohumanists in Australia (Plumwood, 2002; Rose & Robin, 2004) have recognized the significance of Indigenous thought in confronting and exploring alternatives to socially and ecologically destructive Eurocentric, colonial, patriarchal, and religious  20 dichotomies. Similarly, Somerville, Power, and de Carteret (2009) acknowledged, “Australian scholars and researchers cannot begin to articulate a position about place without confronting the complex political realities of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships in place” (p. 7). Through a decolonizing feminist materialist framework, it is my hope that garden-based education and research can offer new settlements for the practices and scholarship loosely assembled under the headings of material feminisms, posthumanism, and feminist science studies, as well as educators and researchers working in school gardens, place-based education, and environmental education more generally. While there are no perfect solutions to these ethical binds, material feminist, posthumanist, and Indigenous scholarship—combined with arts-based research and contemporary installation art theory (which I address in the following section)—offer unique theoretical and methodological positions and practices that can contribute to reconfiguring the relationship between gardens, land, and education. For instance, gardens were unique material and discursive spaces for this research since they are an example of naturecultures (Haraway, 2004) that defy clear boundaries between nature and culture, yet, simultaneously, the act of gardening creates the very enclosures that, one could argue, separate domesticated land from wilderness. Sundberg (2014) offered a useful definition for posthumanism (specifically, posthumanist geographies) in this regard, which “contests dualist ontologies in Anglo/European political philosophy by showing how a multiplicity of beings cast as human and nonhuman—people, plants, animals, energies, technological objects—participate in the coproduction of socio-political collectives” (p. 33). This definition illustrates how gardens figure as human and nonhuman assemblages, and how becoming teachers together with gardens offers the possibility for growing complex socio-political collectives. Karen Barad’s (2003) work has been pivotal in bringing forward posthumanist theorizing; she argued that not only are humans and matter co-participants in socio-political collectives but that human knowledge systems are inherently material and discursive performances. She described her stance as onto-epistemological, since it recognizes that practices of knowledge cannot be claimed as purely human, as they are always implicated with being in the world. Helpful for my thinking around gardens and a pedagogy of enclosures, Barad (2003) is very  21 sensitive to boundary-making practices and what is at stake when certain discourses or matters are claimed to exist within or outside of human knowledge: In the case of the geometry of absolute exteriority, the claim that cultural practices produce material bodies starts with the metaphysical presumption of the ontological distinction of the former set from the latter. The inscription model of constructivism is of this kind: culture is figured as an external force acting on passive nature. (p. 825) Destabilizing taken-for-granted boundaries that inscribe activity and agency to human culture while categorizing nature and materiality as passive or a blank slate awaiting cultural inscription or representation is at the heart of posthumanist theorizing. Haraway’s (1991, 2004, 2008) work in feminist science studies—spanning her groundbreaking A Cyborg Manifesto (Haraway, 1991) and more recent book on companion species, When Species Meet (Haraway, 2008)—offered ironic and embodied reconfigurations of culture/nature, man/woman, natural/technological binaries. Haraway’s works in many ways set the tone for the scope and style of highly personal, political, and situated posthumanist conversations: literary, ironic, experimental, ethically engaged, unafraid of science, yet deeply sceptical of universalizing discourses calling for either a return to Nature or technological salvation, committed to both social and ecological justice, and sensitive to the relational nature of materials and discourses. Inasmuch as material feminist scholars attempt to bring together materials and discourses in this emerging theoretical conversation, this is very dangerous territory.5 Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman (2008) made it absolutely clear at the outset of their edited collection that “materiality, particularly that of bodies and natures, has long been an extraordinarily volatile site for feminist theory” (p. 1). Via the powerful and productive contributions of postmodernist and postructuralist emphasis on discourse and socially constructed realities, feminism has examined the interconnections of power, knowledge, subjectivity, and language. However, as the editors suggested, “Although the postmoderns claim to reject all dichotomies, there is one dichotomoy that they appear to embrace almost without question: language/reality” (Alaimo & Hekman, 2008, p. 2). Materiality is not simply the product of discourse and social construction; however, recognizing that “nature” is agentic requires a reconceptualization of nature.                                                 5 This is similarly threatening for Indigenous and post-colonial scholars, since colonial discourses equally essentialize non-European bodies as wild or natural or at one with nature in order to further imperial claims to land and assimilationist policies (Friedel, 2011; Grande, 2004).  22 As Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands (2008) identified in her essay, feminist materialism allows for explorations that “draw on both phenomenological and social constructivist accounts of nature and embodiment to work toward an interrogative practice that includes the insights of both” (p. 286). My own rather confusing experiences with this onto-epistemological stance suggest that phenomenology and constructivism are mutually exclusive yet equally necessary commitments in material feminist research. Like Barad’s (2003) description of Bohr’s apparatus used to measure whether light is a particle or a wave that determined light is both, depending on the material configurations of the apparatus, many of my ways of thinking through this research vacillated between critical, constructivist, or discursive frameworks and more phenomenological modes of knowing that could allow for magic, mystery, uncertainty, love, and grief. A material discursive theoretical stance, therefore, does not collapse two modes of knowing into one perfect, God-like view of the world. Instead, material and discursive performances of knowledge recognize the limitations of the very frameworks by which we attempt to know the world. Barad’s (2003) definition of discourse is helpful here, in that she did not define discourse solely as a synonym for language, linguistics, speech, written words, or representation. Instead, Barad (2003) wrote, “Discourse is not what is said; it is that which constrains and enables what can be said” (p. 819). While these are complex theoretical concepts, methodological approaches (such as arts-based research) that recognize the place of materiality in shaping human knowledge are helpful, since they insist that “knowledge is emergent and contingent upon material practice” (Hicks & Beaudry, 2010, p. 20). This materiality of knowledge practices is central to material feminist and posthumanist theorizing. Finally, Alaimo and Hekman (2008) suggested, Material ethics allows us to shift the focus from ethical principles to ethical practices. Practices are, by nature, embodied, situated actions. Ethical actions, which unfold in time and take place in particular contexts, invite the recognition of and response to expected as well as unexpected material phenomena. (pp. 7–8) It is in the spirit of these ethical practices that I have engaged in materially and discursively ‘growing a dissertation’ on the relationship between education and gardening. By focusing on a critical history of German and Canadian school gardening as well as my personal implications in this history and in the ongoing material and discursive performances of enclosure in teaching and  23 gardening practices, I hope to engage in ethical and decolonizing material feminist research practices. In a small and humble way, I have also attempted to decolonize these frames while imagining new possibilities for teaching and living together generatively with land. Situating	  the	  research	  within	  a	  methodological	  métissage	  Entangling theory and methodology, as the previous section and Barad’s (2003) call for an onto-epistemology suggested, has been a generative way to mobilize posthumanist and material feminist theorizing and respond to Indigenous scholars’ (such as Kuokkanen, 2007) critique of the academy. Methodologically, these shifts to include materiality and the nonhuman as active co-constituents in the research process have created spaces for new research practices that challenge the centrality of human language in qualitative research. As Haraway (2004) said, Facing the harvest of Darwinism, we do not need an endless discourse on who speaks for animals, or for nature in general. We have had enough of the language games of fatherhood. We need other terms of conversation with animals, a much less respectable undertaking. The point is not new representations, but new practices, other forms of life rejoining humans and non-humans. (p. 141) This practice turn (Whatmore, 2006) in posthumanist methodologies calls for experimentation, risk-taking, and a rejection of “the signal monopoly of the word” (Haraway, 2004, p. 166). Cultural geographers Whatmore (2006) and Hinchliffe, Kearnes, Degen, and Whatmore (2005) experimented with the urgent need to supplement the familiar repertoire of humanist methods that rely on generating talk and text with experimental practices that amplify other sensory, bodily and affective registers and extend the company and modality of what constitutes a research subject. Second, the experimental demands of ‘more-than-human’ styles of working place an onus on actively redistributing expertise beyond engaging with other disciplines or research fields to engaging knowledge practices and vernaculars beyond the academy in experimental research/politics. (Whatmore, 2006, pp. 606–607) Environmental educators Oakley et al. (2010) and Russell (2005) reminded researchers of their own animality and to consider carefully how polyvocal research implicates the more-than-human, particularly nonhuman animals. These emerging methodological practices have significant implications for garden-based education researchers, since they open up spaces and interpretative modes for a multitude on nonhuman beings to participate in the research process. In particular, in this dissertation site-specific installation art practices and theory provided theory  24 and research practices to engage critically, creatively, and generatively with gardens. To bring the arts-based research process to life on the written page, I turn to life writing (Hasebe-Ludt et al., 2009) as the expressive form that brings together the methodological métissage of the research into a second-order performance (Pearson & Shanks, 2001), rather than a representation of the research outcomes and installation series. In the following sections, I turn to the practices of métissage with a focus on (a) arts-based research; (b) site-specific installation art and theory; (c) life writing, metaphor, autobiography, and historical research; (d) photography; (e) journaling, blogging, interviewing, and student teachers’ reflective Field Notes; and (f) plant participants (flax and fireweed). Arts-­‐based	  research	  Before considering in more detail the practices and theory of arts-based research, I first want to acknowledge the collectives assembled at a particular place that truly made the methodological experimentation in this dissertation possible. In this regard, I have been immensely fortunate to study in the Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, at UBC. Siting my research within this Department and University not only enabled me to build the partnerships required to teach student teachers in The Orchard Garden, but it also fostered the unique conditions required to enable such experimental, arts-based research in the first place. The Faculty of Education at UBC is the home of internationally recognized arts-based researchers including Rita Irwin, Dónal O Donoghue, Peter Gouzouasis, and Kit Grauer in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, as well as George Belliveau and Carl Leggo in the Department of Language and Literacy Education. Through the arts-based research scholarship circulating in the academic community where I was a doctoral student, I was supported in imagining other ways of researching in which I could include materiality and the nonhuman in creative, risky research methodologies. The term arts-based educational research originated in 1993 through the work of Elliot Eisner (see Barone & Eisner, 2012). Barone and Eisner (2012) defined arts-based research as the creation of an expressive form that enlightens and enlarges human understanding and “is an evocative and emotionally drenched expression that makes it possible to know how others feel” (p. 9). According to O’Donoghue (2009), “Arts-based educational research is founded on the  25 belief that the arts have the ability to contribute particular insights into, and enhance understandings of phenomena that are of interest to educational researchers” (p. 352). Haywood Rolling Jr. (2014) suggested that good arts-based research requires a reflexive and observant artistic practice and “offers up analytic, synthetic, critical-activist, and improvisatory frameworks as tools for theory-building and cross-disciplinary innovation” (p. 166). While it is difficult to capture the depth and breadth of arts-based research, what has been vital for me in this research is the sense that these research practices are a form of critical research that is neither negative or utopic. Rather, arts-based research generates Haraway’s (2004) “deep sense that things might be otherwise” (p. 326) and “the non-necessity of this way of doing the world” (p. 329) through experimentation with the real (see Gough, 2010). From the classroom grid of flax plants to the threatening presence of fireweed spreading beyond its enclosure, thinking artistically within a garden with student teachers and particular plants has truly brought energy and academic vigour (rather than rigour!) to my research practices. As Bourriaud (2002) wrote, “Artistic praxis appears these days to be a rich loam for social experiments, like a space partly protected from the uniformity of behavioural patterns” (p. 9). The rigid data collection regimes, coding practices, and writing styles of many qualitative and quantitative research methodologies certainly have their place in constructing human knowledge and shaping material relations with the world; however, these do not encompass the totality of human material and discursive practices of knowing and being in the world. As such, good arts-based research offers the possibility for asking new questions and experiencing—even creating—the world differently. Determining what makes good arts-based research, however, is a complex undertaking. According to O’Donoghue (2009), the challenge for arts-based researchers is to position art-based inquiry in particular artistic communities of practice, in which the processes, practices, theories, histories, responsibilities, and criteria for evaluation are understood and integrated into the art-making practices of the research process. O’Donoghue (2009) expressed his concern that arts-based researchers have drawn largely upon philosophy and aesthetics to understand art, rather than a wider range of intellectual traditions including sociologists, cultural theorists, critical art historians as well as the practices of artists themselves. In order to address this concern, I have drawn on the work and ideas of a number of artists: Sharon Kallis, Ron Benner,  26 Debra Sparrow, Rebecca Belmore, and Hans Haacke. Each artist has, in his or her own way, informed my ways of imagining gardens, education, and research itself differently. It all began with a chance encounter. One day, I was browsing the library’s online catalogue searching for Gregory’s (2004), The Colonial Present, that a professor had recommended my class read. Fortunately, when I put in the search words, a book came up with the most intriguing title: Gardens of a Colonial Present (Benner, 2008). It was through this book—a retrospective of Ron Benner’s (2008) work with photographs and short essays written by numerous authors (including Benner)—that I encountered gardens as site-specific installations and contemporary art forms for the first time. The themes that Benner explored of plant-people relationships, migration, colonialism, empires, capitalism, enclosures (Indigenous peoples in prisons and reserves, knowledge, and plants), and ecology are all central concerns in my own work. For instance, by carefully tending to his garden installations, Benner’s gardening performances blur human/plant, art/non-art boundaries and suggested “a refusal to rank intellectual work above physical labour.… Each garden is a ‘thick description’ of its subject matter” (Patton, 2008, pp. 73–75). As part of this research project, I interviewed Ron Benner to learn more about his art practices and his thoughts about gardens as art installations, gardens-as-teachers, First Nations, and colonial history in relationship to plant/people vectors, and the material and philosophical underpinnings of his work. While I have never met Ron Benner in person (our interview was by telephone on May 15, 2013), I did have the pleasure of meeting Sharon Kallis, the second artist who played a pivotal role in this research. I first met Sharon through her connection with Susan Gerofsky, our Faculty Advisor for the education team at The Orchard Garden (and a creative and supportive co-conspirator for all things garden-related with whom I have worked with closely since my master’s in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy). Sharon Kallis (2014) described herself as a community-engaged environmental artist, and it was her work with the Urban Weaver Project that intrigued me, since it I felt it created the space for a unique and nuanced exploration of our relationship with invasive species (and the languaging of these plants/people relationships) that challenges and disrupts conventional nature/culture binaries. Our interview on July 6, 2013 took place at the Means of Production garden, also known as the Means of Production Artists  27 Raw Resource Collective, where gardeners, artists, and community members come together to grow artists’ materials and to creatively reimagine community uses of a neglected city park. Weaving communities together through participatory art is at the heart of Sharon’s art practice, and it was through the collective of community members and fibre artists that gathered with Sharon through The Urban Weaver Project (n.d.) at the MacLean Park Fieldhouse that I learned how to make and use a drop spindle with Penny Coupland, where I met Anik Choinière who was of invaluable assistance in learning to spin flax, where I got the contact information for the Flax to Linen (n.d.) project in Victoria, and where I could engage in creative conversations or happenings with Sharon and many others. It was also through Sharon’s work with Indigenous artists such as Todd DeVries (Haida) that I encountered the work of Debra Sparrow (2010), a well-known Musqueam First Nations weaver and artist. In November 2012, I invited Debra Sparrow to participate in the indoor ‘&’ part of the installation series, Threads sown, grown & given, as part of a workshop and research event with student teachers.6 Although we had never met before the research event at the indoor installation, I had seen Debra’s weavings at the Museum of Anthropology, the Vancouver airport, at the First Nations House of Learning, and at events for the Year of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education, for which Debra had woven a ceremonial blanket. Debra’s artwork may not seem to function as installations, since most are objects such as her acclaimed ceremonial blankets; however, her storytelling draws on the practices of her art to weave together themes of education, Indigenous history, place, memory, and art. Debra Sparrow spoke about her concerns regarding viewing her art or Indigenous material culture as “objects”: “All these things that are in museums are pieces that reflected someone’s life, someone’s existence. They’re not objects. That in itself again is insulting to us, because that’s my families’ lineage, heritage—that which is perceived as an object” (Baird, 1997, p. 38). Her words echo Bourriaud’s (2002) theory of relational aesthetics, reminding people of the colonial frameworks that risk predetermining the value and meaning of artistic work.                                                 6 I am grateful to Jeannie Kerr for encouraging me to contact Debra and invite her to participate in the research as a guest lecturer for Jeannie’s students.  28 In addition to my interactions with the artists Sharon Kallis, Ron Benner, and Debra Sparrow, I also studied Rebecca Belmore’s installations and performances (see Augaitis & Ritter, 2008) and Hans Haacke’s (see Flügge & Fleck, 2006) contributions to the development of installation art practices (especially his controversial installation, Der Bevölkerung, in a courtyard of the German Reichstag). Familiarizing myself with these artists’ works was important as it enabled me to learn about diverse artistic practices and theoretical discussions shaping contemporary art-making and theorizing. This contextualization was particularly important, as I have not formally studied art nor developed my own artistic practices, and I, therefore, had a steep learning curve ahead of me to learn from and to position my own art-making with Threads sown, grown & given within contemporary art practices and theorizing. While some arts-based researchers have recognized that “anything well crafted, anything made with sensibility and imagination, anything that requires skill and the use of technique in order to create something that has an emotion effect is an artistic affair” (Barone & Eisner, 2012, p. 46), others, such as O’Donoghue (2009) called for close collaborations with practising artists in the research process. Notwithstanding the close engagement with Sharon Kallis and learning from the work of Benner, Belmore, and Haacke, I nevertheless recognize that a limitation to this research has been the lack of extensive collaboration with professional artists. As a result, I have attempted to cautiously and humbly create what I understand more as artistic encounters rather than labelling myself as an artist or creating artworks. Attending to these encounters has generated powerful and enriching situations that have propelled this research project. As Irwin and O’Donoghue (2012) suggested, arts-based researchers can draw on Bourriaud’s notion of relational aesthetics, in which the artwork is not an object but a social process and an event in a particular space or context that is offered to the audience as a gift: “Art as an encounter is a relational activity where we can observe our own patterns of behaviour and idea creation through our own and other’s monitoring and enquiry” (p. 231). While the material things, nonhuman creatures, and places in this site-specific arts-based research installation series are of utter importance to the knowledge and situations created, it is in the spirit of these relational encounters—between humans and within the more-than-human—that art-making becomes research and a way of being differently in the world. 	   29 Site-­‐specific	  installation	  art	  This arts-based research drew particularly on the art theory and practices associated with site-specific installation art. According to O’Donoghue (2010), “Installation art is used to describe artworks that are produced at the exhibition site; that are usually dependent on the configurations of that space; and that require viewers to physically enter into the work and experience it in place” (pp. 402–403). Artists who engage in site-specific art and performances do so because they are deeply intrigued by the processes of creating temporally and spatially responsive situations in which site, artist, and spectator co-create meaning and new relationships emerge in an encounter that cannot be replicated or commodified. As O’Donoghue (2010) wrote, there are numerous dimensions to installation art forms and artistic practices; however, firsthand experience of the space and active spectatorship or participatory engagement are key elements. The viewer’s participation in the work is frequently embodied and engages multiple senses, since, as Julie Reiss (as cited in O’Donoghue, 2010) wrote, it is the “desire [of the art installation] to shake the spectator out of a passive, spongelike state and instead have a self-determined, active experience” (p. 403). Since site-specific installation art emerged in the 1960s and 1970s as an alternative to and critique of institutionalized and commodified art, many installations are ephemeral and only exist for a particular moment in time, in a particular place. However, museums and galleries are increasingly bringing installation art exhibits back into gallery spaces (O’Donoghue, 2010) and enabling a permanency and marketability not always possible elsewhere, which puts into question whether it is the constancy of the artist rather than the site (Kwon, 1997) that is the most defining feature of installation artworks that are replicated and relocated to new sites and contexts around the world. To resist the intellectual attraction to fluid, nomadic subjectivities and spatialities, Kwon (1997) advocated for site-specific art practices situated between mobilization and specificity through an emphasis on “relational specificity” (p. 110). Relational specificity requires long-term commitments and relationships between the fragments and sites of people’s lives, not their “undifferentiated serialization, one place after another” (Kwon, 1997, p. 110). On the one hand, this insistence on site and context in installation art suggests that there is no rational, autonomous knowing subject. However, contradictorily, this decentred subject is being asked to engage experientially and actively in creating the work, a position that “repeatedly valorizes the viewer’s  30 first-hand presence – an insistence that ultimately reinstates the subject (as a unified entity), no matter how fragmented or dispersed our encounter with the art turns out to be” (Bishop, 2005, p. 130). Caught in this double bind, Bishop (2005) suggested, What installation art offers, then, is an experience of centring and decentring.… In other words, installation art does not just articulate an intellectual notion of dispersed subjectivity (reflected in a world without centre or organizing principle); it also constructs a set in which the viewing subject may experience this fragmentation first-hand. (p. 130) In his critique of Claire Bishop’s poststructuralist stance, Grant Kester (2011) focused on the irreducibly ‘oneness’ of Bishop’s theorizing, which is shaped, he argued, by fears of coercive, instrumentalized consensus and ongoing attachments to possessive individualism and the creative genius of the solitary artist. Instead, in The One and the Many, Kester offered examples of radical plurality and collaboration in contemporary collaborative art practices. These lively scholarly conversations are provocative and were important for this particular research project that explored how things—human and nonhuman, material and discursive—come together in pedagogical relationships. Exploring the boundaries of these relationships and what comes in and what is left outside the enclosures of the garden, the classroom, and this research has been an enriching research methodology with which to think, teach, and garden differently. One of the challenges of arts-based research, particularly site-specific installation art and its inherent specificity to experiences and relationships that emerge in a time and place, is that the meaning of these experiences can never be represented in a written text such as this dissertation. Pearson and Shanks (2001), through their work in performance studies and archaeology, asked the difficult questions of “how to represent ephemeral, temporal, and site-specific events? What are the traces that remain? How are these events retrieved, recorded, and reassembled?” (p. 9). Rather than representations, these recontextualizations can be thought of as a “second-order performance, as a creative process in the present and not as a speculation on past meaning and intention” (Pearson & Shanks, 2001, p. 59). In addition to the images, autobiographic narratives, chronologies, diagrams, scripts, material lists, forensic site reports, and so on that can be used to construct a second-order performance, Kaye (2000) signalled the significance of the body at the centre of documentation (p. 153). What emerges from these recontextualized performances is a recognition that “where the site cannot be read, represented, or thought without the very mapping which threatens its erasure, the site’s documentation is used to foreground the paradoxes of  31 representation itself” (Kaye, 2000, p. 217). Documentation and representation, therefore, are not antithetical to site-specificity but are necessary in order to constantly destabilize and re-draw the lines between experience and interpretation. As Papastergiadis (2006) suggested art and writing are driven by the need to address (not answer) a question and stated, “Writing is grounded in the materiality of thought.… All thinking is metaphorical. It is, by comparing, juxtaposing, translating, narrating, repositioning—that is by assembling—that we create and think. In this sense, writing and art have a common root” (p. 206). Life writing and praxis of métissage (Hasebe-Ludt et al., 2009) become a method for assembling and writing a vivid and provocative second-order performance of Threads sown, grown & given, documented via photographs, my research journal, student writing, and interview notes. Life	  writing,	  metaphor,	  autobiography,	  and	  historical	  research	  I recognize that, as Laurel Richardson (as cited in Gough, 2010) wrote, “Writing is a method of discovery, a way of finding out about yourself and your world” (p. 49). As such, a methodology of life writing is consistent with my interest in the practice turn, as well as the materiality, physicality, technology, temporality, and location that are entangled within the written words that appear on the page. Furthermore, arts-based researchers working in a/r/tography have recognized that “to be engaged in a/r/tography means to inquire in the world through both processes [artful inquiry and writing], noting they are not separate or illustrative processes but interconnected processes” (Irwin & Springgay, 2008, p. xxviii). Writing beside the installation series, Threads sown, grown & given, has been a form of curriculum inquiry, a métissage of journal entries, philosophical musings, educational propositions, photographs, memoirs, blog posts, and other ways of creatively engaging language to write about what comes together when becoming teachers with a garden. Life writing and métissage were powerful practices for attending to the threads of becoming teachers together within this dissertation. Moreover, considering that “métissage is derived from the Latin mixticius, meaning the weaving of a cloth from different fibres” (Mish, as cited in Hasebe-Ludt et al., 2009, p. 35) and also refers to the Greek Metis, goddess of art and wisdom, it is very fitting that this methodological frame draw metaphorically and practically on weaving different fibres, since the site-specific installation and its associated performances centre around  32 material and discursive threads, particularly the materiality of linen threads spun from flax fibres sown and grown at The Orchard Garden as part of the installation series. Furthermore, the threads of this dissertation—about a garden, student teachers, and my personal stories of becoming teachers together—are of very disparate things coming together, and not always comfortably. As Hasebe-Ludt et al. (2009) wrote, “Métissage affirms, rather than polarizes, difference (Lionnet, 1989) and calls those who practice métissage to create an aesthetic product that combines disparate elements without collapsing or erasing difference” (p. 35). My use of figurative language in this dissertation, particularly metaphor, has been one attempt at not collapsing either materials or discourses into one another, even in textual writing practices. As the title of the installation series suggests, Threads sown, grown & given is redolent with metaphor. Researching and writing with metaphors is part of a/r/tographic practices (Irwin & Springgay, 2008), and continuously returning to and reworking the metaphors in this research, particularly those of the thread and the frame, has been a generative practice. Metaphors conventionally draw on material reality to express abstract ideas, in which an object or concept is carried over (meta: across, over; pherein: carry) to describe a different object or concept. In this dissertation, the threads are many things and ideas that have been useful for me in thinking and enacting teaching relationships differently. The challenge, however, is not to use metaphors complacently but to continuously keep them open to negotiation. As Law (2004) wrote, social scientists need to keep the metaphors of reality-making open, rather than allowing a small subset of them to naturalize themselves and die in a closed, singular, and passive version of out-thereness…thinking, instead, in terms of degrees of enacted reality, or more reals and less reals. That we seek practices which might re-work imaginaries. That we work allegorically. (pp. 138–139) Others, such as St. Pierre and Pillow (2000) suggested figurations are more disruptive than elegant metaphors (I admit that Threads sown, grown & given is haunted by a tendency toward elegant, settled, coherent, and linear metaphors). St. Pierre (1997, as cited in St. Pierre & Pillow, 2000): “These figurations … are cartographic weapons … that propel them into the turbulence masked by coherence, [and] these feminists use figurations as practices of failure, tools of ‘rigorous confusion that jettison clarity in favour of the unintelligible” (p. 281). This is one reason why, in an effort to unsettle my use of particular metaphors, I have turned the installation  33 series inside out and written the dissertation in reverse order to the actual chronology. Furthermore, as it becomes clear in each thematic chapter, metaphoric threads have been unruly figures to work with, and plant-based metaphors in particular have acquired a neo-literal vitality (Braidotti, 2009). For instance, growing flax, processing linen, learning to use a drop spindle, and encountering fireweed have brought metaphors, particularly the metaphor of the thread, to life in unexpected ways, so that the complacent, coherent, and worn-out comparisons of threads to memories, stories, inter-connections, knots, entanglements, and journeys were revitalized and contributed dramatically to the research process. In their work on life writing, Hasebe-Ludt et al (2009) described collaboration as being a key part of autobiographical work. In addition to plant-person collaborations, my work with Jeannie Kerr begins to hint at what collaborative doctoral research could become. Jeannie contacted me in 2012, interested in bringing her Philosophy of Education class to the garden for a visit. When I shared with her that I was looking for participants for my research project, she was immediately intrigued. After reading my proposal and meeting at the garden to talk about our respective research and discuss ideas for the class visit, it was clear that coming together as collaborators for my research would be enriching for both of us—and hopefully for our students as well. In the end, Jeannie participated in all three research events associated with Threads sown, grown & given at the garden (twice as the instructor for different cohorts of student teachers, and once alone). During this journey together, The Orchard Garden, our conversations, and our co-teaching with the garden worked their way deeply into Jeannie’s dissertation (see Kerr, 2013). In many ways, my journey of becoming scholar/teacher has been shaped by my relationship with Jeannie, her generous mentorship, and the Indigenous scholars with whom Jeannie is in constant conversation. Through Jeannie, I have recognized the significance of participating in a “decolonizing autobiography” (Haig-Brown, as cited in Kerr, 2013, p. 230), and the importance of situating myself within this research as a white, middle-class, highly educated, able-bodied German-Canadian settler woman. As such, this research is not arbitrary in focusing specifically on the difficult history and ongoing legacies of school gardening in Germany and the Canadian residential school system. However, while it is increasingly a convention in academic writing to extensively situate the author in the introductory pages, I have woven autobiographical threads  34 throughout the dissertation that touch on my German-Canadian settler heritage, my teacher education experiences, and my life as a mother/academic to create a meshwork (Ingold, 2013) of narratives wherein the enclosures of my partial perspective and privileges become apparent. This autobiographical writing, however, challenges notions of the “I” that occupies modernist and humanist positions of the author in writing about his (or, less often, her) own life story. While Butler (1999) recounted the opacity and limits of the autobiographical “I” in language, material feminist accounts have challenged the normativity of speciesism in a purely anthropocentric subjectivity (Braidotti, 2009). In the spirit of ‘coming together’ that the threads of this dissertation attempt to gather, “the graphe of autobiography is a relational rather than a solitary act, and it is in and through the writing that relations, previously unrecognized, become visible and audible for the writer” (Hasebe-Ludt et al., 2009, p. 29). Autobiography—like the posthumanist and material feminist theorizing in this dissertation—does not offer a unified, coherent representation of a contained self. The métissage of texts I have brought to this dissertation were “selected and braided in such a way as to highlight both points of affinity (Haraway, 1994) and dissonance” (Hasebe-Ludt et al., 2009, p. 9). This work in which I taught and researched myself in relation with the more-than-human worlds of the garden and with the student teachers of the teacher education program is part of the autobiographical thread of this dissertation, in which I consider my own becoming scholar/teacher. Furthermore, since the majority of school garden proponents are white and female, Strong-Wilson’s (2008) call to bring memory forward through autobiographical research holds particular relevance, since, as she stated, white teachers are “the most recalcitrant of learners when it comes to challenging their own memories and experiences of privilege and race” (p. 2). Re-writing posthumanist autobiographies requires attending to human-animal becomings (Braidotti, 2009) and other minoritarian, anomalous, inorganic becomings and affinities. Concerned as I am about restor(y)ing the history of school gardens within my ethical obligations as a German-Canadian settler woman, the second chapter of this dissertation is a critical history of school gardening, which begins with Epicurus’ Garden School in ancient Athens but dwells specifically in the discomforting texts that promoted school gardening and farming in the Indian residential school system and during Nazi Germany. Conducting historical research was a key element to this study and the installation series at the heart of my research  35 process. Responding to history, being touched by the past, was a way of decentring the self and reconfiguring the notion of what and who is a teacher: To receive the past as teacher — or, in Derrida’s words, as “the gift of the ghost” — means being open to questions we did not even know we had, and to learning not only what we seek to learn, but also that which might shatter our knowledge, our identities, and our self-understanding. To receive the past as teacher thus means that we risk being changed — perhaps profoundly — by our engagement with that which we might otherwise seek to avoid. (Chinnery, 2010, p. 402) This historical research propelled me to respond (Cole, 2007; Simon, 2006) to the clamouring calls or traces of testimony that demand something of me. Historical research is not just a process of excavating temporally situated, discursive facts and revealing their relevance for present-day conversations—it can also be materially situated (Barad, 2003; McGregor, 2004; O’Donoghue, 2010; Pearson & Shanks, 2001; Whatmore, 2006). Considering historical research as a material practice can lead to radical divergences from traditional research practices. Through the installation series, Threads sown, grown & given, I have explored how arts-based research and site-specific installation art in particular can serve as a 3D research text, different, of course, from the traditional research text in so far as it provides a different narrative structure, rupturing the linear nature of such text and comprising a series of discontinuous and partial stories in a space where meaning is generated through interaction and negotiation. (O’Donoghue, 2010, p. 413) Through autobiographical research alongside a site-specific installation series, I have attempted to generate historical research that does not treat the earth and material relations as the invisible and passive backdrop to a uni-directional sequence of human activities. Nor does it treat history as a thing of the past but rather a living landscape which continues to affect us all—albeit differently and unevenly—today. Our personal and collective responses to this living history, however, remain undetermined and full of new possibilities for decolonizing pedagogies and solidarities (Gaztambide-Fernández, 2012). 	  	   36 Photographs	  and	  photography	  Photographs and photography played a significant methodological role in this research.7 I selected historical photographs of school gardens at residential schools, in industrial and wartime North America, and in Germany before and during the Nazi regime to become part of the installations series, Threads sown, grown & given. Inspired by Benner’s (2008) use of black and white photographs in his garden installation to create unsettling juxtapositions and connections between different times and places, I transferred these historical images onto canvas windows that hung on the frame of the installation during Threads grown. Later, these same windows were part of the indoor ‘&’ installation, and the canvas became part of the memory bundles that research participants knotted into linen spider webs as reconciliatory gifts to the garden in Threads given. Moreover, the practice of photography is how I documented, interacted with, and came to know the installation series. The act of photography became a ritual performance that led me through the garden, focused my attention on particular details, and framed how and what I was seeing and experiencing at the installation. Time-lapse photographs (see Ostertag, 2015) that I took from five fixed positions around the installation at the garden are a record of changes at the installation. The photographs are also a trace of my own presence at the installation, since the photographs were not taken during regular intervals but randomly whenever I was at the installation. Finally, the photographs themselves became material traces of an ephemeral, site-specific installation series that conform to certain photographic aesthetic conventions but also exceed these frames as they circulate in relation to participants’ reception at the installation series, in this dissertation, and on the blog (Ostertag, n.d.). There has been much written on the role of photography and photographs in terms of historical education research (Grosvenor, Lawn, & Rousmaniere, 1999; O’Donoghue, 2010; Spike, 2010), materiality (Butler, 2010), and the relationship between photography, art, and                                                 7 Videography and video ethnography (MacLure, Holmes, MacRae, & Jones, 2010) also played a small role in the research process since occasionally I would create video recordings at the installation space in addition to still photographs. I also set up a video camera during the second research event to record conversations, although I only focus on the audio elements of these films in this dissertation. While some of these videos capture movement and sounds that still photography can only hint at, the video recordings played a minor role while I wrote this dissertation—although I have integrated the recordings on the research blog (see Ostertag, 2012) and in conference presentations. In future arts-based research, I would like to revisit the importance of videography; however, perhaps by working in collaboration with a videographer, as this is an art practice that I find particularly challenging.    37 events (Reiss, 1999; Sontag, 1977), and it is not within the scope of this project to consider these questions in detail. Rather, my camera was a constant companion throughout the research project, and the practices of photography and my entanglements with this technology became active in co-constituting the stories I tell in this dissertation. As Papastergiadis (2007) wrote, “The camera is not a recorder of evidence, but a companion in the act of witnessing and a relay device in the interminable network of message making” (p. 147). For instance, as much as this dissertation emerged from a critique of grids and conformity and a desire to create conditions for learning to live in entangled relations with the more-than-human, it is ironic that I felt compelled to set the view finder of the camera (a Canon G10) on a 9-part grid to ensure that the time-lapse series was consistently positioned. Also, the compact size of the camera meant that it was readily available to take photographs while I gardened. For the most part, I operated the camera in “automatic” mode, due to limited photography skills and a desire to document quickly and efficiently while I was busy with the work of gardening the installation. These material conditions, of course, shape the image and my relationship with the content of the photographic images (both in the resulting photograph and the physical place and events across from the viewfinder that I was attempting to document). The relationship between the photographer, camera, site or event, and the photograph itself is a complex entanglement, particularly in terms of the role the photograph plays in documenting an ephemeral, site-specific installation. As Butler (2010) wrote, in photography the frame is active yet invisible, and the viewer “assumes him or herself to be in an immediate (and incontestable) visual relation to reality” (p. 73). Indeed, viewing photographs and photography are acts of interpretation. Through this research and my considerations of a pedagogy of enclosures, I am fascinated by the way in which Butler (2010) reminded readers that showing the framing of the photo is “a disobedient way of seeing” (p. 72) and the implications of this disobedience for the teaching relationships made possible in environmental education. Neil Evernden (1993) took up the relationship between photography and the environment by drawing on Susan Sontag’s (1977) well-known essay, On photography. Familiar to park-goers, for instance, is the notion that taking photographs of natural places is considered an ecologically sensitive approach to relating with landscapes. However, Evernden’s concern is that photographic seeing encourages estrangement and voyeurism, rather than rapprochement that  38 grows out of relationships and respect. In terms of this research project, I have frequently sensed that, “despite the illusion of giving understanding, what seeing through photographs really invites is an acquisitive relation to the world that nourishes aesthetic awareness and promotes emotional detachment” (Sontag, 1977, p. 111; see also Evernden, 1993, p. 97). Indeed, acquiring photographs of the luminous, green flax grid was driven more by my compulsion to make and possess an aesthetic statement than to nourish emotional attachments or ethical engagements. However, my emotional connections to the project have always been much more convoluted than simple detachment, even while photographing what I sensed was the beautiful yet ecologically destructive monoculture grid of flax plants that I had planted at the garden. Furthermore, photographing affectively compelling images of fireweed in a garden poised for destruction was emotionally charged work that continues to resonate in the photographs and my memories that tie me to the garden. Ultimately, I agree with Butler’s call to turn to the framing devices of photography rather than essentializing photographic practices, frequently in anti-technological terms (see Evernden, 1993; Ingold, 2013). For instance, Grosvenor (1999, pp. 90–97) suggested the following six practices for historians visualizing the past through photographs of classrooms that are helpful in exploring how photography and photographs are framing devices: (1) How does the photographer’s gaze frame the photograph? (2) How does technology shape the image? (3) What was its purpose? (4) How does the audience “read” meaning into the photograph? (5) How might titles, captions or words control possible meanings? (6) How does the photograph’s presentation alter its meaning? In addition, Spike (2012) suggested that historical, political, cultural, and economic circumstances play into historical photographs’ “production and original use, [and that] we can begin to recognize these photographs as complex sites through which meanings were, and continue to be, created and negotiated, rather than simply as quaint pictures of children” (p. 53)—or landscapes. Rousmaniere (2001) went on to explain how, through for instance montage, photographs can take on affective potentiality and an active role in historical research by shocking the viewer to loosen her or his grip on facts and consider personal memories. The unsettling impact of black and white images of school gardens and farms during and prior to Nazi Germany, at residential schools, during Industrial and war-time North America assembled in montages on the canvas windows of the installation contrasted with the vivid  39 greens of a garden in full growth and were anything but quaint. Instead, these photographs, now buried in weeds and excavation dirt piles, are haunting documents of genocide couched in the generative language of connecting children with the land. Considering that the installation series is conditioned by being site-specific and ephemeral, and that these conditions were exacerbated by the impending ‘development’ on the site of the garden, Butler’s (2010) observation—drawing on Barthes—that we can be haunted by a photograph because it outlives “the life it documents; it establishes in advance the time in which that loss will be acknowledged as a loss” (p. 98), resonates painfully with this project. As such, the materiality of the photograph is more than a representation interpreted by the viewer, instead, “the photograph itself becomes a structuring scene of interpretation—and one that may unsettle both maker and viewer in its turn” (Butler, 2010, p. 67). I must admit an abiding sense of responsibility and a recognition of the grievability of life (Butler, 2010) that the frames of historical school gardening photographs and my own work and relationships with the installation series and the garden evoke in me (and hopefully permeate this work). In this dissertation, therefore, perhaps photographs of historical school gardening and a garden installation poised on the brink of destruction will outlive the life they documented, reminders of the ongoing presence of violence—past and present—and the precarity of all life. Journaling,	  blogging,	  interviews,	  and	  student	  teachers’	  Field	  Notes	  In addition to photography and a small amount of videography, I also documented and reflected on the installation series extensively through my research journal, blogging, conducting interviews, and utilizing what I named Field Notes to allow the three groups of student teachers who participated in the research the space to write reflections during research events at the installation series. These research methods are more familiar to ethnographers and qualitative researchers, and in drawing on them I acknowledge that this arts-based research is a multi-modal form of qualitative inquiry (Irwin & Springgay, 2008, p. xxix). My research journal spanned the time period from March 23, 2012 (first recorded journal entry), to August 14, 2013 (final recorded journal entry). Most of the journal entries are handwritten in two notebooks, although occasionally I wrote notes directly onto my computer when this was more convenient. I wrote in my journal each time I worked on the installation,  40 while I prepared for research events, after each research event, and whenever I sensed that writing was necessary to think beside the research project. The journal entries shift in tone and detail, at times descriptive, other times theoretical, and frequently filled with doubts, anxieties, and vulnerabilities. The writing in the journals is an example of what Elizabeth St. Pierre (1997) called transgressive data, which considers “the multiplicity of voice and the variation of standpoint … [and draws] upon the remembered, the dreamed and the imagined, as well as observations of the ‘real’, and challenges criticism as a form of knowledge with a singular and static point of view located in the here and now” (p. 23). This openness and responsiveness to a multiplicity of voices and standpoints in both my theoretical and methodological commitments shifts the position of the researcher as autonomous, rational arbiter of knowledge to one of a gardener who imperfectly assembles and constrains the materials and discourses that always exceed the enclosure of the theories and methodologies set to frame the study. I have attempted to thread parts of these journal entries, not without some apprehensions as to their unpolished writing style and excessive, confessional honesty, throughout the dissertation, largely as examples of how tending to this decolonizing, arts-based dissertation unsettled my understanding of and relationship with gardens and education. Blogging is increasingly recognized as a powerful research method, particularly for arts-based researchers to disseminate and discuss their work (Leavy, 2009). The research blog that I kept on The Orchard Garden’s website (see Ostertag, n.d.) can be searched via the tag “Installation.” In total, I posted 11 times with stories, quotes, links, photos, videos, and emerging questions related to the project. I had originally hoped that the blog would also create an online forum for discussion around the themes of the project but only a few people posted comments to the blog. However, while I often felt like the physical installation series did not engage as many participants as I anticipated from within the Faculty of Education, the blog posts had more viewers than I expected (as of November 2014 posts were viewed between 10 and 170 times). While it is impossible to know who the viewers of the posts were or their responses, I did send out emails to relevant groups of people whenever I had made a blog posting (e.g., after a research event, I would email the instructor/students with a link to the blog posting), so it is likely that many of the viewers were research participants. In many ways, The Orchard Garden and the installation series Threads sown, grown & given are examples of dynamic hybridity and  41 becoming cyborg (Haraway, 2004) that challenge naturalized boundaries between nature and culture. Through blogging, for instance, the garden and the installation are not a natural garden in the conventional Eurocentric sense but assemblages that include the economic, social, and technological realms of the Internet, digital photography, and computers, as much as they are constituted by human and nonhuman participants. During the course of the installation series, I conducted semi-structured interviews with my collaborators at The Orchard Garden (two focus group interviews with the team of graduate and undergraduate students from the Faculties of Education and Land and Food Systems), two semi-structured interviews with Jeannie Kerr, as well as semi-structured interviews with Sharon Kallis and Ron Benner. In addition to (and frequently also during) the more formal interviews with Jeannie that I audio-recorded, Jeannie and I also engaged in ongoing conversations throughout the research process that I noted in my research journal. These conversations were integral to our increasingly collaborative process of preparing for, thinking through, and reflecting on the research events with the installation series. Prior to engaging with her two classes at the installation and after each class visit, Jeannie and I discussed how things went, how we could have integrated other theoretical and practical elements into the class visit, and what excited and frustrated us about the research event. For the most part, however, our conversations would become a métissage of life experiences braided with broader theoretical and pedagogical ideas related to Indigenous education, decolonization, teacher education, and environmental and garden-based education more specifically. Our conversations also included stories of our experiences as doctoral students and the challenges of becoming scholars and teachers in the academy. Since the research events with the installation were only one-day affairs with changing groups of student teachers,8 I developed short booklets for students to write their Field Notes as reflections and responses to open-ended questions. Ideally, the same student teachers ought to have participated in the entire research process of becoming together alongside Threads sown, grown & given. However, my marginal and highly informal position as education coordinator at                                                 8 Student teachers who consented to participate in the research project included 19 students in August 2012, 30 students in November 2012, and 12 students from a group of garden-based education workshop participants in March 2013.  42 The Orchard Garden, as well as the incongruity between the growing seasons for my project (April 2012–March 2013) and the yearlong teacher education program (September–August), made it difficult to establish a long-term relationship with one group of student teachers. Student reflections in their Field Notes, therefore, became one of my main methods for accessing students’ thoughts in response to the installation series. As such, I do not have detailed, fine-grained personal narratives from student teachers, and without the time to build close relationships the student participants in the dissertation remained largely anonymous and unnamed. Thus, the ‘data’ from the student teachers risk entering into the dissertation as though they represent a homogenous, uncontextualized, and essentialized group (Loutzenheiser, 2007). However, since the methodological framework for this dissertation was a métissage of life writing that drew on autobiographical work yet simultaneously attempted to decentre the human in teaching and gardening, I recognize that my inability to name and account for each student teacher participant in the research is akin to my inability to name and account for the multitude of nonhuman actants who have shaped this study. Nonetheless, I recognize this as a limitation within the work, and signal it accordingly. Flax	  &	  fireweed:	  Plant	  participants	  Of all the nonhuman participants in the study, two do require naming. Through a myriad of relationships, memories, and material encounters, flax and fireweed entered this dissertation as compelling plant participants that co-constituted the direction of this arts-based research. Flax, linum usitatissimum (that most useful line), arrived at The Orchard Garden as a plant that I did not recognize and could not name but found enchanting and beautiful (see Figure 4). Flax grows tall, its long, feathery green stems sway like water in the wind, its pale blue flowers greet the midday sun then fall like blue rain, and after 100 days of planting it can be harvested and processed into linen thread. As one of the oldest known human fibre plants (spun flax fibres were found in a cave in the present-day Republic of Georgia and dated to 30,000 years ago), flax plants also recall national identities (it is the flower of Northern Ireland) and the material culture of flax fibres are threaded throughout the history of the line (Ingold, 2007). Unknowingly, I  43 planted this plant of lines into a rigid grid of desks for Threads sown, grown & given.  Figure 4 - Flax growing at The Orchard Garden, Threads grown, 2012 Fireweed, chamerion angustifolium, arrived as a research participant during the winter months of the indoor ‘&’ installation, while I spun the flax into linen thread and imagined what the final gift-giving installation, Threads given, would entail. At some point, I intuitively knew that this would be the plant at the centre of the spring installation. Fireweed grows in the northern hemisphere in disturbed soils, especially after fires and deforestation but also after bombing through wars (Beresford-Kroeger, 2010, p. 119). As such, this plant is regenerative for soils and habitats, not simply a symbol for regeneration. It is also a weed plant that grows through underground rhizomes and by spreading tens of thousands of fine, white, fluffy seeds through the winds. Opening the door to the arrival of such a weedy plant into a food production garden may seem incongruous and out of place, yet fireweed’s stems are edible as a green ‘asparagus’ in the springtime, its leaves are medicinal and can be used in teas, its beautiful  44 fuchsia flowers draw honeybees and other pollinators, and the fibres in its stem and seeds can be spun for thread (see Figure 5). Faced with the impending destruction of the garden and struggling with the desire for reparation and regeneration to reconcile the difficult history of school gardening, I harvested fireweed rhizomes from the UBC Farm and planted them in a circle at The Orchard Garden as a gift.  Figure 5 - Fireweed blossoms and a honeybee at The Orchard Garden, Threads given, 2013 These plant stories matter in ways that entangle arts-based research methodologies with posthumanist, material feminist theory, and beside particularly unsettling Indigenous knowledge practices, since flax and fireweed entered into the research and co-created hitherto unforeseeable conditions for gardening and teaching differently in relationship with land. These conditions are not anthropocentric in the ways in which conventional research centres the human. For instance, Springgay and Rotas (2014) wrote, “Counter to the assumption that posits humans at the center of creation, where matter is something to be formed and shaped by the artist, Guattari is calling  45 for a destruction of human-centered ideology” (pp. 2–3). However, I have chosen not to seek destruction nor going beyond human boundaries as the framework for this research. Rather, Springgay (2008) also wrote that a/r/tographical research “does not reproduce violence towards the other, but rather looks to a network of relations that are continuously being produced in and through the inquiry itself” (p. 162). Being a host to the otherness of flax and fireweed in Threads sown, grown & given has been my attempt to learn from and be hospitable toward nonhumans, not “as tools to think with, but in thinking with them to face our ethical obligations to them, for they are not merely tools for our use but real living beings” (Barad, 2011, p. 127). Thinking with flax and fireweed through arts-based research allowed me to experiment with becoming-plant, and how this reconfigured subjectivity was generative for thinking, teaching, researching, and gardening differently. Ethically, however, researching with plants revealed a disconcerting blind spot within the increasingly rigorous requirements of UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Boards. While it is always challenging to communicate research methodologies to review boards that are working the edges of qualitative research paradigms (such as arts-based research), it was not what I said in my ethics review proposal that troubled me—it was what I left unsaid. Although the garden was my central research participant and collaborator, I was never required to provide any statements of ethical accountability toward the garden as a very material, lively assembly of human and nonhuman beings and matter. Planting a monoculture of flax, as I did for the first installation, would be considered by many agroecologists or Indigenous farmers as an example of unethical human interactions with land, yet my attachments to grids and my lack of practices to engage ethically with the land originally blinded me to the inherent contradictions between my gardening practices and posthumanist longings. Furthermore, most conventional scientific research has no qualms about large-scale interventions in ecosystems that frequently require monocultures or highly reduced ecosystems to generate research findings. However, since university ethics review boards are divided into human and animal research without a review board for plant-based research, I was not challenged to reconsider my landscape design approaches that continue to position the land as a passive, blank slate for research and experimentation. As social science and humanities research extends to the more-than-human, it  46 will become increasingly important that these ethical conversations continue, even if they are not within the rigid frames of formal ethics review processes. Guide	  to	  reading	  and	  walking	  down	  these	  garden	  paths	  As you read this dissertation, I would like you to imagine yourself going down a garden path, again and again. While the title of the site-specific installation art series, Threads sown, grown & given, follows a rather linear seasonal order, the dissertation introduces the installation series in reverse order. Through this (at times admittedly awkward) framework, I attempt to disrupt and play with the neat, linear format of the installation project, which retains ties with conventional narrative structures of introduction, conflict, and resolution. This particular structure is all too familiar in ecological discourses that frequently start in socio-ecological despair, chart extensive conflicts in our increasingly dystopic relations with the natural world, propose and enact solutions, and end brimming with hope, the saving graces of education, and utopic visions of green communalism. The disruption presented in this dissertation, however, is not intended to destroy the frames that were so generative in this arts-based research project. Similar to the extreme simplicity of a haiku, framing the installation series and, later, the dissertation itself, with a title (Threads sown, grown & given) has allowed me to continuously return to concepts and materials that I have invited (often very intuitively) into and encountered during the research, the meanings of which were to unfold during the installation series and the writing process itself. Papastergiadis (2006) recognized this tension between art and writing about art: The place of art and the manner of writing have no symmetrical correspondence. There is no fixed hierarchy. No stable order. If writing just follows art it remains a shadow. If it proceeds, it can advance like a stereotype. Only when both reach for a common space can the parallel lines of different practices find resonance. (p. 9) Of course, this common space and these parallel lines are not always neat. In this dissertation, knots are frequently more telling spaces than metaphoric parallel lines, although parallel lines—as you will see—are also always present in this work, as much as I long to move beyond their gripping grids. Although I structure both the installation series and the dissertation around the title, Threads sown, grown & given, even finalizing this title was a constant challenge, as I  47 struggled to give words to a process I could not foresee nor contain. As the project emerged, this title changed slightly from that of my original proposal, Threads sown & grown, sewn & given, to Threads sown, grown, woven & given, and finally to Threads sown, grown & given with its tricky reliance on a symbol, the twisting, knotting ampersand, as a description of the conjunction ‘and’ for when I brought the materials and discourses of the project inside for the winter and spun flax to linen with my drop spindle. Ultimately, you are welcome to read the dissertation in any order if you are interested in going down different theoretical, methodological, material, and discursive garden paths throughout the dissertation. Following this introduction, the second chapter of the dissertation reviews the long and oftentimes difficult history of school gardens. This history is not only difficult because school gardens have nearly always failed to survive on physical school grounds but also because the school gardens that have thrived have frequently espoused difficult and oppressive ideologies. My critical historical review begins with Epicurus’ Garden School in ancient Athens (Harrison, 2008), where friends gathered, gardened, ate, and studied together outside of the political sphere of the polis, setting in motion what I argue is the separation of nature and culture in educational practices and spaces. Following Epicurus’ Garden School, I move to North American Indian residential schools, where school farms and gardens were central to the assimilation of First Nations children into western sedentary life, religion, gender roles, language, and food culture (Miller, 1996; Milloy, 1999). Since my interest in school gardens is shaped by my personal history as a German-Canadian settler, I also turn to the difficult history of school gardening during the Nazi era in Germany. During the 1930s and into the wartime period, the German ministry responsible for education required school gardens in all schools, as part of its strategy for teaching its Blut und Boden (blood and soil) ideology (Jacob, 2002; Walder, 2002). School gardens were places where children could be rooted to the soil, where race education and eugenics could be taught, and where the soldiers and mothers of the nation would be raised. While contemporary school gardening focuses largely on environmental education, nutrition, and sustainable food production, I feel that it is ethically imperative to respond to this difficult past and recognize where colonial, patriarchal, religious, and other oppressive ideologies may continue to play out in the material and discursive performances of school gardening. The remainder of the dissertation, through the installation series Threads sown, grown & given, is my  48 attempt at responding to the past and creating reparative and regenerative conditions for new pedagogical practices and relationships to emerge. While the installation series began in April 2012 with Threads sown, the third chapter of this dissertation, “Threads Given: The Gift and the Garden,” begins with the final gift-giving phase of the installation series that began in the spring of 2013. Sami scholar, Rauna Kuokkanen’s (2007) work is the point of departure for my attempt at responding to the difficult history of school gardens, becoming a scholar within the colonial, capitalist, and patriarchal legacies of the academy, and experimenting with regenerative, gift-giving relationships with the land. Many of the stories in Chapter 3 circle around my relationship with beautiful, useful, unruly, and threatening fireweed, which entered the installation at the time when I planted it as a circular ring at the centre of the classroom frame. Spun around the edges of the installation frame were linen memory webs, beautiful spider webs created in collaboration with student teachers and Jeannie Kerr that contained the canvas bundles of personal and collective histories of our relationships with gardens. Through encounters with fireweed and making spider webs, “Threads Given” becomes a space for collaborative relationships to emerge that generate new ways for becoming teachers together and caring deeply about land, relations frequently incommensurable with academic constraints. Chapter 4, “‘&’: Knotting Materials and Discourses Together,” follows the three weeks (November 13–30, 2012) of the indoor ‘&’ installation in the basement of the teacher education building, where I sat spinning flax to linen with a drop spindle. Like the twisting knot of the ampersand or a linen thread looping and knotting around itself, this chapter is organized around four difficult knots. The first draws heavily on material feminist theorizing to consider what comes together when we (educators, nonhumans) ‘become teachers together’ through an arts-based installation with student teachers. The second knot responds to the sense of being alone and struggling with a sense of failure that pervaded the entire research project but became unavoidable while I sat in the quiet basement spinning flax to linen for three weeks. This knot considers this solitude from various angles—the necessity for individual subjectivity within collectives, the limitations of collaboration in my arts-based research methodology, the failure of setting, and, turning to Thoreau’s (1995) Walden, the place of solitude in environmental education. The third knot explores Pitt and Britzman’s (2003) notion of difficult knowledge and  49 pedagogical performances of shame (Werry & O’Gorman, 2007) in the context of decolonizing education, and how Jeannie Kerr and I struggled with difficult knowledge in working with student teachers during the November 20th research event associated with the indoor installation. Finally, the fourth knot draws on critical animal studies and critical plant studies to consider the rather magical implications of becoming spider that emerged as I used my drop spindle to spin flax to linen thread in the basement of the teacher education building. In Chapter 5, “Threads Grown: An Unruly Metaphor for Becoming Teachers Together,” I consider the first research event on August 2, 2012, when Jeannie Kerr’s class of student teachers participated in the installation at The Orchard Garden. The vivid, green flax plants growing in and—at this point in the season—sprawling beyond a rigid grid of 24 student desks captivated the student teachers. Metaphors linking students and plants, teachers and gardeners sprang to life, often with disconcerting and unsettling implications. The themes that I explore in this chapter all tie to the notion of growth, first in its hopeful form in terms of natality (Arendt, 1998) as a way of thinking through the challenging binary of freedom and constraint that the garden installation brought to the fore, but, second, through the cliché of the garden-as-teacher and the implications this has for raising students and growing gardens. Growing a dissertation is also a powerful way of conceiving research methodologies differently, particularly through arts-based research in environmental education. Finally, I consider and mourn the limits of growth, how growth is always accompanied by death, and how death and extinction have particular resonance as people continue transforming the earth’s biosphere in the Anthropocene. Closely related to “Threads Grown” are “Threads Sown,” and in Chapter 6 I return to the first moments of the installation series when I sowed a grid of that most useful line (flax, linum usitatissimum) at The Orchard Garden. The chapter struggles to explain my relationship with land and soil, which is profoundly shaped by my history as a German-Canadian settler. I also consider how this relationship shapes discourses and practices in landscape design, and the design of Threads sown, grown & given in particular. Inasmuch as I desire to relate with land beyond grids and blank slates framed by nationalism, colonialism, possessive control, and territorialism, these frameworks continue to be present at every twist and turn down the garden path of the research installation. Finally, I question the very frame of “Threads Sown” from a  50 queer, feminist perspective, recognizing that ‘sowing seeds’ is difficult terrain, particularly in terms of agriculture, raising children, and conceiving arts-based research. To conclude the dissertation, Chapter 7 gathers the threads that have been sown, grown, knotted, and given through this arts-based research. I explore how arts-based research in teacher education, and, in particularly, with gardens, has allowed me to attend to failure (Halberstam, 2011) in educational practices and spaces. This leads me to consider what I term a pedagogy of enclosures as a way to understand the heterogeneous relationships, ethical limitations, and boundaries that frame—yet do not determine (Barad, 2003)—pedagogical relationships and practices. 	   51 Chapter	  2	  –	  Down	  the	  garden	  path	  again?	  A	  critical	  history	  of	  school	  gardens	   	  In this critical history of school gardening, I follow some difficult school garden paths, starting in ancient Greece with Epicurus’ Garden School, continuing with gardening and farming activities as central to the North American Indian residential school system, and finally delving into the difficulties of Blut und Boden (blood and soil) ideology during Nazi Germany. While much of this historical narrative is assembled from my research drawing largely on secondary sources and archival photographs, research that engages with personal and collective memories of school gardening during residential schooling and Nazi Germany would provide compelling and much more nuanced accounts of these complex times. Nevertheless, in going down these garden paths, I hope to share historical narratives that resonate with my personal autobiography and are animated with emotion, ambiguity, and responsibility rather than delegating historical events to the distant, inaccessible past. This chapter engages historical perspectives on school gardens primarily for two reasons: to bring needed complexity and criticality to our9 understanding of contemporary school gardens and, in bringing this oftentimes difficult past into our obscure relationship with the present, compel garden-based educators to explore and enact our responsibilities in response to social and ecological traumas and their ongoing impacts.  Currently, the growing interest in school gardens in Europe and North America emerges from a long history of experiments and revivals in school gardening initiatives. While numerous garden-based education researchers have explored various facets of this history (e.g.: Desmond, Grieshop & Subramaniam, 2002; Gaylie, 2011; Herrington, 2001; Kohlstedt, 2008; Subramaniam, 2002; Tomkins, 1986; Trelstad, 1997; Wake, 2008; Warsh, 2011; Waters, 2008; Williams & Brown, 2012), other garden stories still remain to be told and heard. In English-speaking North America and Europe, for instance, historical reviews tend to focus on the contributions of educational theorists such as Comenius (1592-1670), Rousseau (1712-1778),                                                 9 Though I write here in a general sense, using ‘our’ and ‘us’ pronouns, I recognize that this historical response is tightly bound to my personal autobiography and situated knowledge (Pinar, 2011; Haraway, 2004) as a German-Canadian settler.   52 Pestalozzi (1746-1827), Fröbel (1782-1852)—who developed the first ‘Kindergarten’ or children’s garden—Dewey (1859-1952), Montessori (1870-1952), and Gandhi (1869-1948). In very general terms, these theorists were interested in education that connects children to nature, theory to practice, schooling to life, and school to home or community through experiential learning in gardens, both in rural and in urban settings. While this is the explicit curriculum of school gardening, going down the garden path again and re-interpreting these practices suggests other curricular conversations are also at play. In broad brushstrokes, school gardening in North America has also historically responded to and been embedded in: nationalistic efforts geared toward cultural assimilation, especially for new immigrants; Christian religious beliefs; wars (e.g., Victory Gardens and the United States School Garden Army); commitments to cultivating gender roles and a strong work ethos; a desire to re-vitalize rural economies and practices; opportunities for urban working class economic development; anti-intellectualism favouring hands-on labour rather than book learning; and changing practices and laws regarding child labour and child-adult relationships. A closer reading of school gardening in ancient Greece, Nazi Germany, and North American residential schooling continues to elaborate on many of the themes listed above, particularly those of nationalism and colonialism. While the physical presence of school gardens has been transient and ephemeral, the shifting theoretical ‘grounds’ for these pedagogical experiments still requires excavation. Genocide, eugenics, racism, patriarchy, nationalism, colonialism, and human control over the natural world are not what we commonly associate with garden-based education, yet these paths are to be found if we are prepared to journey down them. The challenge remains for garden-based educators to reflect on and explore pedagogical practices that offer an ethical and situated response to this difficult historical knowledge. Epicurus’	  Garden	  School	  In 306 BCE, Epicurus (341 BCE – 270 BCE) bought a small garden property inside the Athenian walls, on the same road to Plato’s academy, and founded the Garden School. According to Harrison (2008), “it was in this little garden that one of the greatest and most successful schools in history took root and spread out across the ancient world” (p. 72). Epicurus’ Garden School is known as the third of the permanent Greek schools after Plato’s  53 Academy, located in a grove sacred to the hero Academos situated outside the city walls, and Aristotle’s Lyceum. However, the Garden School, unlike the other two schools, was on private property and, therefore, according to Harrison (2008), enjoyed more academic freedom. It was also the first to allow women and slaves to become members. Furthermore, the Garden School is attributed to being the first attempt at bringing gardens within the boundaries of the Athenian city walls. As Elder Pliny (as cited in Giesecke, 2007) stated, “It was Epicurus, the master of undisturbed leisure, who first instituted this practice [of gardens within cities] in Athens; until his time it had not been customary for the countryside to be inhabited inside towns” (p. 89). Giesecke (2007) attributes this “fourth-century ‘withdrawal’ of philosophy into the garden” to the “gradual deconstruction of the city wall as the physical and ideological safeguard of the Athenian polis” (p. 90). Moreover, Giesecke explains, Athens at this time was also extremely anthropocentric, to the point that humanity was privileged over Nature, and the city had become a violent dystopia necessitating the incursion of gardens into the city walls as places of sanctuary. The relationship between the city, politics, and nature is central to the philosophical questions asked by the philosophers at all three ancient Greek schools. Epicurus, however, explicitly distanced his philosophy and his Garden School from politics. He depoliticized happiness and dissociated it from its traditional link to citizenship, contrary to the philosophical approaches of the times, which linked happiness with participation in the polis. Philosophy should serve the interests of life, not the city, espoused Epicurus. Unlike the garden at Plato’s Academy, which was only peripheral to the philosophy of the school, Epicurus’ garden was central to his pedagogy. As Harrison (2008) suggests, Epicurus’ Garden School was an actual kitchen garden tended by his disciples, who ate the fruits and vegetables they grew there. Yet it was not for the sake of fruits and vegetables alone that they assiduously cultivated the soil. Their gardening activity was also a form of education in the ways of nature: its cycles of growth and decay, its general equanimity, its balanced interplay of earth, water, air, and sunlight. Here, in the convergence of vital forces in the garden’s microcosm, the cosmos manifested its greater harmonies; here the human soul rediscovered its essential connection to matter; here living things showed how fruitfully they responded to a gardener’s solicitous care and supervision. Yet the most important pedagogical lesson that the Epicurean garden imparted to those who tended it was that life—in all its forms—is intrinsically mortal and that the human soul shares the fate of whatever grows and perishes on and in the earth. (p. 73-74)  54 By accepting this intrinsic mortality, Epicurus sought to cultivate a “care of the self” (Foucault, 1988) in which one no longer feared death as something unknowable due to an inability to understand the immortality of the soul. Rather, Epicureanism called for meditation on mortality as the fate of both body and soul, which are born and die together…the garden played a crucial pedagogical role, for by revealing on a daily basis the interconnectedness of growth and decay, by revealing how death is the consummation and not merely the termination of life, it served to renaturalize human mortality. (Harrison, 2008, p. 75) In cultivating gardens and human friendships, Epicureanism sought patience, generosity, conversation, love, non-aggression, and gratitude as central virtues to living a good and pleasurable life. The ideas that were cultivated in Epicurus’ Garden School continue to challenge and excite scholars today, although the path of these ideas to contemporary conversations is a fascinating story in itself. Epicurus’ central interests in life, death, and pleasure were informed by his atomistic worldview, by which, similar to Democritus, he understood all things to be created by invisible, indivisible particles or the “seeds of things” (Greenblatt, 2011, p. 185) that swerve together in the void yet also fall apart and decay. Democritus’ and Epicurus’ ideas continued into Roman times through Lucretius’ poetic text De rerum natura. According to Cosgrove (2008), Lucretius offered a dramatically different vision of nature from the more familiar Aristotelian description of a mutable elemental world of earth, air, fire, and water placed within a perfect and unchanging celestial realm. Lucretius’ cosmos consisted of atoms, ‘preserved indefinitely by their absolute solidity’. It is a world without origin or end, but of continuous change and reformation. And the governing force that powers this mutation is sexual love. (p. 79) These powerful ideas, however, disappeared for nearly a thousand years and were only rediscovered in 1417 when a Renaissance humanist, the book hunter Poggio Bracciolini, discovered De rerum natura in an ancient monastery (Greenblatt, 2011). With great difficulty, risk, and opposition (particularly from the Catholic Church), the central ideas of Epicureanism—that we ought not to fear death, that we can live pleasurably since life and matter are made of randomly moving atoms that swerve, come together, and then return to the void—slowly entered Renaissance humanist thought. Epicureanism, through Lucretius, influenced the work of scholars from Galileo to Montaigne, Bacon, Darwin, and Bergson. Barad (2003), however, suggests that  55 Democritean (and Epicurean) atomism created the conditions for “representations on the one hand and ontologically separate entities awaiting representation on the other” (p. 907). Posthumanism, material feminisms, Indigneous knowledge practices, and arts-based methodologies challenge this binary, however, the influence of Epicureanism continues to shape popular and scholarly conversations. Reading about Epicurus’ Garden School is a provocative experience for an advocate of garden-based education. On the one hand, I hear the lulling melody of a tune I know well and for which I cannot not long: a connection with nature, acceptance of the natural cycles of life and death, and the intertwining of human bodies with the matter of the world. On the other hand, it is precisely this rejection of politics in the first known (western) school garden that raises alarm bells and interrupts my dreams of compost love-ins. What is it about foundational western educational thought that believes that learning, politics, and the natural world can be separated? Either you participate in the polis or you frolic in the garden with Epicurus and his friends. Apparently, these garden paths have diverged for over two thousand years and, while the Garden School and Epicureanism are directly related to the horrors of residential schooling and Nazi Germany, this historic separation of nature and culture continues to reverberate. Residential	  schools,	  school	  gardens,	  and	  school	  farms	  Largely absent in contemporary narratives of school gardening history (see Kohlstedt, 2008, for an exception) is the experience of First Nations10 children in Canadian and US American residential school, where thousands of children learned first hand how school gardens and farms can be used to erode identities; disrupt connections to place, family and community; and lead to emotional, physical, and spiritual harm. In the 19th Century, residential schooling became an increasingly pervasive tool to assimilate First Nations peoples into Euro-Canadian and American society. As Miller (1996) indicates, political and economic shifts in North America accompanying the end of the War of 1812 and the merger of the fur trading Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company in 1821 eliminated the need for the colonizers to benefit from First Nations peoples leading traditional lives. Furthermore, to allow for increased                                                 10 Additional research is needed to understand the impact of an agricultural focus in residential schooling had for Métis and Inuit children.  56 European immigration and expand agriculture into forested regions, First Nations people were increasingly severed from their traditional lands and livelihoods. These dislocations, combined with the growing severity of famine resulting from decreasing wild animal populations on shrinking land-bases (particularly for Prairie Indians, see Carter, 1990), led to various government attempts at assimilating First Nations peoples through church, education, and farming. Since outright extermination was deemed not strategic, “Assimilation through evangelization, education, and agriculture would have to be the policy after 1830, because more coercive methods of achieving the ‘Euthanasia of savage communities’ were inimical, expensive, and politically dangerous” (Merivale, 1841, p. 511, as cited in Miller, 1996, p. 75). This three-pronged approach to “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” was encompassed within the residential school system. The photograph from 1902, captioned ‘Brandon Indian School Garden Boys,’ is a haunting reminder of the importance of acquiring and controlling land through European agricultural practices and values in the assimilationist tactics of residential schooling (see Figure 6). Interpreting this photograph is similar to interpreting that of the now infamous before and after photographs of Thomas Moore: Here he [Thomas Moore] is framed by the horizontal and vertical lines of wall and pedestal—the geometry of social and economic order; of place and class, and of private property the foundation of industriousness, the cardinal virtue of late-Victorian culture. But most telling of all, perhaps, is the potted plant. Elevated above him, it is the symbol of civilized life, of agriculture. Like Thomas, the plant is cultivated nature no longer wild. (Milloy, 1999, pp. 5-6) However, gazing at and interpreting photographs of residential schooling risks positioning these images as sepia-stained symbols of a tragic past. By inserting these photographs, or ‘using’ them, in my dissertation, I risk instrumentalizing these images to tell a particular story of residential school history, without embedding the photographs in ethical relationships and responsibilities, particular times and places, nor engaging with the ways in which (and reasons for which) these photographs were produced, circulated, archived, and made available. While an old photograph may appear to belong to the distant past, the effects of residential schooling—and other colonial practices of taking away and assimilating First Nations children (Fournier & Grey, 1997)—have not been neatly framed and archived for hundreds of thousands of residential school survivors  57 and generations of their children. Similarly, for settlers, viewing these photographs (and reading historical texts), therefore, can be shameful (Werry & O’Gorman, 2007) and affective reminders of the present-day implications of colonialism in education and in human/land relationships.  Figure 6 - Brandon Indian School, Garden boys harvesting carrots, 1902 (The United Church Archives, n.d.) Note. From “Brandon Indian School, Garden boys harvesting carrots, 1902,” UCCA, 93.049P/1363bS, Reprinted with permission. Barner, the photographer of the Brandon Indian School Garden Boys, carefully positioned the group of similarly aged boys (where are the girls and children’s families?) in clean clothes along the neat rows of the expansive carrot field. The school and presumably the Principal’s house loom in the distance, visible across the cleared, deforested, and ‘civilized’ landscape. The boys’ industriousness is visible in the bounty of their harvest. As Milloy (1999) writes, according to the Bagot Commission: “Increased knowledge would be useless, the commissioners reasoned, unless it were harnessed to industriousness, the well-spring of progress, which in turn flowed  58 from the individual ownership of land” (p. 16). Privatizing land ownership, rather than traditional communal and sacred relationships with the land, was integral to the colonial teachings of the residential school system, which sought to divide First Nations communities by offering successful residential school graduates their own parcels of land—on the condition of enfranchisement within colonial society and relinquishing their “Indian” status and affiliations (Milloy, 1999, pp. 16-21). John West, founder of the West River boarding school, encapsulated a prevailing sentiment that gardening could be a powerful tool in assimilating First Nations children: Necessity may compel the adult Indian to take up the spade and submit to manual labour, but a child brought up in the love of cultivating a garden will be naturally led to the culture of the field as a means of subsistence: and educated in the principle of Christianity, he will become stationary to partake of the advantages and privileges of civilization. It is through these means of instruction that a change will be gradually effected in the character of the North American Indian. (West, 1824, p. 150-151, as cited in Miller, 1996, pp. 69-70) While gardening and farming were important considerations for assimilation, the goal of school economic and food self-sufficiency was both a necessity for basic survival and the outcome of profound racial inequalities in Canadian society due to the severe under-funding of residential schools by the Canadian government. According to Churchill (2004), “a U.S. investigating commission found in 1928, ‘much of the work of Indian children in boarding schools would…be prohibited in most states under child labour laws’” (p. 45), although exceptions were made on the grounds that the labour prepared children to become self-sufficient by learning a trade. Churchill (2004) asks a pertinent question, however: how many shirts does a girl need to make to become proficient? Clearly, industriousness and production—not education—were the central goals. For instance, in the United States at the Genoa Indian School, “300 acres were under cultivation by 1890, producing corn, oats, wheat, potatoes and sorghum, virtually all of it sold at market” (Churchill, 2004, p. 47). Even within the vocational training they received at school, Miller (1996) describes how the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs in 1898 considered it a “waste of money” and an “injury” to educate children “above the possibilities of their station” (Miller, 1996, p. 158). As such, an androcentric system of education was developed wherein boys in particular were to “learn something of farming, gardening, care of stock and carpenter work” (Ferrier, 1906, p. 27, as cited in Miller, 1996, p. 158). Miller describes how girls were educated separately from boys,  59 with an emphasis on domestic skills. In addition to all the household chores, girls also learned to garden: “Our own women have to do a great deal of garden work, and it is of the greatest importance that the Indian girl should know how” (Ferrier, 1906, p. 26-27, as cited in Miller, 1996, p. 159). Farming also presented seasonal rhythms out of synch with the “mechanical schedule of a school curriculum” (Miller, 1996, p. 258). Harvesting, for instance, required the labour of the entire school and Miller is astounded “that school officials seemed only dimly aware of the impact of such demands on child labour were likely to have on academic performance” (p. 259). However, for many students, outdoor work was also considered one of the better aspects of residential schooling,11 since it was less supervised and away from the school building (Miller, 1996, p. 268). In “Une Main Criminelle,” Jack Funk recounts Alphonse Little Poplar’s recollections of L’École St. Henri residential school. While moral and religious training was the school’s first priority, learning how to work was its second: The inability of the Indian people to work in the ways of the white man was seen as a serious drawback that had to be overcome. The boys took care of the cattle, did the milking each day, looked after the horses, sawed and split wood as needed, while the girls did general housekeeping, knitting, and worked in the kitchen…There were fifteen acres of garden produce and both boys and girls worked in the garden under the supervision of a Sister. The children did not mind working in the garden because there they could speak Cree without the nuns hearing them. (Funk, 1995, pp. 66-67) Children could also surreptitiously access extra food while doing farm chores, although this was largely insufficient to compensate for the serious malnutrition that was prevalent at residential schools—and even exacerbated by the physical labour requirements of working on the school farm. Policies and practicing forcing parents to send their children to residential schools combined with disallowing parents from visiting residential schools and only providing minimum vacation time for children to return home were central mechanisms in ensuring that children would comply with the assimilationist tactics of the missionary teachers and the federal government. Carter (1990) also reveals how removing children from their families was tied to agricultural                                                 11 Personal communication suggests that residential school survivors have vastly different relationships with gardens after leaving residential school. While traumatic for some, gardening could also be therapeutic, a connection to land, and a useful survival skill for others. More research is clearly needed in this area for a more nuanced understanding of Indigenous gardening practices following residential schooling.   60 education and treaty negotiation processes which led to the settlement of First Nations onto increasingly smaller parcels of land and simultaneously a loss of sovereignty by becoming wards of the state. For instance, during the 1880s, Prairie Indian parents required passes to visit their children in industrial schools; however, these passes were only issued upon recommendation of the reserve farm instructors, and “were issued only to parents who promised not to interfere with their children or try to bring them home” (Carter, 1990, p. 152). In the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council report (1996), their study describes how the children brought the teachings of residential school home and “became agents of change when they came home and made fun of their parents, made fun of old practices, didn’t want to be taking part of ceremonies and ritual because those things were wrong and were the work of the devil” (p. 138). Although many individuals and communities resisted—and continue to resist—these changes, intergenerational ruptures occurred throughout all aspects of First Nations culture, language, spirituality, cultural identity, and their connection to their land as a result of the Indian residential school system. A central facet of First Nations culture that was disrupted through residential schooling was the relationship with food. At the level of food and eating, a culture’s land-based and cultural practices are conjoined; however, by separating children from their families, communities, and traditional food practices and forcing them to work on residential school farms, prepare and eat industrial food sitting in oppressive, regimented dining halls, and suffer chronic lack of nutritional food, these children often acquired profoundly unhealthy relationships with food, their bodies, and their culture. Miller (1996) describes instances where residential schools had inadequate food to feed the children, yet they refused to accept ‘country food’ hunted by the children’s parents to supplement the children’s diets. Based on testimonies by Nuu-chah-nulth residential school survivors, this experience of the hidden curriculum of food in residential schools is conveyed in compelling terms in the following testimony: “Nuu-chah-nulth people were mush. Mush and Brown Bean! Not something to be particularly proud of. Where in the past…relations would have boasted of having killed a whale, and invited another tribe” (Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996, p. 130). Mush and brown beans, day in and day out, eroded the cultural practices of generosity around food and the pride that came from preparing and sharing food grown, gathered or hunted on the land. The impacts of this are still being felt today in many First Nations communities.  61 Throughout this difficult history, First Nations communities made consistent attempts to ensure that their children received appropriate education as part of treaty negotiations. Parents wanted their children to learn to speak English and to learn to read and write so that they could help their communities and their elders to participate in what First Nations communities recognized was a rapidly changing society. Some First Nations communities also demanded to be taught agricultural skills in order to adapt to reserve life and the decline in wild animal populations; however, the failure of First Nations reserve agriculture can clearly be attributed to governmental reluctance to provide the support required to make these ventures a success (Carter, 1990). For instance, by actively preventing First Nations farmers from acquiring and learning to using the necessary agricultural technology and convincing reserves to surrender their lands, the government undermined treaty agreements and contributed in large part to the failure of agriculture on reserves (not to mention devastating famines). Until the 1990s, very few studies investigating the failure of reserve agriculture acknowledged the role of the Canadian government, attributing instead the failures on the Indians’ lazy character and culture (a colonial doctrine taught to children in residential schools, as Funk (1995) writes, see above). However, Sarah Carter’s (1990) book, Lost Harvest, offers a compelling historical analysis of the Prairie Indian Reserve farmers that effectively debunks the colonial myth that First Nations peoples were incapable of sustained, manual labour: The standard explanation for the failure of agriculture on western Canadian reserves is that the Indians could not be convinced of the value or necessity of the enterprise. It was believed that the sustained labour required of them was alien to their culture and that the transformation of hunters into farmers was a process that historically took place over centuries. (Carter, 1990, p. ix) For instance, many researchers attributed the failure of agriculture on reserves to the First Nation’s cultural perspective that agriculture violated a sacred relationship with earth by turning over the soil. Carter (1990) suggests that a revision of this view is necessary, since First Nations initially were much more determined than the government to see farming succeed. In the early decades of reserve life, “tribal councils were in favour of agriculture, resource development, and education but objected to new programs of the 1860s that aimed at assimilation and destruction of traditional culture” (Milloy, 1983, as cited in Carter, 1990, p. 14). Furthermore, most First Nations peoples in the Americas already practiced forms of agriculture, despite being unrecognized as such by the colonial invaders. Although largely unaccounted by Euro- 62 Canadians, “before European contact, agricultural products accounted for about 75 per cent of food consumed by North American Indians” (Carter, 1990, p. 35). Contemporary research indicates that the empty, pristine wilderness ‘discovered’ by the colonial invaders was in fact a highly anthropogenic landscape, even in the non-agricultural areas along the Pacific coast. For instance, Turner (2005) describes extensive gardening practices in the cultivation of entire forests through controlled burn practices and the creation and maintenance of berry gardens, clam gardens, and tidal gardens. These diverse—and possibly unrecognizable—gardening practices are important reminders that while gardens may be enclosures, these enclosures are not predetermined but rather fluid, heterogeneous frames in different places and times. While treaty processes originally set out the importance of agricultural education, parents, however, were highly critical of residential schooling from the outset: “For the parents of residential school children, the excessive demand that the schools often made on their children’s labour was one of the most frequent and vociferous complaints lodged against the institutions” (Miller, 1996, p. 252). By 1910, First Nations communities were in favour of day schooling and protested against boarding and residential schools that were located far away from the children’s homes. They criticized the schools for “poor food, clothing, lack of hygiene among the children, and too much work on the school farm” (Miller, 1996, p. 142). Various high-level government officials were also aware of the poor living conditions for children in residential schools. For instance, Duncan Campbell Scott, Deputy Superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs, Canada, observed in 1913 that “fifty percent of the children who passed through these schools did not live to benefit from the education they received therein” (Churchill, 2004, p. 34). Clearly, of the three highly unequal partners responsible for or legally in control over First Nations’ children’s education within settler colonialism—the government, churches, and First Nations communities and families—it was the latter, Miller (1996) insists, that consistently cared about the quality of children’s educational experience. The church and government were blindly pursuing their goals for assimilation. Ultimately, Indigenous communities’ apparent lack of ownership or control over their lands was used to justify colonial usurpation under the guise of ‘improving’ land-use practices. Ownership was secured by action rather than word, action that made use of the land in ways that English people could appreciate – planting and tilling, gardening, building a  63 house, bounding a space… A properly fenced garden was property…[T]hose that did not plant gardens or did not fence them or did not create landscapes that bore imprints familiar to the English did not possess the land and could not have property rights to it… (Harris, 2002, p. 48, as cited in M’Gonigle & Starke, 2006, p. 52) Following this logic, therefore, meant that teaching ‘appropriate’ agricultural practices was a central facet of assimilation through residential schooling, and, when those attempts failed, the government and churches could easily return to prejudiced dogmas that First Nations peoples were inherently incapable of practicing agriculture. Reconceptualizing agriculture, not as a standard of civilization but as assemblages of material-semiotic relations and practices, shifts the register of who controls the land, what land-based practices are validated, and how these relationships can be taught and performed. To conclude, what this difficult history suggests is that school gardens—and agricultural practices more generally—are not neutral spaces employing neutral pedagogies simply in the best interests of children, society or the environment. Instead, school gardens are located within complex ecological, social, political, religious, and economic networks at local and global scales. The Indian policy that originated in the 1830s sought to achieve the total assimilation of Indians into white society through missionaries, schools, and agriculture. However, the central role of gardening, agricultural and manual or domestic labour in the Canadian and U.S. residential school system also emerged alongside the destruction of the buffalo and other key ecosystems, increased immigration and the arrival of European farming practices, the decline of the fur trade, ongoing wars, crop failures, famine, progressivist pedagogies, and the ever-present, deeply rooted racism within imperialistic betterment discourses of Euro-Canadian and American colonizers. The government’s policies for improving the genetics, environments and morals of Aboriginal peoples in the prairie west were applied through residential schools and the imposition of agricultural lifestyles. Residential schools sought to re-socialize Aboriginal children by instilling Euro-American concepts of gender, sexuality, appropriate behaviour in particular places, discipline and morality through curriculum and spatial arrangement. The government had decided that as Aboriginals were not going to ‘vanish’ conveniently, they had to be made more like the white settlers of the prairie west through manipulation of their genetics, their material goods, their health, their homes and their use of space. The key concepts of the pseudo-sciences of eugenics and euthenics, and the social purity movement, although not always directly employed, underpinned Indian Affairs policy. Residential schools and agricultural programs demonstrate the weight of influence of the betterment discourses on the DIA. (Bednasek & Godlewska, 2009, p. 458)  64 Considering that residential schooling has been equated with genocidal practices and policies that continue to reverberate today requires ethical responses from contemporary garden-based education researchers and proponents, as difficult as this may be. The other garden story I turn to now, that of school gardens in Germany and during Nazi Germany in particular, only makes the need for this response all the more necessary. German	  school	  gardens	  &	  Nazi	  ideology	  The ideological view during the Victorian era that farming was a key evolutionary stage to becoming civilized was a perspective held by many of the promoters of school gardens and farms for Canadian and U.S. residential schools. In Canada, “farmers were told that agriculture was the foundation of the wealth and prosperity of a nation… Farming was promoted as a noble and sacred occupation, a natural and healthy way of life that elevated ‘morally and emotionally, if not intellectually’” (Jones, 1982, p. 99, as cited in Carter, 1990, p. 20). In Germany around the same time period, “agrarian romanticists in the nineteenth century had stressed the ‘organic unity’ of people and the soil and had depicted peasants as the healthy ‘backbone’ of society” (Gerhard, 2005, p. 131). It is these themes of health, bodies, Blut und Boden (blood and soil) that get taken up during Nazi Germany with ominous tenacity, and are particularly evident in the betterment discourses of school garden pedagogy, theory, and design of the day. The seeds for this genesis, however, were planted long before the 1930s and Hitler’s rise to power. Fernande Walder’s (2002) detailed historical review and Ulf Jacob’s (2002) discourse analysis of the history of school gardens in Germany trace the problematic connections and entanglements between school gardens, German national identity, historical context, ecology, and pedagogical innovations.12 Considering that the German school garden movement set much of the tone for European and North American school garden movements, unearthing and reflecting on this history is critical as school gardens continue to see a growing renaissance. As Jacob (2002) and Walder (2002) illustrate, the metaphoric relationship between gardens and gardeners, children and teachers has long existed in western, particularly Germanic,                                                 12 Paraphrasing and direct citations from German-language sources in this dissertation are all based on my own translations.  65 educational philosophy. In 1650, Comenius allegorically describes the work of the pedagogue as the art of the arborist who selects cuttings from trees to plant out as young trees in “God’s Garden” (as cited in Jacob, 2002, pp. 1-2). Around 1700, the Pietist August Hermann Francke started a school garden that, through botany and garden work, would bring children to know and love God’s creation. Inspired by Locke and Rousseau, early garden pedagogues sought experiential learning opportunities that respected the ‘natural,’ pure state of the child. The garden was the space where micro- and macrocosm could be explored, and the medium by which individuality and well-ordered sociality could be cultivated (Jacob, 2002, p. 4). Following the restoration period after the Napoleonic war, the school garden movement led by religious, philanthropic, and romantic pedagogues stagnated and only continued by way of detours. In Switzerland, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi promoted school gardens in the early 1800s. In 1840, Friedrich Fröbel (see Figure 1) legitimated his Kindergarten by drawing on the old romantic metaphor of teacher as gardener and child as plant, raised naturally in harmony with God and nature (Jacob, 2002, p. 4). By 1869, Austrian school policy included school gardens, which, as Jacob (2002) states, set a significant example for the rest of Europe to follow. However, in keeping with intentions driving early school garden initiatives, this interest in school gardens extended far beyond plants and flowers: the real harvest was to be cultivated citizens (Jacob, 2002, p. 1). Significantly, both Austria and Prussia had demonstration school gardens on display at the Vienna World Exhibition in 1873. It was not until the late 19th century that school gardening became, as Walder (2002) writes, “interesting, exciting, and confusing” because it was at “this point that school gardening had access to the public school system” (p. 13). This more contemporary school garden movement alternated between affirmation and criticism of modern society, although it largely positioned itself in opposition to industrialization, urbanization, and promoted nation building. With reforms to science education in both Austria and Prussia, school gardens became closely linked to botany lessons; however, their role once again extended beyond pragmatic knowledge and included “conditioning students in morality and ethics” (Jacob, 2002, p. 5). In the 1870s, Erasmus Schwab, the most vociferous and well-known proponent of the modern German-language school garden movement, praised work or labour (Arbeit) as the pedagogical tool to teach proper thinking and action. The growing  66 emphasis on work led to the creation of the “Arbeitsschulbewegung” (vocational school movement). By the turn of the century, romantic undertones once again coloured this connection between gardens, work, and education by allusions to “Erdsegen” (earth blessings). This was combined with an increasing emphasis on physical health and hygiene, in which gardens and consuming vegetables were considered mildly therapeutic for the excessive sitting associated with studying, the ills of urbanization, poverty, alcoholism, and a lack of experiences in nature (Jacob, 2002, p. 5). At the 1896 International Garden Design Exhibition in Dresden, a 1500m2 model school garden was developed that highlighted the geology, soils, and native plants of the German homeland. The hope was that these model native plant gardens would cultivate a sense of “Heimatspflege” (care of homeland), and, as Fritz Hasselberg stated in 1912, “tie children with a thousand bands to the homeland they have learned to love” (as cited in Jacob, 2002, p. 6). According to Jacob (2002), this school garden movement was less a reaction against modern, industrial society and its elite classes than a missionary movement to protect the homeland from the internationalizing, proletariat masses of the city. Moreover, the movement both generated and reproduced the “socio-cultural imagination of ‘homeland’…before it could become a widespread, emotionally binding collective understanding with its associated effective history (Wirkungsgeschichte)” (p. 6). By combining physical labour to the love of one’s homeland, the transition to “Kriegs-Schülergärten” (war student gardens) was clearly in place. During the First World War, teachers were called upon to prepare the bodies and minds of children in preparation for war. School garden proponents seized the moment to position gardens within these pedagogical efforts: “School gardens, the Cinderella of German pedagogy, now have the opportunity to step out of the shadows and do their part to destroy the plans of our enemies” (Förster, 1916, as cited in Jacob, 2002, p. 6). Much like in Canada and the United States, war, therefore, became a catalyst for developing school gardens, which became linked with patriotic virtue and were seen as an elixir for the rebirth of bodies and souls. Physical garden work also provided an anti-intellectual alternative to studious ‘head’ work (Kopfarbeit), and re-positioned physical labour as a source of pride. Paradise is not urban intellectual pleasure, Förster (as cited in Jacob, 2002) proclaimed in 1916, “paradise is gardens and chickens, food for the pigs, the smell of freshly turned soil…The German Volk, raised out of the fields, requires the  67 soil of the fields beneath its feet…The origins of our Volk is the family. And the family necessitates soil” (p. 7). With its battles against invasive weeds and efforts to cultivate strong German bodies and souls connected to the German soil, school garden ideology emerging from World War I set the ground for the significance school gardens would assume during Nazi Germany. Following the economic, social, and ecological destruction of the war, school gardens in the Weimar Republic grew increasingly popular. Food shortages and global economic depression combined with growing sentiments of pastoral romanticism and anti-modernization also sustained the movement, with its emphasis on self-sufficiency, subsistence, and anti-urbanization. Labouring in the school garden was again perceived as an antidote to urban degeneracy, the end of the family, children’s lack of nature experiences, and a general cure-all for physical ailments. Improving health through school gardening particularly emphasized the benefits of air- and sunbathing (Hecker, 1940), all which led to increasing students’ physical strength and “hardening them off” (a gardening concept to acclimatize tender greenhouse plants to harsher, outdoor conditions) in preparation for adulthood (Jacob, 2002, p. 8). A recurring debate during this period concerned garden design and whether students should work in individual plots and cultivate self-sufficiency and autonomy or, as Kerschensteiner (as cited in Jacob, 2002, p. 8) suggested in 1920, work in communal plots to cultivate a work community. Foreshadowing the Lebensraum (living space) rhetoric during the Third Reich, which legitimized Germany’s eastward territorial expansion to obtain additional land for the German people and food production, Jacob (2002) argues that school gardens also cultivated in the collective consciousness a desire for expansion, since these projects were also continuously hungry for additional land. School gardens were seen as vehicles to educate Germans to become—after a period of increasing alienation from the land—“settlers” again. In particular, garden proponents focused on the emerging youth culture, seeing gardens as the ideal, authentic location to remove children from the tarnished prejudices of older generations in order to learn natural laws and appropriate social mores surrounded by plants, animals, soil, water, light, and fresh air (Jacob, 2002, p. 9).  68  Figure 7 - Cover of a German school gardening guidebook by Portheine (1938) to guide teachers in adopting the new 1937 ministerial policy for school gardens in all schools. The shocking materiality of receiving this original publication (stamped by the Nazi regime) in the mail through an Amazon book order was—and remains—profoundly unsettling. With Hitler’s rise to power, school gardens were of increasing significance in cultivating a collective, Völksich connection to Blut und Boden. In 1934, the Prussian Minister of Science, Education, and “Volkbildung” recommended that “every school have a school garden associated with it” (Jacob, 2002, p. 9). This was followed in 1937 by a Ministry document entitled “Guidelines for the installation and use of school gardens in elementary and middle schools” that also laid to rest debates around school garden design. The Ministry’s position was that “the school garden should be a communal garden; its purpose to teach collective thinking. Single  69 garden beds for individual students are to be rejected” (as cited in Jacob, 2002, p. 9). As such, school gardens and their existing ideological discourses became an ideal space for implementing the National Socialist mythology and ideology of Blut und Boden. Richard Walter Darré, Germany’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, capitalized on widespread, romantic notions of blood and soil by adding two key elements that were not central to the traditional version prior to the Third Reich: He linked the notion of blood to race and eugenics, and he connected the word soil to the concept of German expansion, self-sufficiency, and living space (Gerhard, 2005). School garden proponents, such as Max Müller and Adolf Teuscher, clearly enunciated how gardens, with their emphasis on work and physical education, supported the political ideology of Nazi Germany and Germany’s “renewal.” With the National Socialists’ massive, centralized reforms to education, school gardens became both the “battleground” for new economic policies and the location for the necessary re-ruralization of the entire society (Jacob, 2002, p. 10). Garden-education’s central priority, therefore, was the physical and moral education of soldiers and mothers; however, race education (Rassenkunde) was also an important duty of the school garden. In terms of this Rassenkunde, plants were not neutral objects; their social construction as “beneficial” or “pest plants,” lent themselves to, as Jacob (2002) argues, a war against weeds and a rehearsal of a mentality of biological extermination.13 Hitler’s ideas expressed in Mein Kampf were readily taken up in garden education literature, including in Höfner’s (1937) book Der Schulgarden in der Unterrichtspraxis (The school garden in teaching practice). While Portheine (1938, see Figure 7) did not personally support the Nazi Party (Plasger, 2007), the links with Blut und Boden ideology are nevertheless apparent throughout his German school gardening teaching guide. For instance, in one section, Portheine (1938) offers instructions on how to design a 4-bed garden to teach Mendellian genetics, in which patriarchal and racist language of racial purity abounds, since dominant ‘normal’ genes are linked to the father plant and recessive ‘abnormal’ genes with the mother.                                                 13 While this is strong language, weaker versions continues to circulate in contemporary North American school garden rhetoric, with little reflection as to the impact that words such as connecting to the soil, native plants, and invasive species have when the dominant cultural, economic, and ethnic classes—particularly women—continue to promote school gardening in highly diverse communities of First Nations children and multiple generations of settlers from around the world.  70 Pine (2010) recognizes that school gardens were a useful tool for National Socialist pedagogy and indoctrination. According to Pine, “one of the most dangerous strengths of Nazism was its ability to exploit of [sic] apparently innocuous activities and popular sentiments for its sinister aims” (p. 20). In the apparently apolitical space of the school garden, a microcosm was created for the Volk or ‘national community’ through innocuous activities such as children working together to build community, learning physical skills, and gaining practical agricultural knowledge. More sinister, however, was how, through experiments on soil, fertilization, and genetics…links were made between particular plants and the ‘German nation’, the importance for the ‘national community’ of fruit and vegetable growing was shown, and hereditary transmission as demonstrated in the school garden was used to emphasize racial and eugenic issues. (Pine, 2010, p. 44) Extending beyond the specific realm of school gardens, the National Socialist emphasis on exposing children to the purity of nature and the moral teachings of agriculture contributed to the creation of children and youth camps and volunteer labour activities on farms. Nazi education centred on youth culture and socializing children by removing them from the influence of teachers and the family. In 1936, the Hitler Youth Law granted the Hitler Youth “equal status to the home and the school in educating German children” (Pine, 2010, p. 100). The Hitler Youth held massive power over children’s education during Nazi Germany, since all other youth groups were dissolved by Hitler’s government and massive propaganda campaigns encouraged all school children to join. By 1939, it became law that all youth ages 10-19 participate in either the Hitler Jugend (HJ, Hitler Youth) or Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM, League of German Girls). Hitler Youth actively fought against the authority of church, school, and their parents, and were encouraged to spy against their families.14 Physical fitness, gender-specific roles and training, and land service were central aspects of the youth movements. A Hitler Youth document from 1940 stated: “Land service is the political task of National Socialism. Its purpose it to bring back boys and girls from the cities to the land, to create new recruits for the agricultural occupations [i.e., Germany’s Lebensraum eastern occupations in Poland] and thus secure their continuous existence” (Pine, 2010, p. 103). During the war, nine                                                 14 This rejection of parents and teachers is not so clear-cut, however. In Herbst’s (as cited in Pine, 2010) memoir, he writes, “Did we leaders of boys leave our parents and teachers, or did our parents and teachers leave us? We could not have said” (p. 102).  71 million BDM girls took part in volunteer agricultural labour, and thousands of boys and girls were sent to the newly occupied territories as part of the efforts to prepare the expanded Lebensraum for German agriculturalists.15 Furthermore, young German children were removed from the cities to the countryside in a program called the Kinderlandverschickung (KLV), in order to protect them from allied bombing and instil a connection between German identity and the beauty of the German countryside. These camps, however, were also an ideal space for socializing children in Nazi ideology, which was an aspect of the camps that concerned many parents who only reluctantly agreed to send their children away (Pine, 2010). Like the assimilationist tactics employed by residential schooling, the Nazi approach to education was to remove children from the influence of their families and connect them to particular soil-based ideologies. At these rural camps, agricultural work and pre-military training through drills, songs, and marches were part of the KLV program. Following World War II, Förster, a former Nazi-member and well-respected within East Germany, strategically drew on historical school garden ideologies to re-position the movement. Seeing the chaos of the post-war moment as an opportunity, Förster suggested, once again, that relationships with plants and animals through school gardening was healing and that healthy relationships and families emerged out of the green garden. Repeating earlier discourses, Förster suggested that girls would learn to be housewives and mothers, and children would learn to love the homeland through working the German soil. Drawing lessons from the disaster of the communal garden plot, West Germany shifted toward individual garden beds that celebrated petty-bourgeois ideals of ownership, individualism, competition, order, cleanliness, trading, and gift-giving (Jacob, 2002, p. 11). In East Germany, “Mitschurin-Garten” school gardens were modeled after the socialist directions coming from the Soviet Union. By 1955-1956, the ministry recommended that all schools install school gardens, based on ideals of collective work and the dialectic of individual/social transformation. Not surprisingly, these gardens were designed and tended communally.                                                 15 Like many German youth, my grandparents participated in these youth programs, and my great-uncle was sent to a KLV. I have a photograph of my grandfather sitting in a dark pine forest with his HJ group, and my grandmother occasionally talked about her time working on a farm during the war. These extensive land-based activities are a source of ambiguous memories for my grandparents, who enjoyed the songs, camaraderie, and freedom but recognize the oppressive mechanisms that led to the formation of these youth groups.  72 Similar to trends in the UK, the United States, and Canada, by the 1970s the school garden movement in Germany had become characterized by the environmental movement’s apocalyptic fears and romantic longings to return to the earth. Jacob (2002) indicates how, once again, the school garden movement was linked with expectations that experience, environment, and self-directed activities would reach the whole person: head, hands, and heart (a Pestalozzism) through work in individual garden beds and collective labour: “The school garden opened up a free space for unalienated experiences with self and world” (Jacob, 2002, p. 12). While Jacob (2002) clearly presents a critical and sceptical portrayal of historical school gardens in Germany, he leaves the garden gate slightly ajar, offering a glimmer of opportunity for contemporary school gardens if they become open to the dissonances of the present and uncertainties of the future. Otherwise, Jacob (2002) intones, school gardens will continue to go down the same garden path again and again, in which: School gardens socialize and acculturate children into mainstream or alternative social ideologies, acting as both mirror of the socio-cultural context and medium of its realization. Thus, the gardens are pedagogical instruments relying on holistic ‘Menschenbildung’ (education/raising of humans) to create ideal humans through ideal socialization, according to the ideology of the day. (p. 14) School gardens that critique, question, and reflect profound uncertainty—instead of instrumentalism and extreme social engineering—are uncommon in the histories I have explored to date. Perhaps it is time we explore other pedagogies of landscape, not to silence this past but to learn from it and change alongside these difficult histories. School	  gardening:	  Impossible	  possibilities?	  Drawing parallels between residential schools and Nazi Germany through the lens of the school gardening movement is ugly work, which could potentially be construed as an ultra-conservative polemical device to undermine genuine efforts to create positive pedagogical landscapes on schoolyards. However, the centrality of moralizing about agriculture’s educational, spiritual, and physical benefits in Epicurus’ Garden School and within both the residential school system and in Nazi Germany highlights the need for careful and loving critiques of a cherished educational idea, ideal, and—once again—practice. While churches and governments in Canada and the United States used school gardens in residential schools as a  73 colonial tool to assimilate First Nations children as bottom-rung citizens into white society, the Nazi regime used school gardening and agricultural education more broadly to indoctrinate white, German children. And yet, both ascribed to an uncritical, apolitical betterment ideology and colonial efforts to control and acquire land. Like Epicurus’ desire to improve human lives by connecting them to natural cycles of life and death, Bassin (2005) explains how German blood and soil ideology was politically manipulated to describe the “Naturbedingheit” (nature dependency) of the Volk: “Like all natural organisms, the Volk derived its most vital impulses and sustaining energies from these ecological connections, and it was only by maintaining them in a healthy state that the health of the nation could be insured” (Bassin, 2005, p. 206). Unravelling how both residential schools and the Nazi regime positioned parents and intergenerational relationships as antagonistic to processes of indoctrination and assimilation is key in understanding these difficult pedagogical landscapes. Ultimately, repairing and reconciling school gardening history in the context of contemporary school gardening practices and research will require dramatic instances of unsettling or decolonizing what is often an over-familiarity with the notions or dreams or experiences of both gardening and schooling. Central questions in this process of ‘going down the garden path again’ are: What is a school garden and how are school gardening pedagogies and curricula received historically and in particular places? What are the contemporary implications of school garden history? And, finally, how can difficult histories be repaired and reconciled? These questions may open up spaces for difficult knowledge and unsettling garden-based educational practices that twist territoriality and temporality into generative and complicated pedagogical knots. Going down these complicated garden paths, again and again, may cultivate material and discursive modes of growing critical historical and place consciousness—precisely the kinds of decolonizing and reconciliatory curricula that school gardening can potentially perform. Simon (2006) identifies various options for how historical wrongdoings can be taken into account: memorialization, historical study, retribution, apology, reparation, and the sense of ‘never again.’ To this list he adds a different but complementary form of “non-indifference:” Our concern is with remembrance as simultaneously an ethical and a pedagogical practice…In other words, how might remembrance be understood as a praxis creating the possibilities of new histories and altered subjectivities? Our interest then is new memorial  74 spaces, temporal and ontological boundary spaces that advance, encourage, and enable practices of critical learning through which one might explore the fundamental terms of relations with an absent presence that – through the trace of testament – arrives asking, demanding something of us. (pp. 186-187, my emphasis) Simon (2006) recognizes that the traces of the past expect a response, “But how should this be done? Who is required to do it? And for how long must this remain a task?” (pp. 184-185). Simon suggests that this task is inherently political, pedagogical, and public. It can also be very personal and local when the effect of remembrance touches us deeply. In this case, to be touched is not only an affective state of shock, anger, or sadness but “a movement toward the other in which one draws closer…wherein the cognitive terms on which one makes connection with others is shaken, put up for revision” (p. 189). Through arts-based research and the site-specific installation series Threads sown, grown & given, remembering, inhabiting, and teaching these histories becomes an emotional, intellectual, physical, personal, and public pedagogy.   75 Chapter	  3	  –	  Threads	  given:	  The	  gift	  and	  the	  garden	  All this cynical talk of development: giant, 18-storey concrete blocks, 1000 beds, 10 million in revenues, and the gift of a university education for international students to pursue western post-secondary education. It hardens me. In the words of one of the developers, by July 2014, ‘all hell will break loose’ and The Orchard Garden will become one enormous construction site. These are the conversations that haunt me, and I spread their poison to everyone with whom I talk. The word ‘Gift,’ in German, means poison. But then, this afternoon, I entered the circle of fireweed and spread the softest, warmest, most fragrant bed of golden flax tow in between the woven flax straw mats. A bed. A womb. A gift. (Research Journal, June 14, 2013)  Figure 8 - Gift of flax tow and a circle of fireweed, The Orchard Garden, Threads given, 2013  76  Figure 9 - Gift of linen memory webs and fireweed, The Orchard Garden, Threads given, 2013 For indigenous people, the world’s stability, its social order, is established and maintained through giving gifts and recognizing the gifts of others, including the land. The gift constitutes a specific logic that not only is different from that of the increasingly consumerist and careerist academy but also represents a radical critique of the logic of exchange. The gift logic … is grounded in an understanding of the world that is rooted in intricate relationships that extend to everyone and everything. Because of these relationships, this logic emphasizes reciprocation with and responsibility toward all others. (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 7) The installation series, Threads sown, grown & given, concluded with an exploration of gift giving (see Figures 8 and 9). Gift giving emerged as an important theme for this work in July 2011 as I was reading Sami scholar Rauna Kuokkanen’s (2007) book Reshaping the University: Responsibility, Indigenous Epistemes, and the Logic of the Gift. Kuokkanan suggests that the academy must confront its own colonial, epistemic ignorance in its incapacity or unwillingness to come to terms with Indigenous knowledge, particularly as this pertains to the gift paradigm. Kuokkanen’s message struck a nerve, which I describe in a narrative later in this chapter, and led  77 to the following questions: What does gift giving mean for me, a nonindigenous doctoral student, and for the academy in general? What is the relationship between gift giving, teaching, and education? What does it mean to give gifts to the land? And, finally, provoked by the critical, historical garden-based education discourses I confronted in the initial garden installation: What is the relationship between the gift and reconciliation as an ethical response to difficult knowledge? These are not easy questions, in part because it turns out that gift giving is a highly complex concept and practice. Giving gifts to people does not come naturally to me, a rather minimalist and self-sufficient Anglo-Saxon who gives laughter, smiles, words, and time to projects and people but is uncomfortable with material gift giving. And yet, I framed a research project for myself that was to end with an exploration of the notion and material practices of giving gifts to the land, a strange, attractive, and impossibly hopeful conclusion to a project that started out critiquing historical connections between gardens and education in the space of a contemporary university campus teaching and learning garden. The im/possibility of giving gifts to the land is further problematic in the sense that, like much environmental education, it draws heavily on the gifts of Indigenous teachings. As Kuokkanen (2007) wrote, While environmental education is increasingly drawing from indigenous land-based philosophies and practices, learning to learn from indigenous epistemes is not simply about learning a land ethic or adapting indigenous peoples’ conceptions of the world in order to develop an environmental philosophy. (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 122) Kuokkanen criticized environmental education for ignoring Indigenous worldviews and philosophies, depicting the views of mostly white male scholarship, lacking a historical understanding of colonialism by privileging the present and hearkening to a conflict-free past, and appropriating Indigenous discourses without joining the struggle for Indigenous survival (see the Cherokee activist and scholar Andrea Smith, as cited in Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 125). Finally, Kuokkanen argued, “The biggest problem with using Indigenous peoples as models for reconstructing modern metanarratives, however, is that such projects fail to recognize the reciprocity that is so much a part of indigenous philosophies” (p. 125). Without this recognition, the settler intellectual “hybridizes decolonial thought with Western critical traditions (metaphorizing decolonization), [and] emerges superior to both Native intellectuals and continental theorists simultaneously” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p. 16). Certainly, in attempting to  78 ‘become teachers together’ in relationship with the land through gift giving treads on profoundly difficult territory, and no amount of humility or claims to a lack of knowledge (see Kuokkanen on “not knowing” as colonial ignorance, p. 114) can justify the possibilities for mis/appropriations in this work. In response to Kuokkanen’s (2007) challenges, I approached gift giving through various practices; however, I humbly acknowledge that my failures—particularly in reciprocating and building relationships with Indigenous communities, scholars, and joining in solidarity in Indigenous struggles—exceed my successes, and, as such, much of what follows risks mis/appropriating Indigenous teachings.16 Perhaps the gift of my shame, in the particular sense that Werry and O’Gorman (2007) explore as a way of experiencing relationships, can help toward relations of solidarity, I do not know. Rather than adapting or adopting specific and situated Indigenous teachings of gift-giving practices in Threads given, I attempted to follow affective, intuitive, and idiosyncratic responses that emerged alongside the project and were counter to the prevailing academic culture of rationality and control. As such, in the final outdoor installation, gift giving took a number of forms in this research and installation series; however, future research (emerging from relationships of respect and reciprocity) would be required to understand and respond to specific historical, spiritual, and situated Indigenous gift-giving practices. In this research, I only began this work on a very superficial level. For instance, when I visited UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, I learned in the section on Coast Salish spindle whorls and weaving that gift giving is deeply connected to art, sustaining community relations, and spirituality in traditional and contemporary Coast Salish culture. On an interpretive panel adjacent to a sweater gifted to the Museum by Musqueam artist Christine Charles, I read how spinning and weaving are considered spiritual gifts, and that a novice weaver gives away or destroys his or her first work to show respect for these gifts. Considering that I too would give away my—and the student teachers’—first attempts at spinning flax to linen through the creation                                                 16 During the course of this research, I participated in numerous seminars, presentations, and events at the UBC First Nations Longhouse to learn from Indigenous scholars and communities. I attended the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s sessions in Vancouver and walked in the pouring rain with 10,000 others in the Walk for Reconciliation. I joined in a Round Dance during Idle No More. I marched with environmentalists and First Nations communities against the Enbridge Pipeline. I visited Musqueam on National Aboriginal Day. For many of these events, I brought along my young son. While the list goes on, participating in brief encounters does not constitute engaging in decolonizing solidarity.   79 of ephemeral linen memory webs at the garden, I wonder how much more I could have learned by engaging with Musqueam knowledge holders, artists, and community members directly17 rather than through a Museum installation that perpetuates colonial relations to Indigenous knowledge and spirituality. Nevertheless, the threads of these teachings are spun into this research (albeit ambiguously) and may still lead into future elaborations, collaborations, and decolonizing pedagogies and relationships through the practices of gift giving.   In March 2013, student teachers, Jeannie Kerr, our student gardening and education team at The Orchard Garden, and I spun beautiful linen spider webs in the garden and knotted into these webs the historical images on the canvas windows juxtaposed with our personal memories of gardens. 18Creating things of beauty from the materials of the garden and the difficult historical discourses of school gardening was an attempt at recognizing my personal and our collective responsibility as garden-based educators touched by the difficult histories and ongoing ecojustice issues in our field. The beautiful memory webs were also a way of returning the gifts of the garden (the linen thread spun from the flax from Threads sown/Threads grown) and setting them in motion in ways we cannot predict. A few weeks after spinning the linen memory webs, another garden team member and I harvested fireweed rhizomes from the UBC Farm. After a false start in attempting to plant the fireweed rhizome in the installation site (I found it hard to decide where and in which shape to plant the rhizomes), I finally planted a large circular ring in the centre of the classroom frame. The symbol of the circle juxtaposed with the rigid grid of the flax classroom from the previous summer, yet retained some of the formal, geometric simplicity of the initial design. The circle also suggested a whole new realm of metaphors to explore in terms of ‘coming together,’ a central theme of this project. In terms of teaching, planting a circle of fireweed rhizomes (which I hoped would spread in various directions in the coming years) suggests that teaching is about creating conditions or particular frames from which learning may occur. The circle, I would later come to realize, is in fact the symbol of the gift; however, neither the gift nor the circle are to be taken lightly. Activism also entered the project as a form of gift                                                 17 For instance, while Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow participated in the research as a guest with the student teachers on November 20, 2012, a closer and more reciprocative relationship with her and the Musqueam community would have dramatically altered the discourses and practices of this research, particularly around local practices of gift giving. 18 See my April 3, 2013 blog post (Ostertag, 2013b)  80 giving, when The Orchard Garden was threatened with destruction to build the Orchard Commons, and, finally, this dissertation itself continues to circulate as a gift. In this chapter, I unwind and knot anew the implications of gift giving in relation to land, education, and history by picking up dropped threads at the site-specific installation Threads given, in the literature on gift giving, in personal narratives and stories from the research, and in the implications of the gift for academic research, particularly arts-based research. Throughout this, I return to the overarching question that shapes this research, namely, “What does it mean to become teachers together?” The structure of this section draws largely from a series of situations associated with Threads given and academic literature (Derrida, 1992; Hyde, 1983; Kuokkanen, 2007) pertaining to the gift. The particularly salient threads that will explore in greater depth are (1) reading about the gift while Olivier goes to daycare; (2) the circle and its discontents; (3) coming together through gifts to the land; (4) the threat of the gift; and (5) research, reconciliation, regeneration, and the gift. Finally, however, there are a multitude of additional situations that have resonated with the concept and practice of gift giving throughout this research. In addition to giving gifts through the research process, I also sensed that I received numerous significant gifts. Recognizing that gift giving cultivates relationships, these gifts include the time, connections, and learning that emerged through the arrivals of Jeannie, flax, fireweed, spindles, dreams, and the garden itself throughout the research project. In rather inexplicable ways, these material-discursive assemblages arrived as gifts within this project, and while the following pages are elaborations on more difficult instances of gift giving, I would like to acknowledge their significant presence with as much humility and honesty as possible. Recognizing flax and fireweed, for example, as gifts is also an attempt at faith, which is a rather incongruous concept in an academic culture based on reason and verifiability; however, faith is central to understanding the gift, as we shall see. In many respects, these gifts have propelled the work in this dissertation, driving the project forward and compelling me—in my own journey of becoming scholar—to write provocatively, to write evocatively, and to tell good stories as gifts I now give to you, the reader.  81 Reading	  about	  the	  gift	  while	  Olivier	  goes	  to	  daycare	  The following narrative returns to 2011, at least half a year before I began developing ideas for Threads sown, grown & given, and nearly two years before I planted the gift-giving installation at The Orchard Garden. However, this narrative matters for this métissage (Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers & Leggo, 2009) because it acts as a prologue to Threads given, and marks traces of thought, feeling, and material relationships that become threaded throughout the dissertation. In 2011, I was in the second year of my doctoral program and reading widely to prepare for my comprehensive exams (‘comps’ as doctoral candidates call them). While I no longer recall how I came upon Kuokkanen’s (2007) book on the gift, reading this book was a compelling experience. In many ways, the material and discursive context of my life at that time forcefully shaped my receptivity to the text, which, under any other circumstances, may have left an entirely different impression. Suddenly, gift giving was a concept that resonated throughout my personal life as a young, first-time mother, and Kuokkanen’s recognition of the incommensurabilities inherent in bringing the logic of the gift within the culture of the university spoke directly to my experiences as a doctoral student. As I continued to read, however, I became increasingly disconcerted by the impossibilities of the gift in the context of mothering and becoming an academic. Inasmuch as becoming an academic is about membership in a community of scholars and my theoretical and methodological inclinations tend to human and more-than-human entanglements, at the end of the day, becoming an academic still requires carving out a space of solitude to make the practices of study—particularly reading—possible. While in other parts of this dissertation I explore instances of feeling alone through the process of this research or the implications of solidarity and togetherness, the situation I describe below focuses on an experience of solitary study, made possible by my 22-month-old child entering full-day childcare. With my son in daycare I had the space and time to study the gift. It was this fruitful yet difficult juxtaposition of intellectual work and emotional work that ultimately led to the inclusion of gift giving in the installation series. Olivier is having his third nap at daycare, and I am struggling with this transition much more than with the first three weeks of ‘gradual entry’ where Olivier spent his mornings at daycare and napped here, at home. For 22 months, I have breastfed Olivier for nearly every one of his naps and at bedtime. It is not a burden, and, reading Rauna Kuokkonen’s book  82 on the logic of the gift, I understand precisely how much this has been a gift I have given freely to Olivier.19 We have been together every day, every night, my body nurturing and feeding his body, and—since the moment of his birth—my life intertwined with his. Now he sleeps alone at daycare, and I find myself crying or on the verge of tears. This transition feels wrong, even though Olivier doesn’t cry when he goes to daycare, has learned to fall asleep on his own within two short days, learns songs and independence and confidence, and doesn’t want to come home when I pick him up (as early as possible, overly-attached mother that I am). Suddenly, daycare enters into our reciprocal, caring relationship. Daycare, as much as the teachers there practice care, is based on exchange, on monetary value, on commodification. My recent interest in the gift arose out of latent mulling over mothering, and then came to a spark of recognition when a friend described to me the elaborate feasts his Guatemalan family prepares for any celebration—birthdays, baptisms, holidays, etc. My life in my lovely but lonely at times nuclear family arrangement, located thousands of kilometres from the nearest relative, would never allow for such lavish celebrations. I could imagine the mountains of food, the hours of festivities late into the night, children running about, dancing…and then I thought of our periodic potlucks (with nothing whatsoever in common with the coastal potlatches): tired parents, small offerings of food (frequently re-imagined leftovers), little to no alcohol, and early bedtimes. It’s all we can muster, with jobs (in our particular circle of friends, this is replaced with eternal schooling), bills, debts, and lack of social support systems clawing into our precious circle of mother, father, child(ren). Yet we are of the privileged, and I suspect that our social support network is stronger than many others in our student family housing neighbourhood. University-educated, mostly white, heterosexual: we lack nothing yet we live in a paradigm of perpetual scarcity.20 Increasingly, I see how this exchange paradigm exploits the gift paradigm of women, Indigenous peoples, the Third World, and the natural world.21 These are two incommensurabilities, although as much as the capitalist exchange system attempts to consume gift giving, it is fundamentally dependent on its existence or, as Vaughan suggests, the exchange economy is “an artificial parasite which derives its sustenance from the gift economy” (Vaughan, 1997 as cited in Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 31). I feel incapable of challenging this system. At the basic level of our childcare arrangements, comps, my PhD and The Orchard Garden require my time. Every day, I explain to Olivier that I must go to ‘work;’ creating artificial barriers between me and him,                                                 19 “we are all born into the the gift economy of mothering - nurturing mothers practice unilateral giving to their children” (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 31). Kuokkanen goes on to suggest that mothering is the basis of humanity but that “we must generalize the values of nurturing and care so that they apply to both men and women (rather than use the gift paradigm to justify the exploitation of women and their domestic labour)” (p. 31) 20 “Markets are founded on the principle of scarcity (most obviously, to maintain high prices); in contrast, a gift economy is founded on abundance” (Kuokannen, 2007, p. 30) 21 “Although naturalized as the self-evident norm, exchange is built on the exploitation of cultural traditions and knowledge, of ‘free’ or unilateral gifts of the land, and of cheap (even free) labour, especially in the Third World” (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 30)  83 the adult & the child, work & play. I want him with me; I don’t want to work so that I can pay the daycare bills. So I have an idea: Part of my ethnography in the garden will include Olivier. He will lead me out (educare…) and I will liberate him from our exchange economy for one half day, to spend it with me in the garden. Perhaps he will find it boring or he’ll step on plants or he’ll distract student teachers. My research notes on those days will be messy, incomplete. But it will be my little act of resistance. He can become a co-researcher, co-performer in our garden. I thank Olivier and the garden for these gifts. Ironically and incongruously, I also must thank the daycare for elucidating my desires and fears regarding gifts and the exchange economy. Without daycare interrupting our relations, I wouldn’t have realized how much Olivier and I exist in a reciprocal, gift-based relationship. Even more discomforting, these realizations have been formalized through my academic reading—reading that took place while Olivier was in daycare, reading that emerges from the academic exchange system. Complicity and messiness are everything. (Research Journal, written at home, July 28, 2011) In the end, Olivier was not an active part of my doctoral research project, although of course the material-discursive circumstances of our lives mean that Olivier was always present, even while absent, from the day-to-day process of my studies. While it may seem like including this narrative here is a deviation from the themes of gift giving, land, and education that are the focus of this chapter, this journal entry tracks a critical moment in my coming to understand the significance of gift giving not as something unfamiliar and distant but as something deeply connected with my experiences of motherhood. Although I still struggle to understand the meaning of gift giving to land with the force of recognition that I sensed the meaning of gift giving in relation to mothering, bringing gift giving in relation to land forward in my research and in the installation is intended as my humble and experimental response to Kuokkanen’s assertion that “indigenous epistemes remain an impossible gift due to the prevailing epistemic ignorance in the academy” (p. 7). Learning from Indigenous scholarship is always risky for nonindigenous scholars, and yet, in attempting to give gifts to land, my hope was to better understand and explain the im/possibilities of the gift from my particular material-discursive situation rather than to romantically assimilate gift giving into my understandings and practices. However, as the journal entry already suggests, my personal journey of becoming a teacher/academic was already deeply imbricated in the tensions between gift giving and the individualist, linear, competitive, and careerist paradigm of economic market exchange in academia.  84 Exploring the concepts, histories, practices, discourses, and materials of gift giving offers insights into the relationship between materials and discourses, particularly (but not exclusively) in educational contexts. As my narrative suggests, however, it is undeniable that gift giving is a practice that sits uneasily for women enmeshed in modern, patriarchal models of market exchange. Hyde’s (1983) The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, offers an insightful view on this dilemma: What we take to be the female professions—child care, social work, nursing, the creation and care of culture, the ministry, teaching…all contain a greater admixture of gift labour than male professions…Furthermore, the female professions do not pay as well as the male professions…. But if we could factor out the exploitation [female labour is underpaid], something else would still remain: … ‘Female’ tasks—social work and soul work—cannot be undertaken on a pure cost-benefit basis because their products are not commodities, not things we easily price or willingly alienate…Gift labour requires the kind of emotional or spiritual commitment that precludes its own marketing. (pp. 106-107) Unfortunately, this already discouraging picture of unpaid women’s gift labour is further exacerbated as women enter into academia: family formation negatively affects women’s, but not men’s, academic careers. For men, having children is a career advantage; for women, it is a career killer. And women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high price. They are far less likely to be married with children…Unfortunately, more women Ph.Ds. has meant more cheap labour…The early years are the most decisive in determining who wins and who loses. Female graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have babies while students or fellows are more than twice as likely as new fathers or than childless women to turn away from an academic research career…Women professors have higher divorce rates, lower marriage rates, and fewer children than male professors. Among tenured faculty, 70 percent of men are married with children compared with 44 percent of women. (Mason, 2013) The implications of Mason’s (2013) research are in line with Kuokkanen’s concerns: academia and the gift-giving paradigm of motherhood are deeply at odds. One thing that both Mason et al. (2013) and Kuokkanen (2007) stress, however, is the importance of time in addressing these inequalities: We wanted students to feel that families are welcome at any time, including in graduate school. The new policies included paid maternity leave for graduate students, help with child care, and a stop-the-clock option so that men and women doctoral students who became parents could take a year longer to complete their degree without being penalized. (Mason et al., 2013, p. 5)  85 Kuokkanen (2007) approaches this issue from a less practical angle and one aimed at questioning the hegemonic conditions that have made these incommensurabilities possible. Although she acknowledges “the apparently irreducible differences between [Indigenous and nonindigenous] worldviews” (p. 11), she is optimistic: if we commit ourselves to examining our own assumptions, and reject the hegemonic will to know, and accept our responsibilities to the ‘other,’ we will encounter possibilities of reciprocation at the level of different ontological understandings. This will require a different temporality, one that challenges today’s dominant preference for quick fixes and for cost-effectively mass-producing graduates within predetermined time frames. (p. 11-12) The time of the gift brings together two complicated notions within the frame of the circle. It is the double binds of this circularity, for instance, in reading about the gift, learning about the gift, recognizing the gift in my relationship with Olivier, and simultaneously losing the gift in my relationship with Olivier, that seemingly marks the impossibility of the gift in academia. The	  circle	  and	  its	  discontents	  The circle has already put us onto the trail of time and of that which, by way of the circle, circulates between the gift and time. One of the most powerful and ineluctable representations, at least in the history of metaphysics, is the representation of time as a circle. (Derrida, 1992, p. 167) As Derrida (1992) writes, both time and the gift are linked through the symbol of the circle, a symbol of togetherness and community. Hyde (1983) also offers some celebratory, affirmative language linking the circle and the gift: The gift moves in a circle, and two people do not make much of a circle. Two points establish a line, but a circle lies in a plane and needs at least three points…When I give to someone from whom I do not receive (and yet I do receive elsewhere), it is as if the gift goes around a corner before it comes back. I have to give blindly. And I will feel a sort of blind gratitude as well…When the gift moves in a circle its motion is beyond the control of the personal ego, and so each bearer must be a part of the group and each donation is an act of social faith. (p. 16, emphasis added)  86  Figure 10 - Planting a circle of fireweed rhizomes, Threads given, March 2013 The circle is also an ecological symbol of interconnections. However, just as the etymology of the word garden reminds us of the relationship between gardens and enclosures, circles are also enclosures where the relationships and movements between the insides and outsides of this enclosure can become difficult and contested terrain. Furthermore, Hyde’s invocation of “faith” as part of the recipe required to understand and belong to the group that participates in the gift raises the question of circular argumentation and tautology, since the logic of the gift thus requires faith in the gift to be effective. Both tautology and faith are rather impossible grounds for rational, Eurocentric academic research! And yet, how did I come to plant a circle of fireweed (see Figure 10) in the final stage of the installation series, Threads given? How did I know to come to these symbols? I had not yet read Lewis Hyde (1983) nor Jacques Derrida (1992), and while I had read Kuokkanen (2007) and her thoughts on the circulation of the gift, I had not made the connection between circulation and the  87 circle. In my recollections, the circle came to me via Paulette Regan’s (2010) book on reconciliation that I read in 2012 after having planted Threads sown. Regan and her colleagues draw on dialogue circles, circle work, and ceremony in their work on reconciliation and decolonization: “Circles are universal places of connection that invite paradigm shifts. Although circles have a certain structure and format, what happens within each circle is unique and unpredictable” (p. 19). Shifting from the grid to the circle seemed like a reconciliatory response to the difficulties of school gardening history explored in the first installation, and yet, even then it took a long time for this pattern to become settled in my various design sketches and on the land. One difficulty I encountered in settling on the form of the circle was in the translation of design sketches to material possibilities. For instance, for a short while, I entertained the idea of using the linen thread to create large circles suspended in the air throughout the frame of the classroom, like floating concentric rings. My blindness to the impossibility of circles made of lines hit me with shocking force—I still had not learned that flax, linum usitatissimum, is the plant of lines, that woven linen is a tight grid and will never become a symbol of circles. The spider webs, therefore, were a return to the memory of becoming spider during the ‘&’ installation while I spun flax to linen, and, although the webs may look circular they are in fact entirely composed of straight lines suspended in short segments. Later, I decided to literally depict the idea of Threads given by planting the fireweed in the form of a looping thread, and this is the design I originally dug into the installation site. But as I stood there, poised to plant, I lost the vision and was frozen with uncertainty. I went home to my journal and—by writing, sketching, and thinking attentively—ultimately decided that a simple circle of fireweed plants was the appropriate design. Although this would once again be a tidy and contained form, I was excited by the ways in which the rhizomatic growth of the plants themselves would grow outside of my control. Furthermore, this unruly circle worked as a representation of the teacher’s role in setting certain conditions or frames for learning to occur, and yet the plants themselves could exceed this representation—much like it is impossible to determine the outcome of pedagogical encounters. As such, when I finally planted the circle in the installation, my sense was that it symbolized more about teaching than an actual expression of gift giving. As the fireweed grew,  88 however, the material sense of beauty, generosity, and abundance gifted by this circle also grew in unexpected ways. Months after I had hacked down the fireweed plants as part of my promise to the student gardeners to stop them from spreading their fluffy white seeds throughout the garden, I read Derrida and Hyde on the gift. There it was again: the circle. There is something confirming and disquieting about this closure and symmetry of thought within the patterns of other human thoughts and practices. I felt like I had somehow won a prize or a gold star for getting the right answer. Wasn’t I just so clever? But again, how did I know to grow a circle? Who/what were my teachers? Is there really a universal human understanding of the gift? What’s missing here in this totalizing discourse? Increasingly, it felt like the tautology in the gift is both its promise and its impossibility. Derrida (1992) suggests that our common sense definition of the gift, as someone giving something to someone else, is inherently tautological, since “it seems to imply the defined term in the definition, which is to say it defines nothing at all” (p. 11). Trying to define or rationally understand the gift, it seems, swallows its magic and calls it “the impossible” (Derrida, 1992). As Hyde (1983) writes, “the gift is lost in self-consciousness. To count, measure, reckon value, or seek the cause of a thing, is to step outside the circle, to cease being ‘all of a piece’ with the flow of gifts and become, instead, one part of the whole reflecting upon another part” (p. 152). While Hyde and Derrida have very different understandings of the circle, Derrida’s (1992) conclusion seems rather similar: [i]f the figure of the circle is essential for the economic, the gift must remain aneconomic. Not that it remains foreign to the circle, but it must keep a relation of foreignness to the circle, a relation without relation of familiar foreignness. It is perhaps in this sense that the gift is the impossible…Not impossible but the impossible. The very figure of the impossible. (1992, p. 7) Rather than Hyde’s essentialized relation to the circle (which is necessary for the exchange model of economics), Derrida recognizes a relation of foreignness between the gift and the circle. My ambiguous relationship with the form of the fireweed circle in Threads given, my hope that the fireweed exceeds this formal symbolic structure, and my uneasy sense that none of this—fireweed circles, linen memory webs, this dissertation—are truly gifts are perhaps all ways in which I have remained outside the circle, foreign to the gift.  89 After she was diagnosed with cancer, Sedgwick (2003) explored academic interest in Buddhism, including her own, in her essay Pedagogy of Buddhism. Similar to my discomfort with the universality that seems implicit in getting trapped in the circle as the symbol sine qua non of the gift, Sedgwick (2003) struggles with the tautology that challenges her own and others experiences of “recognition” in the face of Buddhist teachings. Reflecting on the popular American brand of Buddhist recordings called Sounds True, Sedgwick (2003) writes, I’ve noticed that for all its modesty, ‘sounds true’ is a good description of how it feels to assent to or learn from these teachings. It describes mainly an exchange of recognition—at best, of surprising recognition. As if the template of truth is already there inside the listener, its own lineaments clarified by the encounter with a teaching that it can then apprehend as ‘true.’(p. 165) Recognizing the tautological impossibility of such a statement, Sedgwick simply states, “it’s hard to know how to think about this hermeneutic situation” (p. 165). “Precisely! Hurray!” I shout silently as I read Sedgwick’s work, smiling at the double recognition that this text awakens. Inasmuch as I struggle with an academic definition of the gift, I personally sense a kind of recognition in the importance of gift giving, and judging by the multitude of academic and popular literature (as well as folk stories, as Hyde makes evident) on the topic, the gift resonates across academic disciplines, cultures, and times. The trueness of recognition aside, Sedgwick (2003) nevertheless struggles where to place this experience: Does this encounter with knowledge come through a blanket ignorance via adaptation, “where the Western consumer selects from a complex Buddhist tradition only those elements that symmetrically answer to specific situational needs” (p. 165)? Or “the sense of recognition arises from bringing together with its Buddhist original some historically Buddhist idea now naturalized by its continued usage in Western thought” (p. 165)? Finally, Sedgwick offers a third impossible option: “is it that the teachings one gravitates to sound true because they are true, and that certain people, Eastern and Western, simply recognize them as such through some kind of individual access to an ahistorical, world-overarching stratum of the philosophia perennis” (p. 166)? The problem with all three options, Sedgwick contends, is that they leave untouched the apparently tautological nature of the pedagogical scene itself. By the criterion of ‘sounds true,’ one can apparently learn only what one already knows—whether one knows it through one’s ‘own’ native culture, through long-term cultural introjection of historically foreign ideas, or through direct intuition. (p. 166)  90 One of the key differences, Sedgwick suggests, between Western and Buddhist pedagogy is that Western learning is linear: you don’t know and then you cross over a threshold into knowing. Buddhist pedagogy is more circular and repetitive with its focus on recognition as both an ends and a means of Buddhist knowing. Sedgwick (2003) turns to the circle as a pedagogical form for engaging with knowledge, although she leaves the door open from where this knowledge may come. As Derrida (1992) suggests, [o]ne should not necessarily flee or condemn circularity as one would a bad reputation, a vicious circle, a regressive or sterile process. One must, in a certain way of course, inhabit the circle, turn around in it, live there a celebration of thinking, and the gift, the gift of thinking would not be a stranger there. (p. 9, emphasis in original) Planting a circle of fireweed and spinning circle-like spider webs with a group of student teachers was an attempt at certain ways of thinking with the gift, inhabiting the circle of fireweed, and getting caught in entanglements of recognition and repetition. Gatherings,	  giftings,	  and	  the	  mound	  One of the central questions of this research is to explore how discourses and materials come together in becoming teachers. When I framed my research proposal and the installation series, the generosity and hospitality that are associated with gift giving seemed a way to both reconcile the difficult history of school gardens as well as a way to set conditions for humans and the more-than-human to come together in pedagogical encounters. Threads given, the final installation in the garden—with its circle of fireweed and its delicate memory spider webs—was my experimental yet heartfelt (why does the word experiment seem to preclude the heart?) attempt to invite others both human and more-than-human into the project and into teaching relationships. Just as in giving gifts to other people, [i]n worldviews characterized by the giving of gifts to the land, the emphasis is not on fear of retaliation but rather on expressing gratitude for the gifts and kinship provided by the natural realm. The main purpose of the gifts to the land is to sustain the relationships on which the socio-cosmic order is based. (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 29) Whether these acts of gift giving brought people and land into relationships is the focus of this section.  91  Figure 11 - Fireweed mound, Threads given, 2013 In returning to what comes together in the fireweed circle gifted to the land, I draw on Ingold’s (2013) explorations into mounds as places that bring people and things together, folded into the landscape through processes of landshaping. While not a perfect mound, in many ways the fireweed installation at the garden ended up being quite mound-like in shape, since the pathways around the circle were dug down and the soil that was dug out was mounded up to create the place where I planted the fireweed rhizomes (see Figure 11). It was not by looking at the circle by standing outside of it, however, that it came to life as a mound. As in Ingold’s (2013) experience with mounds, they are to lie in and on, not stand on: At once, the horizon disappears beyond the periphery of [the traveller’s] visual awareness, which merges with the shimmering luminosity of the sky, while his body is wrapped in the embrace of the damp earth. Thus earth and sky, far from being divided along the line of the distant horizon, are unified at the very centre of the traveller’s emplaced being…Thus the switch in perspective from moving towards an empty space on the horizon to merging with it in the world of earth and sky is associated with the transition from life to death. Yet in another sense, the round mound epitomizes the mystery of life itself, comparable to that associated in Indo-European cosmology with the number zero, signifying the unknowable nothing from which everything comes. (p. 82) In the opening citations to this chapter, I describe how it feels to go into this living mound: “this afternoon, I entered the circle of fireweed and spread the softest, warmest, most fragrant bed of golden flax tow in between the woven flax straw mats. A bed. A womb. A gift.” (Research  92 Journal, June 14, 2013). This womb-like space is both cosmological and political (Ingold, 2013). In Jutland, mounds frequently have the name Tinghøf (Thing Hill) and were used into medieval times as places of assembly, where people would come together. Landskap (landscape) at that time referred to an “imprecisely delimited expanse of land bound into the customary practise and subject to the unwritten laws of those who would gather at the same ting” (p. 82). My dream was that people, plants, and place would come together as teachers in this circular mound but, as in the metaphoric significance of the circle for gift giving and time, I once again was not consciously familiar with the significance of mounds (or Tinghøfs) for gathering, enfolding, and knotting things and people together. Although Ingold does not use the specific language of the gift in describing earthen mounds, it is clear that mounds give life: the mound has no foundations. Nor is it ever complete. One can always carry on adding new material…For the mound is as much of the earth as on it…the mound, we could say, is becoming earth. In fact, the mound forces us to acknowledge that the earth itself is not the solid and pre-existing substrate that the edifice builder takes it to be. It is rather the source of all life and growth. (p. 76) This description of mounds ‘becoming earth” and linked to the source (gift) of life begins to introduce the themes of later chapters, namely, those of natality, growth, death, and the difficult and central role of soil in material and discursive becomings. For now, however, I continue with mounding and what may be gathered in this mound, this giving of life. Cognizant of the risks I take in essentializing my partial, situated, material, and embodied experiences of the mound, I nevertheless recognize that these material-discursive frames enabled me to make things and thoughts possible—and, although these things and thoughts are particular to me, to the garden, and to this project—they nevertheless resonate with Ingold’s (2013) stories of things and thoughts that have emerged out of similar human bodies and their correspondences with similar materials. It is not just geometry—as an abstract form emerging from my mind and projected onto the material world—that dictated to me to create a circular mound. While my journal sketches suggest the circle emerged from such a plan, I really had not paused to consider how I would make this circle until I stood in the garden, poised to dig with my shovel. It was only in making (Ingold, 2013) that I realized that the span of my arms would be the circle’s diameter and that pivoting around the centre of the garden (which I did not find through measurement with a ruler but with a rough estimate based on seeing and knowing the space) with  93 my arms spread would ‘draw’ the circumference of the circle, which I marked at each 1/8th of a turn with little flags. Heady symbolism aside, this circular mound with the diameter of my own body is nevertheless a failure of gathering, of coming together. Lying or sitting on the flax straw and tow matting in the centre was peaceful and an embrace with the more-than-human, particularly the hundreds of humming and darting bees visiting the fuchsia fireweed flowers. It was not, however, a space for human teachers to come inside and be together. I had set out seven flax mats, imagining that perhaps one day I would sit there with a small group of people but that day never arrived. In fact, I am likely the only human animal to have really been enfolded inside the mound’s embrace. For while the other gardeners left their traces (sprinklers, hoses, pulled fireweed going to seed) in the circle, I doubt they ever really lingered there. I even suspect that the flowering fireweed was too irksome for the other student gardeners to enjoy, and likely evoked more anger than a sense of womb-like embrace. In the end, perhaps this solitary experience of togetherness in the circular mound is the inevitable aloneness of coming together. While the mound never gathered student teachers together, Threads given was still a collaborative process and significant in my own stories of becoming an academic and teacher educator. Together with a group of student teachers voluntarily participating in a workshop series on Saturday mornings at The Orchard Garden, we spun the beautiful memory webs on a sunny day on March 9, 2013. Spinning the memory webs was part of a workshop specifically focused on hands-on learning and gardening, where the students also learned about planting seedlings in the greenhouse, composting, and general springtime garden-bed preparation and crop rotations. Before we went outside to the garden, however, I briefly retold the story of my research and Threads sown, grown & given, reminding the students about the earlier installations and its historical themes (we had already discussed this during our first workshop on the history and meaning of school gardens). We then cut up the canvas windows and wrote our own, personal memories of gardens on these scraps. Once outside, groups of students worked with me to spin their webs in pairs and knot their garden memories and garden histories into the webs. Jeannie Kerr and I spun a web together, using the linen thread that we had spun together with her students in November at the indoor installation. The work was peaceful, absorbing, and perfect for people with a bent for perfectionism. Jeannie felt herself becoming a spider as she slipped the  94 spool of thread into her pant pocket, letting it feed out of her ‘spinnerets’ as she went around and around the radial lines of the web that I had already started as a demonstration for the other students. It was while weaving webs with the workshop group where I saw the way in which this theme of becoming teachers together was a significant force in the project. While my relationship with Jeannie grew over the course of the research, my relationship with her students was too intermittent to develop any of the gift giving ties that I was searching for in coming together with other teachers. The student teachers who attended the workshop series joined us in the garden voluntarily, not for course credit, and in addition to their already hectic course and practicum schedules. Together with The Orchard Garden team of student gardeners and educators, we became part of a community that gave and received gifts by coming together. In many ways, this was the ideal scenario of teachers becoming together. Organized entirely by The Orchard Garden team (a group of graduate and undergraduate students from Education and Land & Food Systems), we came together with the student teachers without the disciplinary enclosures of grades, a classroom, a syllabus, or single teacher. Most workshops usually also involved at least one invited guest speaker from the community or an academic expert. When I asked the students to write Field Notes to reflect on their experiences with the memory webs and the workshop as a whole, students wrote about how: This workshop has really shown me how powerful a team of teachers can be. (Student teacher, Field Notes, March 9, 2013) The Garden essentially is a huge community builder. Brings everyone together through learning, physical activity & nourishment (Eating!). (Student teacher, Field Notes, March 9, 2013) In knotting my canvas into the web, I felt vulnerable in putting a personal memory out in the public (even though it was rolled up, tied, and without my name!) I also felt like I was leaving a piece of myself behind —> And was excited about the energy that will be created in the installation from all of our stories coming together. (Student teacher, Field Notes, March 9, 2013) I will never know what the last student imagined this energy would be when stories come together in a place, and yet, I too have felt that this particular research project has been driven by an energy that comes from all these things gathering together. Perhaps it is a peculiar faith in gift giving that is this energy?  95 Threat	  of	  the	  gift	  In writing about the threat of the gift, I am going to share a story that is a secret, one that should almost not have been written. Secrets are particularly dangerous gifts, and since this one implicates me in an instance of campus gift giving (read: activism), I am all too aware of the risks that this gift carries. However, academics may need to engage in risk-taking activism if the logic of the gift is to truly change academic practices and relations. Kuokkanen (2007) recognizes the threat of the gift in the academy: Besides constructing the gift as symbolic violence, colonial and patriarchal authorities have interpreted it as a threat and in this way have demonized and pathologized it…Scholars and theorists have long represented the gift as a paradox, enigma, aporia, simulacrum, or impossibility…The ambivalence of the gift is also reflected in its double meaning. Etymologically, the word for gift in most Romance languages derives from the Latin dosis, a ‘dose,” as for instance in poison” (p. 45-46) With that rather melodramatic introduction, let me share with you the story of how Threads given concluded with a gentle form of activist gift giving. In my original research proposal, I imagined the final installation would be a solemn and rather formal performance for the general UBC community to witness and participate in giving something woven out of linen to the land, perhaps even materials that might resonate with the history of residential schooling in Canada. In the end, however, things unravelled and the threat of imminent construction at the garden emptied this original narrative structure of its emotional strength. While I was satisfied with the gift-giving fragments (memory webs, fireweed rhizomes growing and blooming in a circle, flax straw mats and tow) that had emerged during Threads given, I still did not sense that the installation had come together and fully explored the meaning of gift giving to land. It was a promise made to the student gardeners before I planted the fireweed that changed this situation. Promises, like secrets, are dangerous words to give another person, and before planting the fireweed rhizomes I appeased the student gardeners that the fireweed plants were not threatening to the garden since I would remove the flowers before they went to seed. “But you promised!” One of the student gardeners admonished me.  96 “Yes, I know, I will, I will. But…why does it matter now? The garden will be gone next year…we should just let it go!” I replied, heart pounding, smile brittle, a flush painting my cheeks fire-red, my rebellious instinct grappling with emotions, desires, and desperation as the implications of the garden becoming a construction site sank in once again. “I have a conflict in me as the practical person who is working in the garden with the fireweed, and how it scares me a lot,” the one student gardener replied. “Did we tell you how we had this conversation with two other gardeners and, while one guy was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s interesting,’ the other was like, ‘What the hell are you doing?!’ And this kind of embodies my inner conflict. I do think this use of the weeds ties into your themes really well…but…I’m very scared of them. I’m so scared that next year we’ll have fireweed everywhere. And then we’ll curse your name. [We all laugh]. But, putting aside my fears of the fireweed from a gardener’s perspective, I feel like you’re hitting something more solid with that part of the installation than with the spider webs.” Planting fireweed rhizomes for Threads given came with a promise, but like all promises in fairy tales, promises made in moments of desperation can haunt a person later with dangerous, unpredictable consequences. Now that the fireweed was in bloom, I—and hundreds of bees and other insects—were in love with its ravishing flowers. Also, I wanted the seeds to fill the garden and permeate the soil and drift through the air. I did not want to interrupt the plants and strip them of their seeds, even buoyed by the hope that the remaining underground rhizomes would survive and continue to spread. I wanted to retract my promise to the student gardens and honour a larger promise I made when I invited fireweed into the garden as a gift.  97  Figure 12 - Cutting down the fireweed blossoms, Threads given, 2013 In the end, although my heart screamed in resistance, I cut down the entire circle of fireweed with brutal efficiency (see Figure 12). However, I simply could not throw out the beautiful flowers that I had planted as a gift. While the fireweed flowers—still filled with the lives of bees— slowly wilted in a wheelbarrow at the garden, I returned home to ponder my next step. The next evening, after a long conversation with a friend about the project, we both returned to the garden. I gathered the fireweed in my arms and spread it along the walkway of the campus planner’s building. A large bouquet rested on the door, a gift awaiting the first of the campus planners’ arrival in the morning. My journal entries track the final stages of the gift-giving installation, which I still feel uncomfortable disclosing in a dissertation. Were my actions gift giving, activism, art or research? Can I actually write about these things in a dissertation accredited to me by the very university I critique? My affective attachments and desires aside, my academic reading of Kuokkanen (2007)  98 and Halberstam (2011) was suggesting, “Yes, you must!” After over a year of materially and discursively engaging with the garden through Threads sown, grown & given, I could not passively or silently step aside and accept inevitable destruction, even the destruction I had caused myself by cutting down the fireweed plants. While Halberstam (2011) is sympathetic to moments of failure where we collaborate with oppression, ultimately her utopic vision is of radical fragmentation, an “antisocial feminism that refuses conventional modes of femininity by refusing to remake, rebuild, or reproduce and that dedicates itself completely and ferociously to the destruction of self and other” (Halberstam, 2011, p. 138). Granted, in coming together with fireweed plants, my ferocious act of spreading fireweed on the doorstep of the campus planners is insignificant and all-too gentle; however, it did displace my other more self-destructive desire to respond to the university’s development plans by quitting my doctoral studies in a public spectacle. My only hope is that the smaller action planted gifts of fireweed seeds in new, unexpected places. I fulfilled my promise today to remove the fireweed seedpods before their seeds fill the air and soil. I didn’t rebel. I lingered, learned, listened, hesitated, tried to be present and attentive. Mostly I felt disruptive. The fireweed was filled with bees, even after I cut it all down and it lay—brilliant, radiant, glowing—in the red wheelbarrow. After it was all cut, a sad empty patch remained. But flax plants, straggling and thin, are there. Friendly flax, unthreatening, quiet, humble. Ferocious fireweed, consuming, threatening, unsettling. But what to do with the fireweed itself? It will go to seed unless I dump it in UBC’s compost [UBC has an industrial composter that heats enough to kill weed seeds and pathogens], which seems inappropriate for a gift of regeneration. My desire is biological warfare—to dump the whole load of plants onto campus planning’s lawn or some other disturbed site. Question of soil & its purity is what fireweed provokes. The student gardeners—and this really irks me—let a thousand other weedy plants go to seed everywhere but feel particularly threatened by the fireweed. Because it’s intentional? Art? Rhizomatic? Thistles, bindweed, smartweed, lambs quarters, pigweed, plantain, grasses, and purslane all grow/proliferate in profusion. They are even proud of this. After I cut down the fireweed, I compulsively pulled out a mountain of seedy weeds from other areas of the garden, some nearly as tall as me—spitefully until I was dirty and sweaty. (Research Journal, August 13, 2013, 10:15pm at home) Delivered the fireweed gift to campus planning today—activism, excitement, conspiracy, complicity, friendship. My co-conspirator asked me, ‘What’s this all about?’ I replied, ‘Keeping the gift circulating, in motion.’ Dumping the fireweed blossoms & seeds into the garbage/compost felt wrong, closed, even traitorous to the beauty, life, ‘gift’ of fireweed.  99 You don’t destroy gifts.22 Spreading the plants on the walkway, a final bouquet leaning against the door. Were security cameras watching us? Of course they’ll know it’s from The Orchard Garden and then it’ll be easy to guess it’s from me. But it’s activist, performance art. What can they do? I stand by the action. Nothing was destroyed but perhaps thoughts & feelings were provoked (‘Damn hippy students…’). Perhaps people will talk and wonder what it’s about. So, I feel some closure to leave for our vacation in Ontario now. Seeds in motion. Nomadic gardens. (Research Journal, August 14, 2013, 10pm, at home) And those are the final words of my research Journal. Other journal reflections have emerged while writing this dissertation but the two hand-written books that accompanied the installation series were completed that day. While the installation provided a focused frame for “data-collection,” this process of meaning making with the garden is never-ending and always responsive to particular moments and places. Even as I write this now, I fear how the weedy gift, hastily spread on the steps of the university’s campus planning offices (see Figure 13), is embarrassing, insignificant, wrong, immature, silly, naïve, and—ultimately—a failed ending to the installation series. Taking up Halberstam’s (2011) thinking on failure helps me understand that perhaps no other response was possible. What kinds of reward can failure offer us? Perhaps most obviously, failure allows us to escape the punishing norms that discipline behavior and manage human development with the goal of delivering us from unruly childhoods to orderly and predictable adulthoods. Failure preserves some of the wondrous anarchy of childhood and disturbs the supposedly clean boundaries between adults and children, winners and losers. And while failure certainly comes accompanied by a host of negative affects, such as disappointment, disillusionment, and despair, it also provides the opportunity to use these negative affects to poke holes in the toxic positivity of contemporary life. (p. 3)                                                 22 In fact, contrary to my reflections in my journal, destruction or consumption are ways of acknowledging gifts and increasing their value (e.g., during potlatch ceremonies). (Hyde, 1983)  100  Figure 13 - Threats of the gift, Threads given, August 2013 In fact, the notion of response-ability, Kuokkanen (2007) suggests, is what lies at the heart of gift giving: My particular focus in this book is on introducing a logic capable of teaching the academy that relations and interdependence are indispensable. The philosophy of the gift foregrounds the notion of responsibility as well as a recognition that gifts cannot be taken for granted or regarded as commodities. In indigenous philosophies, these responsibilities are observed through diverse ceremonies (such as the potlatch and various ‘give-back’ practices) and verbal and physical gestures of gratitude (such as the thanksgiving address). The academy has yet to realize that recognition of the gift is informed by responsibilities such as participation and reciprocation. (p. 23)  101 While I cannot ascribe my gift-giving practice as informed by particular Indigenous ceremonies and protocols, I certainly can recognize the sense of participation and reciprocation that compelled this activist event at the end of the installation series. Nevertheless, the sense that I have acted alone, as an individual, remains troubling. Similar to Kuokkanen’s (2007) concerns that I noted at the beginning of this chapter, Eduardo Grillo Fernandez (1998) also recognizes that Quechua peoples in the Andes do not engage unilaterally or independently in nurturing activities. Rather, they must ask permission of the entire community (human and more-than-human) through a series of rituals in order to proceed. In this manner, the human community nurtures the chacra (similar to field or land, yet includes a sense of ritual space) through ayni (work in reciprocity; Grillo Fernandez, 1998, p. 230). In the next section, I take up this theme of responsibility, participation, and reciprocation in terms of reconciliation and regeneration, two terms closely linked with the gift-giving events of Threads given. Research,	  reconciliation,	  regeneration,	  and	  the	  gift	  Throughout this research, the ethical questions of my methodology have frequently circled around questions of research as gift giving, research and reconciliation, research and regeneration. Arts-based research in particular can be viewed through the lens of gift giving. As Irwin and O’Donoghue (2012) wrote, Relational art is not concerned with looking at objects or imagining conceptual ideas to consider, but rather seeks to provide events for an audience as a gift, an offering (see Nistrup 2004). These events are specific to a site, location or even a context, as they seek to offer a space for participation for those who wish to be engaged in thoughtful considerations. (p. 231) In addition to gift-giving relations to land, this research also emerged at a particular time in Canadian history, namely that of Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) into the Indian Residential school System.23 Although Threads sown/Threads grown was in response to                                                 23 While I focus primarily on reconciliation in terms of settler colonialism and the residential school system, this work highlighted a rather sudden realization that since I attended school in Canada, I never engaged with the personal and collective work of reconciliation that emerges through the pedagogical and curricular projects of the German school system. As an adolescent, I was a voracious reader of stories that dealt with the holocaust; however, I read these as an “ally,” an Anglophone reader morally and geographical situated in Canada. It wasn’t until conducting this research that I realized that the work of responding to this history did not end when I read Anne Frank as a young person but must also be entangled in becoming (and unsettling) my adult self.  102 the difficult history of school gardening, including the period associated with the Indian Residential schools, Threads given was intended as a reconciliatory response to this difficult history—not to ‘put the past behind us’ but to engage ethically with the ongoing implications of settler colonialism and genocide. According to the TRC, There is an emerging and compelling desire to put the events of the past behind us so that we can work towards a stronger and healthier future. The truth telling and reconciliation process as part of an overall holistic and comprehensive response to the Indian Residential school legacy is a sincere indication and acknowledgement of the injustices and harms experienced by Aboriginal people and the need for continued healing. This is a profound commitment to establishing new relationships embedded in mutual recognition and respect that will forge a brighter future. The truth of our common experiences will help set our spirits free and pave the way to reconciliation. (TRC, 2006, p. 1, emphasis added) Reconciliation, however, is a problematic term fraught with difficulties and certainly not as smooth and straightforward as the TRC’s metaphoric reference to paving the way might suggest. As a Christian concept, it suggests that a return to an original state of harmony (with God) is possible and that the dialogue required to return to “freedom” will be based on “common” understandings and experiences. State-driven processes of reconciliation, such as the TRC, can be individualist, instrumentalist, and, although they are frequently based on legal proceedings, tend to provide immunity for perpetrators. Regan’s (2010) work offers a useful starting-point for settlers attempting to understand the possibilities and limitations of reconciliation. As Regan (2010) writes, reconciliation can result in tokenism, assuage settler guilt, over-emphasize the need for Indigenous people to heal or reach closure, re-victimize survivors, not address Indigenous self-determination, and lead to emotional paralysis, empty apologies, and colonial empathy rather than action. Nevertheless, as a pedagogical strategy, reconciliation can also lead to creative confrontation; building alliances and solidarity; apology as a catalyst for action; demythification of settler history (e.g., Indigenous inferiority, settler infallibility); monetary and cultural reparations; reconciliation in the context of Indigenous struggles for self-determination, self-sufficiency, healthy communities in accordance with customs, law, and connections to the land; social transformation; transformation of consciousness; and the diminishment of enmity and establishment new relational bonds (Regan, 2010, pp. 55-61). Regan’s experience and review of key literature in areas of conflict studies and findings emerging from truth and reconciliation processes around  103 the world offer some direction here. In summary, Regan (2010) suggests that the terms of reconciliation ought to address a decolonizing place of encounter; a space for collective critical dialogue; “a public remembering embedded in ethical testimony, ceremonial, and commemorative practices” (p. 12); an interrelated process of material and cultural transformation and not just interpersonal reconciliation between the perpetrators and victims of human rights abuses” (Jefferess, 2008, 144-145, as cited in Regan, p. 215-6); and a true apology, “a ‘remedial ritual’—an ‘enacted story’ that is performed with a humility that must be spoken” (p. 179). Ultimately, reconciliation is not an end goal but a personal, collective, ethical, pedagogical, and performative process of encountering, listening, and responding through which spaces between victim/oppressor, Indigenous/settler relations become blurred, re-storied, and re-situated. As a site-specific installation and research project, Threads sown, grown & given attempted to act as an informal assemblage of sites to engage in practices of public, personal, inter-personal, and ecological decolonization and commemoration. For instance, drawing on Natalie Oman’s work, Regan suggests how “the transformative shift from a settler culture of denial to an ethics of recognition might occur in public performative space that is experiential, subjective, and emotionally engaged” (p. 188). In light of these recommendations, university campuses might offer useful sites for such performances, if these spaces continue to remain public spaces—an increasing difficulty given the corporatization of postsecondary education. One of the difficult elements of the installation series, however, was really to engage student teachers with the difficult histories that prompted the project. Few students explicitly engaged with these issues in their written field notes documenting their experiences with the installations. However, gift giving and reconciliation can be sensed in the words of two student teachers after weaving memory webs in the garden (see Figure 14): Having to rip up or fold my garden memory was difficult. Yet it was nothing compared to what residential school students & families experienced. Perspective on what we have, what we keep, what we let go, and what we need/want. (Student teacher, Field Notes, March 9, 2013) Humbling practices that disrupt our expectation of ‘immediate return’ upon giving something. (Student teacher, Field Notes, March 9, 2013) While it has not always been evident that the installation series resulted in a public, pedagogical space for reconciliation, the stories from Threads sown, grown & given that are written into this  104 dissertation and presented in conversations and conferences beyond this text are parts of my attempts to publicly enact reconciliatory stories with creativity, humility, and the occasional risk-taking.  Figure 14 – Memory bundle knotted in a linen spider web, Threads given, 2013 Returning to Derrida, Kuokkanen, and Hyde, I recognize that reconciliation and reciprocity in research or otherwise do not entail gift giving if the intentions and actions are to right a wrong, repay a debt. In the case of the installation series, it is possible to see how planting fireweed after a monoculture of flax could be an attempt at righting an ecological wrong, just as collaboratively weaving memory webs could be a way to apologize for the wrongs of residential schooling or to assuage settler guilt. However, these actions did not emerge from feelings of indebtedness but rather because I felt compelled, for reasons beyond my rational understanding, to respond. The particular responses that emerged in this project may be inappropriate but that may not in fact matter. As an Indigenous scholar and professor of ethnobotany once said to me while I sat in the  105 fireweed circle and we chatted about gift giving, I could give my spit as a gift so long as the intention was right. Planting fireweed and spinning memory webs and this dissertation are all gifts both given and received as stories. They are not apologies, debts repaid or other forms of linear reciprocation or obligation. Such exchanges would be like always looking over one’s own shoulder to the past, afraid of being caught guilty of owing something to someone. Rather, these gifts respond to the past, create the present, and anticipate an unknown future. Ingold (2013) writes that through this way of “feeling forward rather than casting our eyes rearward, in anticipation rather than retrospection, lies the path of discovery” (p. 2). This forward-looking path of discovery, nevertheless, requires particular modes of critical historical consciousness (Chinnery, 2010), especially since the discourse of discovery is so highly problematic for research conducted in settler colonial contexts. Gift giving in research can be a powerful mode for sowing and growing regenerative relations with people and places, while still responding to difficult histories and contemporary contexts through ethical engagements. Regeneration, unlike reconciliation and reciprocation, suggests growing a new world and new theories (Grosz, 2011, p. 83) embedded in the relations of the old. It is not transformation, says Fréderique Apffel-Marglin (1998), nor creating something out of nothing. As Quechua scholar Grimaldo Rengifo Vasquez (1998) writes, regeneration is the emergence of new forms of life already contained in the existing ones…Regeneration implies not only the re-creation of each one of the members that participate in the regenerative act (which could be interpreted as repetition) but also the amplification of forms of life. One characteristic of every regenerative act is the equivalence and affection between the members of nature and not the separation and hierarchy between the natural and the human communities. (pp. 96-97). Methodologically, the ethical stance of gift giving in research suggests that ethics and responsibility are not “just a problem of knowledge but a call to relationship” (Spivak, 1996, p. 5, as cited in Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 115). It is this call for relationships via gift giving that this research into becoming teachers together attempts to both understand and create.  106 Gift giving as a research methodology in relationship with land and people is a paradigm of great potential—for reshaping the academy, as Kuokkanen (2007) proposes but also for misappropriation and a return to cliché—since, as Derrida (1992) writes: For there to be a gift there must be no reciprocity, return, exchange, counter gift, or debt…It is thus necessary, at the limit, that he [the donee] not recognize the gift as gift. If he recognizes it as gift, if the gift appears to him as such, if the present is present to him as present, this simple recognition suffices to annul the gift. Why? Because it gives back, in the place, let us say, of the thing itself, a symbolic equivalent. (pp. 12-13) Perhaps due to this conceptual complexity, the gift and gift giving are clichés that circulate and are exploited widely in hyper-consumerist, individualist capitalism. Clichés are risky ways to express complex ideas, and one of the greatest risks may be in the misappropriation or even erasure of meaning itself. For instance, I have seen this misappropriation and erasure happen in the site plans for the new Orchard Commons—to be constructed after the destruction of The Orchard Garden. These plans draw on the notion of the gift to brand and narrate the design of Vantage College’s two large high-rise residence buildings and large cafeteria. According to the architects, four design principles frame the construction plans of the Orchard Commons: Third space, Gift, Global ecozones, and Hyperspace. Specifically, the initial design documents consider the gift in the following terms: Expressed in the landscape, a design that integrates the origins of the garden—a food source—into a campus setting has great potential. What is the gift that this place provides to the rest of the UBC Campus? Apples grown from the original orchard trees, transplanted and given prominence on the site? Honey produced from Orchard bees foraging throughout campus? (hapa collaborative, 2014, p. 1) While Derrida, Kuokkanen, and Hyde make it clear that gift giving is not a reciprocal relationship of exchange, the gift-giving relationships described here appears particularly one-sided—as a benefit provided to human campus residents. The complex grassroots, Indigenous, and radical academic discourses and practices around gift giving that I have begun to explore—with a profound recognition of the risks I take in mis/appropriating these teachings—have apparently been seamlessly co-opted into design parlance to animate a project that will charge international students nearly $45,000 for one year of tuition for introductory university study, English language support, and residence fees (Gorgopa, 2013; Rankin, 2014). It is my humble hope that this dissertation, particularly through the relationships that emerged through Threads  107 sown, grown & given, has enacted gift-giving stories and practices where what has been given—including encounters with linen memory webs and fireweed flowers, seeds, and rhizomes—will create unpredictable possibilities for regeneration and becoming teachers together.   108 Chapter	  4	  –	  ‘&’:	  Knotting	  materials	  and	  discourses	  together	  Knots evoke the stretching, twisting, and folding processes that characterize becoming. A knot is an event, a potentiality. (de Freitas, 2012, p. 568) Originally, when I proposed the installation series, one version of the title was Threads sown, grown, woven & given. The idea was to bring the materials indoors from the first installation, Threads sown/grown (designing and growing the gridded flax classroom outdoors), and weave these into the linen gift for the final gift-giving installation back in the garden. However, as the first outdoor installation came to an end, I felt confined by the prescriptive sense of weaving a gift, and began to reflect more on how this moment of the installation was much more about bringing together the materials and discourses from the project that had emerged so far, dwell with them, have conversations with them, and then wait and see what would emerge in preparation for Threads given. Since I could not find a word to describe what this indoor installation would be about, I dropped the word ‘woven’ and simply left the ampersand ‘&,’ which seemed to gather everything together into a thread (like the linen thread I sat spinning with my drop spindle) twisting and turning into a loose knot. The metaphor of the knot, in all its material and discursive complexity, frames this chapter. Metaphorically, knots are powerful ways to think about material-discursive practices that bring things together. They may also suggest ways in which togetherness does not exclude singularity and aloneness. Knots, Ingold (2013) suggests, “are places where many lines of becoming are drawn tightly together. Yet every line overtakes the knot in which it is tied. Its end is always loose, somewhere beyond the knot, where it is groping towards an entanglement with other lines, in other knots” (p. 132). These knots, Ingold writes, create a meshwork where “nothing ever quite fits” (p. 132), where lines are entangled but not connected, unlike the network: “the network is a purely spatial construct. The lines of the meshwork, by contrast, are of movement or growth. They are temporal ‘lines of becoming’” (p. 132, drawing on Deleuze, 2004, p. 224-225). Knots are not static, unmoving, eternal ways of binding things together. There are also loose ends where nothing ever quite fits, where lines grope for entanglements, where movement and becoming are equally present. Ingold gives two helpful examples for the metaphoric knots and meshworks he is considering: wool that has been felted and the silvery  109 traces of slug paths that an attentive observer may find early in the morning on the pavement. Each thread or path is a line of movement that crosses other paths but continues on its separate way. What these meshworks suggest for this research is that becoming teachers together in ways that entangle materials, discourses, and bodies of all kinds creates forms of togetherness or solidarity that can still entail movement, difference, separation, and detachment.  Figure 15 - Indoor ‘&’ installation poster, 2012  110 Knotting the materials and discourses together in this indoor installation was performative as much as it was a site-specific installation. As the poster indicates (see Figure 15), indoor installation events began with an opening on November 13, 2012 and included a daily period from 10am-12pm, November 13-30, where I was at the installation, spinning linen and talking with anyone who came by. The ritual of this three-week performance included gathering my spindle, flax fibres, and a bowl with a wet sponge, and spinning flax to linen at a round table set with four chairs (see Figure 18). Marking invisible walls around this table were the four canvas windows from the summer installation, now flecked with mould and discoloured from rain and sunshine, hanging from threads from the ceiling on two sides. A new window hung on the third wall; this one was black and divided into four vivid, full-colour square picture panes. Each pane recalls aspects of Threads sown/grown: Seeds planted in gridded desk plots; flax plants growing and glowing in a beautiful grid alongside a carefully weeded and raked dirt path; a blue flax flower and ripening flax seed bolls in sharp focus with the historical windows as a blurry backdrop; and, finally, a circle of twisted flax fibre skeins ready to be spun, golden on a green lawn. The entire window was embroidered with roughly spun linen thread (the outcome of my first attempt at spinning) stitched in a crosshatch pattern. Dividing the area between the table where I sat and spun from the rest of the room was a large, slate grey board. On the side of the board that faced the table, I pinned photographs and quotes from the summer installation, as well as every new cop of linen thread that I or students/participants spun during the three week installation. On the other side of the board, I set up my computer to project a slide show and time lapse depicting images from the summer installation on a large television screen fixed to the wall. The seasonal timing of this installation and the ways in which I engaged with the materials and discourses of it were also significantly interconnected. Spring and summer truly are times to sow and grow but as the dark, rainy fall approached and the installation moved indoors into the basement of the teacher education building, the rigid grid and the linearity of the project began to collapse and decay. Fall and winter are months of decomposition, imagination, silence, waiting, and turning inwards, and the simplicity of the indoor installation echoed this austere tranquility and created a framework for spinning, thinking, and conversing. Austere tranquility, however, was both my friend and foe during those three weeks. The location of the installation    111  Figure 16 - Spinning in the basement, ‘&’ installation, 2012 [Photo credit: Spring Gillard] was in the basement of a four-storey building, and, although the room was the only student lounge and would become very busy during lunchtime, during the mornings it was often very quiet. The walls were white, there were no windows, and the white noise from the fans hummed to fill the space. Most days, only a handful of people (student teachers, friends, colleagues, staff, and faculty members) would drop in to visit, although by the end of three weeks, my research journal records approximately 45 visitors to the installation while I was spinning. On November 13, the first day of the installation, I organized a small opening with friends, family, a handful of students (student teachers and graduate students), and faculty in attendance. I was disappointed with the small turnout, although I enjoyed talking about the project, answering questions, and spinning a bit of linen together. That first week was the most challenging. I felt out of place and awkward as I learned to spin within the installation space and tried to understand what it was I was trying to do and research for two hours every day in this  112 strange, quiet room. By the second week, however, my spinning had improved and my focus turned away from feeling like a failure to the pleasure of making (Ingold, 2013), of feeling my body learn a new skill. This second week also included a research event at the installation on November 20 with a class of students.24 The focus of the class, taught once again by Jeannie Kerr, was on Indigenous education and relationships with land. We organized the morning workshop by starting with our memories of childhood schoolyards, visiting the installation in the basement, engaging in individual reflective writing and a group discussion, learning to spin flax to linen with hand-made drop spindles, listening to a presentation by Debra Sparrow, a well-known Musqueam First Nations weaver and artist, and concluded the workshop by walking out in the rain to The Orchard Garden to visit the installation site. This research event forms the basis of many of the thematic knots in this chapter, which is why I only describe it briefly here. By the end of the third week of the installation, I was sad that this phase of the project was coming to an end. However, I was also disappointed that the installation had been largely inaccessible to student teachers both due to its location in the basement lounge and the ways in which I had arranged the installation as an enclosure, which made it difficult to invite participants to connect with the project (the project’s conceptual inaccessibility was an additional barrier). I was also disappointed in my own conformity and submission to setting up the installation in the basement, since my vision had originally been to be located in the busy front entrance of the teacher education building but the teacher education office rejected this location. On the last day of the installation in the basement, I expressed my disappointments and reluctance to one of my peers who visited the installation that day. In response, she suggested that I take the installation to the halls for some nomadic guerrilla spinning. Venturing out into the halls with only my spindle, flax fibres, camera, and notebook felt vulnerable and exposed after the confinement of the basement and the wall-like enclosure of the installation. It also felt exciting and unpredictable, and, although I only had a couple occasions to spin before the end of the term, I loved the spontaneous encounters that my presence in the more vital hallways of the education building provoked.                                                 24 See my March 23, 2013 blog post, “Inside the Outdoor Classroom Installation,” (Ostertag, 2013a)   113 With this brief introduction of the indoor ‘&’ installation and the metaphor of the knot, I return now to the research question, How do we (humans and more-than-humans) become teachers together? and the three narrative threads (garden becoming teacher, student teachers becoming teachers, and my own personal journal of becoming a scholar/teacher educator) to help frame this chapter. In response to the experiences of the indoor ‘&’ installation, I consider four thematic knots: (1) ‘It all comes together in the end;’ (2) coming together and being alone; (3) the shame of difficult knowledge; and, (4) spinning threads and becoming spiders together. The knots explore various facets of becoming teachers coming together and engage in theoretical conversations with material feminist and posthumanist theory, Indigenous scholarship, as well as generative debates emerging from contemporary art theory (relational aesthetics, participatory art, and site-specific installation art).  The first knot opens with a quote from one of the students from the research event in November, who, after participating in the indoor installation workshop and walking out to the garden, said, “It all comes together in the end.” While this statement echoes posthumanist desires to entangle materials and discourses (Barad, 2003; Hekman, 2010; Taguchi, 2012), these theoretical conversations become much more complicated in the context of the indoor installation, where gazes, bodies, memories, affects, and photographs co-constitute a meshwork (Ingold, 2013) that challenges straightforward notions of ‘coming together,’ particularly in the context of teacher education. Ironically, and this is the focus of the second section, in what I had imagined would be a space for coming together, my experience of performing the indoor installation frequently saw me struggling with the profound sense of being alone. Aloneness, in fact, is a theme that wound its way throughout the entire project, and I approach this unexpected sensation through the equally unexpected, yet generative, sensation of failure (Halberstam, 2011). Four separate threads are entangled in this large knot: (a) conversations in contemporary art theory, particularly the lively debates between Bishop (2012), Kester (2011), and Bourriaud (2002), about the relationship between the individual and the collective; (b) the failure of arts-based research and the importance of failure in arts-based research (LeFeuvre, 2010); (c) the failure of setting, particularly within the context of the increasing neoliberalization of university education, and how this creates conditions of heightened individuality rather than togetherness (Berg, Guhman & Nunn, 2014); and (d) encounters of solitude in the wilderness/garden  114 (Thoreau, 1854/1995) and Arendt’s (1966) contributions to understanding the nuances between loneliness, solitude, and isolation. The third knot explores the difficult knowledge (Pitt & Britzman, 2003) that unsettles the knowing self, and is a critical yet uncomfortable part of becoming a teacher. Encountering difficult knowledge with student teachers and their instructor Jeannie Kerr in the context of Indigenous education for teacher education created unruly and unpredictable situations that challenged our pedagogical relationships. Finally, these philosophical discourses cannot be disentangled from material practices, which brings me to the fourth knot of becoming a spider that emerged while I was spinning flax to linen thread (Ingold, 2000, 2013). Becoming a spider (Grosz, 2011, Haraway, 2004) through routine and ritualized performances of spinning (Apffel-Marglin, 2011) was a surprising gift of regeneration from an arts-based research methodology that draws attention to the human and more-than-human within processes and relationships, rather than seeking to see the world from above or outside relationships. It	  all	  comes	  together	  I really liked how it all came together in the end. I think a lot of the things we learn are very specific and one topic, and I like how all this came together in the end….It was a classroom but it also comes together as the flax, and everything comes to the learning—the things that are in the classroom as it is as a whole. It was really interesting and so different from all the other things that we’ve done [in teacher education]. (Student teacher, Video recording, November 20, 2012) Sitting at the little round table and spinning flax to linen surrounded by the old windows from the garden, the vivid photographs of sowing/growing the flax desks, students’ quotes and historical images and texts, I felt like the material and discursive threads of the installation and this research were all coming together. While in the following thematic knots I will explore some of more difficult nuances of this coming together, there are rich and complex ideas that might reconfigure ideas and practices around becoming teachers and education more generally to be found by unravelling the knots of things coming together in the ‘&’ phase of this research. One of the most difficult intellectual challenges of this work, and one that I pondered regularly while spinning and conversing with people at the installation, was to consider the implications of material feminism and posthumanism for reconfiguring our notion of becoming a teacher. Rather than an isolated, solitary body, a teacher could be reconfigured as an interdependent  115 entanglement of an “ongoing co-constitutive co-existence of different kinds of bodies (human as well as non-human or more-than-humans)” (Taguchi, 2012, p. 271). Teachers are certainly not conventionally characterized by “processes of entanglements and interdependences,” as much as these may reflect the lived realities of everyday teaching even within the enclosures of classrooms and standardized curricula. However, it is this notion of the teacher as rational, autonomous, and contained that this convoluted, experimental research journey with the garden attempts to unsettle by seeking to create conditions for knotted assemblages of becoming teachers together. Hekman (2010) draws on Latour’s notion of new settlements to elaborate the materiality of knowledge rather than a modernist separation of language/reality. This new settlement “incorporate[s] an idea that seems on the face of it counterintuitive: that nonhumans act. Collectives are assemblages of humans and nonhumans, nature and culture, science and politics, and all the elements of the mix act in conjunction with all the other elements” (pp. 20-21). While there are many materials and discourses that came together in this research to create new settlements in pedagogical encounters, by following the knots in the meshwork (Ingold, 2013) of the indoor ‘&’ installation, a very particular instance of ‘coming together’ emerges when I consider a photograph of student teachers at the November 20 research event gazing at student teachers performing in Threads grown during the summer research event at The Orchard Garden. At the indoor ‘&’ installation, many students gravitated toward the blackboard and gazed intently at the bodies, materials, and discourses on display (see Figure 16). After viewing the installation, one student wrote in her Field Notes: I wish it were summer! The colours of the photos are so vivid and I can imagine that those candidates who took part in the garden felt connected and inspired. I feel somewhat disconnected from the process…until we start the weaving that is. Some of the comments made by the candidates were very profound and significant. (Student teacher, Field Notes, November 20, 2012)  116  Figure 17 - Entanglements of becoming teachers together, ‘&’ installation research event, November 20, 2012 Layering and juxtaposing texts and images from the summer installation into the indoor installation created a unique experience of familiarity and distance for the student teachers. It seems like some students were looking at and judging themselves in those pictures: Could I be like those students performing in the garden? Could I write such profound and significant reflections about my experiences in a garden installation? The photographs and words, displayed on the blackboard in the installation, had already assumed an aesthetic sheen, familiar but distant from the day-to-day experiences of these new student teachers just beginning their program.25 Due to a lack of in-depth interviews with the student teachers, it is nearly impossible to understand why many were drawn to these photographs and texts. Perhaps the students were drawn to the images because they were conforming to an internalized understanding of what                                                 25 The student teachers were only in the third month of their yearlong program when they participated in the research event on November 20, while the students in the photographs were in the final month of their program.  117 performing an appreciative attitude of reverence in front of art (O’Donoghue, 2014, personal communication). I like to imagine that witnessing the strange activities of the student teachers in the garden was an unsettling, intergenerational (Brennan & Clarke, 2011) pedagogical experience that juxtaposed with these new students’ increasingly determined sense of what it means to become a teacher through a teacher education program. While I risk making sweeping generalizations, student teachers in the teacher education program spend hundreds of hours moving through conventional classroom spaces and curricular disciplines that continue to reproduce the physical and disciplinary separation of teachers from one another, from different ways of knowing, and from their places.  Figure 18 - Teacher education building classroom hallway with graduating class photographs The main classroom hallway of the teacher education building is not unlike the rectangular gridded classroom frame in Threads sown/grown (see Figure 17). The hallway is lined with red doors marking the entrance into separate rectangular classrooms filled with desks (however, unlike Threads sown/grown, the position of the desks are not fixed in a grid, they move depending on the needs of the instructor or students). Large, glass-framed photographs of graduating classes from the teacher education program line the otherwise bare walls of the hallway. The photos are familiar for anyone who went to public school: a grid of faces, row upon row, portraying the individuals who have passed a particular linear educational marker in their lives. Separated by a blank white background, each face carefully positioned and framed by the  118 photographer, these photos suggest a democratizing narrative of individuals while erasing stories about the places, relationships, processes, materials or discourses that have shaped their experiences of becoming teachers. While these graduation photographs depict a group of people, the story that they tell is not one of becoming teachers together but rather, a perpetuation of the story of the enclosed, contained, rational individual teachers separated by time and place from relationships, as Taguchi (2012) said, of ongoing co-constitutive co-existence. The homogeneity and prominence of the framed photographs also suggests an element of corporate branding as the university demonstrates its value not by the nuanced qualities of its teacher education program and the important role of teacher educators in this program (their photographs are absent) but by the quantity of graduates it sends out into the world each year. Granted, while class photographs only tell a very narrow story of what it means to become teachers through a teacher education program, the familiarity and near-invisibility of these class photographs suggests that they are powerful metaphors for teacher education that require unsettling. As Rousmaniere (2001) writes in her study of historical photographs of schools, “the very commonalty and seeming universality of the image of ‘the school’ and ‘the teacher’ should raise questions” (p. 110). I can only hope that the encounter with the images of student teachers performing in the garden installation created the conditions to question and experiment beside the spaces and relationships that characterize teacher education. Entangled within this knot of student teachers becoming teachers in new and unsettling relationships with place, time, and the thoughts and bodies of previous cohorts of student teachers, is also the curious twist of my own gaze upon their gaze. When I documented the students gazing at the photographs on the blackboard, I was motivated to photograph them largely because I was pleased to see that these students were demonstrating—or performing—their appreciation and engagement with the art installation. However, when I read the one students’ reflection about her disconnection with the previous year’s student teachers’ experiences, another narrative emerged. In addition to simply seeking approval, my photograph remind me that I (the photographer, researcher, teacher educator for this workshop) am at least as deeply invested and implicated in the ways in which we become teachers together as are the students. To add one more gaze upon the meshwork of gazes already present in this métissage, I  119 am compelled to turn to a personal experience during my own year in a teacher education program in northern Ontario in 2005. The memory that comes to mind is of my sweating body, struggling to be a teacher during my five-week student teaching practicum. On one particular day while teaching April Raintree (Culleton, 1984; see the following knot for more on this difficult teaching experience), the students were being their rather typical unruly selves and I was flustered but busily engaged in the work to be done in the classroom. At one point I felt observed, and I suddenly noticed the principal’s figure darkening the doorway at the back of the classroom. I had no idea how long she had been there but suddenly I felt utterly exposed and vulnerable to her gaze. I stumbled along with my lesson but never forgot that moment of surveillance and judgment during my teacher education program. It compounded the feelings of isolation and uncertainty that had already caused me such anxiety during my practicum, since beyond a brief introductory welcome and a reminder to our group of entering practicum students to be professional and submit all the required paperwork on time, I had never spoken to the high school principal that was now standing and staring at us through the door of my classroom. In fact, since we never met again, I never learned what impressions the principal had formed of my teaching that day she stood in my doorway, and, although I received the highest praise from my supervising teacher after my practicum, I left my teacher education program haunted by memories of loneliness and failure. While this autobiographical life story is far removed from the particular experiences of the student teachers in this project and certainly not representative of all student teachers’ experiences of teacher education, the sensations of loneliness and failure that haunted my ‘successful’ student teaching experience unexpectedly emerged as central in my doctoral research, even though I initially set out to study becoming teachers together. Coming	  together	  and	  being	  alone	  By framing this chapter around the metaphor of the knot, I am participating in a genre of writing within the material or ontological turn often characterized by a fascination with metaphoric entanglements, imbeddedness, imbroglios, knots, and so on (e.g., Green, 2014). However, it may be useful to proceed with some caution in considering where the individual or the singular lies in this call to coming together, since togetherness as an antidote to isolating  120 individuality may reject one pole of a binary for another equally impossible settlement. As William Pinar (2009) writes so astutely, life is a “solitary journey in the company of others” (p. 43). Furthermore, as Candea (2010) suggests, “‘[l]iving with’ may mean deep engagement…it may [also] mean cultivating a mutual ‘detachment” as a mode of interaction’ (as cited in Kirksey & Helmreich, 2010, p. 552). Candea (2010) recognizes that the debate between detachment and entanglement, particularly in discourses around human/animal relationships and scientific research, factory farming, and so on, is highly charged and easily leads to stereotyping and moral dichotomies. In this dichotomy, detachment (and in some discourses, ‘science’ itself) comes to be associated with coldness and lack of caring, a Cartesian pathology for which engagement (be it political, emotional, or just intersubjective) is presented as the cure. This dichotomy plays out…with accusations of romanticism and cold-heartedness flying about between protagonists who increasingly make each other look like stereotypes. (p. 243) Negotiating the knots of inter-species entanglements and detachment is a growing field that Kirksey and Helmreich (2010) describe as multispecies ethnography, in which researchers are studying “contact zones where lines separating nature from culture have broken down, where encounters between Homo sapiens and other beings generate mutual ecologies and coproduced niches” (p. 546). While generating mutual ecologies and coproduced niches resonates with the underlying practices and desires of this dissertation, pausing briefly within these knots of detachment/entanglement or individuality/collectivity (both human and more-than-human) is helpful in understanding the various tensions at play in these material-discursive entanglements. It is certainly helpful in considering the complexity and limitations of current theoretical conversations (i.e., material feminist) as well as methodological (i.e., arts-based research drawing on installation art practices) conceptualizations of the relationship between the singular and the multiple when things (teachers, gardens, researchers) come together. Instead of a romantic, horizontal levelling of difference into an abstract communalism or holism (being ‘at one with nature’ being the most common version of this in environmental discourses), the knots of this installation include rather uncomfortable, frequently solitary experiences of aloneness. The most stark examples of the lack of human community throughout the course of the project can be viewed in the time-lapse photographs of the garden installation,  121 where only a few fleeting moments suggest human co-presence in the space. A few excerpts from the research journal reveal the feelings of isolation and failure that haunted the entire installation series, yet were particularly faithful companions during the ‘&’ installation in the basement. The first excerpt is from the Threads sown and the final two from the indoor ‘&’ installation: Being in & part of this installation today also made clear to me why installation artists/critics long so much for their work to be experienced. I want to invite everyone I know to witness this installation—at every moment! Although the camera shapes my experiences of the installation deeply, the photographs themselves are stunning second order performances. Again, this question of am I alone in this space? If there were no other people, would this matter? (Research Journal, July 9, 2012, 7pm) Again, the slide show begins. So few people in my pictures. Again, I sit in my installation. Three students are in the lounge, two chat quietly. No one has come to me. Empty…I’m feeling overwhelmed and under-something: -appreciated? -supported? -stood? …Lots of self-doubt at the end of this first week…But, I’ve put aside my computer, I’ve finished reading Heinrich’s linen book, my tea is ready…although it seems incongruous to spin flax while I have so much ‘real’ work, that’s what I will do now. Alone. Alone? ~12 noon~ I’m glad that I persisted…not to fear failure. And so I spun – long threads on my beautiful birch drop spindle. And there was pleasure and peace in the work, in the learning….This project is ephemeral, yet there are traces….Although I feel alone & I want this project to be so much more, it sets things in motion that weren’t there before (thought & materials). If the BEd students only come into ‘my space’ to take chairs to eat lunch with their friends, well, so be it. Now. This certainly does not determine the meaning or relevance of this work…Nachträglichkeit. (Research Journal, November 16, 2012, 10:20am at the installation) Better. Today was better. The students were more curious. I invited a few in, approaching them directly or talking to them when they glanced my way…The first two students I approached this morning were talking about art ed. I said that I’d overheard them talking and that they might want to take a look at my project, that it’s art-related. They said, ‘Yeah, we saw you working and we didn’t want to disturb you.’ Have I created a familiar frame – the ‘closed-door classroom’ that they feel compelled to respect? How to make students feel more w