Lifelong Learning and Dementia: A Posthumanist Perspective offers a new and positive approach to conceptualizing both the symptoms of dementia and supporting lifelong education. The book argues that people with dementia are able to learn new things, and that they should be included in discussions of lifelong learning (Quinn, 2020, p. 8). Traditionally, people with dementia and other cognitive conditions have been excluded in conversations about education and learning. Quinn and Blandon use posthuman theory in a lifelong learning focused educational environment which resulted in a dynamic, creative, and fluid learning experience. The posthumanism perspective transcends traditional boundaries of "humanness" and is "not dependent on fixed boundaries, voice, identity and rationality" (p. 24). By revealing the mutability of these boundaries, posthumanism offers a place for people with dementia to be recognized as potential leaders in society, and not as outcasts (p. 24). Quinn and Blandon work to "move beyond dementia as a deficit category" and succeed in their goal that this book would develop more positive understandings of dementia (p. 24) and inclusive approaches to lifelong learning.

Authors Jocey Quinn and Claudia Blandon are a professor and research assistant respectively in the Education department at University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. They have interests in education and social justice which is reflected both in their individual research projects as well as in this book. They describe their interest in dementia and lifelong learning as a part of their long-term research agenda about learning outside of formal education which notes that learning "is dispersed and profuse and can and does take place everywhere" (p. 10). This book is particularly special because the authors' specific application of posthumanism to lifelong learning is new and experimental. The goal of Lifelong Learning and Dementia was "to enter the lives of people with dementia, to be with them, rather than claim to know them. In doing so [they] challenge the narratives of loss that surround them and use a posthumanist perspective to explore the 'potentia' (Braidotti, 2013), as in energy, vitality and resistance, that exists for lifelong learning in dementia" (Quinn, 2020, p. 19). Quinn and Blandon claim this view of lifelong learning could help both people with dementia and their families realize their full potential (p. 84).

Their research methodology was taken from a variety of areas; the book includes both quantitative and qualitative methods in the form of "observations, telephone interviews with childminders, face-to-face interviews with nursing home workers, oral feedback from verbal participants and a focus group with the delivery team" (p. 66). The book also includes extensive descriptions from the researchers' fieldnotes. The authors combined the results from two earlier publications to highlight how this study built on their previous scholarship. These earlier studies yielded insightful results about working with people with dementia in learning environments, but Lifelong Learning and Dementia combines the results of those studies into a framework for conducting posthumanism-based research in the future.

The authors directly address their research ethics for working with people with late-onset cognitive conditions. Taking influence from feminist posthuman new materialist scholars such as Rosi Bradotti (2013), Jane Bennett (2010), Karen Barad (2007) and Stacey Alaimo (2012). The authors use this particular branch of posthumanism, also known as "PhEmaterialism," coined by educational researchers (Ringrose et al., 2018). Overall, this area has had less of an impact on lifelong learning, until this work. The authors also use a system they designed together during their research from Living Beyond Words that they call "Posthumanist Observation Framework" or POF (Quinn, 2020, pp. 66-67). POF encouraged researchers to "intensely observe how participants move in space, whether this movement caused any visible change in their relations with others or their body language throughout time" (p. 67). By doing this, researchers would notice and subsequently reveal the "multilayered aspects of learning" (p. 68).

The text is broken up into five main chapters with a short abstract and subheadings throughout the text that make individual topics easy to find. The authors define each of the major terms in Chapter One: dementia (p. 3), lifelong learning in the community-based, social justice sense of the phrase (p. 9) and posthumanism (p. 11). This chapter sets up their goals for the study, and explicitly provides the context for this research within the larger scholarship surrounding posthumanism and lifelong learning. It also explores stereotypes and misconceptions of people who have been diagnosed with dementia. Chapter Two focuses on the application of posthuman ethics of rights for working with people with dementia and suggests that lifelong learning for these individuals "is not a luxury, but a right" (p. 23). Chapter Three centers on conceptualizations of dementia and the "post-verbal," using examples from Quinn's previous study which culminated in Living Beyond Words (Quinn et. al., 2017). Chapter Four is similar in structure to Chapter Three in that it uses the author's past work to illuminate a larger point. The subject of Chapter Four is to describe a model and the effectiveness of intergenerational learning for people with dementia and this is shown through Blandon's 2017 study titled Making Bridges with Music, which "was a shorter study that built on the methodology and theoretical innovations" from Living Beyond Words (Quinn, 2020, p. 14). Chapter Five concludes the work by reaffirming its significance and offers further implications of the usefulness of posthuman theory in other learning environments.

The author's application of posthumanism to educational theory is novel and unique within posthuman scholarship. A major critique of the author's text is that it reads with the expectation that the reader has some exposure to posthuman theory, lifelong learning education practices, and/or exposure to dementia. The authors jump into describing the particular nuances of each of these areas without providing a detailed background on any of these subjects. This is likely due to the specificity of the text and the short length of the book (it totals 104 pages including references). Another common criticism of posthuman theorizing is that applying posthuman theory to a subject does not necessarily lead to posthumanist results (p. 34). The authors explicitly address this concern through their "posthuman ethics of rights" and by affirming that people with dementia have a right to lifelong learning and "there is a social responsibility to facilitate this" (p. 37).

Overall, this book represents the value posthumanism can bring to learning environments. It emphasizes learning as creativity in everyday life and criticizes stereotypes about learning and people with dementia. People interested in posthuman theory applied to new fields of research or the value of education and lifelong learning with vulnerable populations would find this text useful for informing not only how research is conducted but how the posthuman perspective shapes research questions and addresses ethical concerns. The text is a beautiful homage to people with dementia and affirms their position in society as valuable and worthy of education and attention.

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