Events and CFPs
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CFP: Special Issue of Educational Philosophy and Theory
Deadline: May 1, 2019
ESD in the ”Capitalocene”: Caught up in an impasse between Critique and Transformation?
Special Issue Editors: Helena Pedersen, Beniamin Knutsson, Dawn Sanders, Sally Windsor (University of Gothenburg), Arjen Wals (University of Wageningen).
Has Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) reached an impasse? Offering an application of Baudrillard’s thoughts to educational research, Paul Moran and Alex Kendall wrote in 2009 that education researchers are engaged in an act of forgery; a manufacture of presuppositions about what education is. Moran and Kendall argue that our research approaches, produce nothing but illusions of education, not because our approaches and methodologies are somehow flawed, rather that these illusions are what education is. Education, they claim, does not exist beyond its simulation.
Perhaps more provocatively, this implies that all critique of educational practice, from the revolutionary critical theory of Marx and the Frankfurt School via Foucauldian power analyses, as well as more recent ”new materialist” and post-qualitative approaches and beyond –are also part of the simulation of education process. These movements constitute an “improvement agenda” of education, and over and over again, more interventions are produced and critiques are repeated to foster improvements, pursued as if they were possible (Moran & Kendall 2009, p. 329).
We would like to take this Baudrillardian analysis of education as a springboard for thinking around ESD and capitalism. ESD is paradoxically positioned right at the nexus of looming ecological crises (”the Anthropocene” [Crutzen & Stoermer 2000]; the ”Capitalocene” [Malm & Hornborg 2014]) while at the same time the ESD field has been severely criticised for its presumed normativity (Jickling 1994). Quite regardless of the validity of this critique, embedded in the core idea of ESD is, arguably, a grandiose ”improvement agenda” – not only of education, but of the planetary condition as such. There is an asssumption that if we can find the appropriate way of ”doing” ESD, a sustainable world is within reach.
However, if there is nothing that may be called education “that exists independently of the methodologies, comments, curricula designs, testing regimes, forms of discrimination”, as Moran and Kendall (2009, p. 333) put it, what place is there – if any – for ESD under current conditions of predatory capitalism, exploitation of natural “resources”, transgression of planetary boundaries, and the destructive fantasy of infinite growth? Does ESD generate nothing but reproduction, much like capitalism itself (e.g. Hellberg & Knutsson 2018)? Is ESD an affect-organizing “comfort-machine” in the classroom (Pedersen 2019), sustaining the present order of things? Perhaps Bruno Latour (2004) captures the point most aptly: ”Are we not like those mechanical toys that endlessly make the same gesture when everything else has changed around them?” (p. 225) Latour suggests, that the critic “is not the one who lifts the rugs from under the feet of the naïve believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather” (p. 246). Such arenas, Giroux observes, need “an understanding of how the political becomes pedagogical, particularly in terms of how private issues are connected to larger social conditions and collective force” (Giroux 2004, p.62).
Stratford (2017) has recently called for education researchers to identify and respond to the challenging philosophical issues evoked by the current ecological crises. Our initiative is a response to Stratfords’s call; however, our starting point differs from how educational philosophy can “improve education in the Anthropocene” (p. 3) and is rather concerned with the “impossibility” of this claim.
We suggest that the idea of ESD as producing illusions of education rather than a sustainable world, does not necessarily lead to an impasse, but can, in Moran and Kendall’s (2009) words, be a very useful place to begin. We are looking for theory-, philosophy-, and empirically-driven papers that address the ”impossible” position of ESD in ”the Capitalocene” at an urgent juncture in history.
Contributions may address, for instance, the following areas of inquiry;
- Has ESD reached an impasse, and if so; how can it be understood?
- Are there ”functions” of ESD beyond the improvement agenda, and beyond the cycle of Critique and Transformation?
- Is ESD a form of simulation and, if so, what purposes might such simulation serve?
- How can ESD effectively interfere with capitalism, its forces and threats to life-supporting Earth systems?
- In what arenas of intervention and action can ESD assemble its participants?
- How can we reimagine education in extinction and post-extinction narratives?
Crutzen, P. & Stoermer, E. (2000). The Anthropocene. IGBP Newsletter 41, 17-18.
Giroux, H.A. (2004). Cultural Studies, Public Pedagogy, and the Responsibility of Intellectuals. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (1)1, 59–79
Hellberg, S. & Knutsson, B. (2018). Sustaining the life-chance divide? Education for sustainable development and global biopolitical regime. Critical Studies in Education, 59(1), 93–107.
Jickling, B. (1994). Why I don't want my children to be educated for sustainable development: Sustainable belief. Trumpeter, 11(3), 114-116.
Latour, B. (2004). Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern. Critical Inquiry, 30(2), 225-248.
Malm, A. & Hornborg, A. (2014). The geology of mankind? A critique of the Anthropocene narrative. The Anthropocene Review, 1(1), 62-69.
Moran, P. & Kendall, A. (2009). Baudrillard and the end of education. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 32(3), 327-335.
Pedersen, H. (2019). Schizoanalysis and Animal Science Education. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Stratford, R. (2017). Educational philosophy, ecology and the Anthropocene. Educational
Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2017.1403803
Please send your abstract of 250-500 words, along with references and a brief bio, to
Final article manuscripts will be approx. 6000 words.
Abstract due: May 1, 2019
Notification of acceptance: May 20, 2019
Manuscript submission deadline: November 1, 2019
Call for Papers for Special Chinese Issue 2020
Deadline: Sep 30, 2019
Theme: Forgive, Forget, or Regret? The Dao of education in times of catastrophe
We are living in times of catastrophes, natural or man-made, such as hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, global warming, extreme weather, wildfire, terrorism, industrial accidents, chemical and nuclear accidents, transportation accidents, war, and so on. Catastrophes, as sudden and unexpected events, are mostly unescapable. Any unexpected event can happen to anyone. Catastrophes cause great psychological or physiological sufferings and damage to survivors or witnesses. From the viewpoint of educators, the point is how to avoid or reduce the disaster, and how to overcome the consequent damage and suffering. This is the so-called catastrophe education, disaster education, or disaster prevention education. The practising of a fire drill, an air defence drill or an earthquake drill could be the most popular part of disaster education in schools. The real challenges are to survive the pains and sufferings caused by the catastrophe, to do justice to the victims, to take responsibility, and to forgive.
Where shall catastrophe education take place? Ground zero, museums, concentration camps, detention centres, prisons, or the historical sites? Where and how shall we learn about the contesting memory and the disturbing place?
How shall we teach about the memory? Or shall we forget?
Who should learn or teach catastrophe education?
How can we learn about a disaster with or without hardship? How do we live and learn from great loss?
How can we do justice to victims or survivors?
Can we learn to overcome the difficulties caused by the disasters from Eastern wisdom? What inspiration can we gain from Confucius’ saying, ‘Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness’ (以直報怨，以德報德。)? In contrast, as the traditional Daoists and Buddhists teach, in order to following the dao, we learn to cultivate ourselves to be ‘wúwŏ’ (無我nonself) and to do ‘wúwéi’ (無為nonaction). Does it imply that we accept whatever happens to us and do nothing, say, meaning no need to pursue the compensatory or restorative justice? What does ‘justice’ mean in catastrophe education?
This special issue invites submissions considering every aspect of catastrophe education. Any article of philosophical elaboration of the space and the place, the witness and the survivor, the perpetrator and the victim, the curriculum and the pedagogy concerning catastrophe education from any tradition, in particular Chinese and comparative philosophy, is welcomed.
Papers for peer review should be no more than 6000 words in length, including references. Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. A guide for authors, sample issues, and other relevant information is available on the EPAT website.
Deadline for submission: 30 September 2019
All manuscripts should be made online at the Educational Philosophy and Theory ScholarOne Manuscripts site located at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/epat
Please mark as Special Issue under manuscript type and later in submission process when asked note that it is for the Chinese Special Issue 2020.
We recommend manuscripts to be 6, 000 words in length including references, but excluding the abstract.
General guidelines and details about manuscript preparation can be found on the website
CFP: CFP. Diversity Politics, Teaching and the Rise of the Alt
Deadline: Mar 31, 2019
Social commentators, both Right and Left, have drawn attention to the ways identity politics has seemingly by-passed class-based social visions of the future, especially in America where Trump has captured white working-class voters, who are full of anxieties about ‘the browning of America’ and believe that they are in danger of becoming the victims of discrimination themselves. Jennifer Delton (2017), for instance, argues ‘the problem with the rising left is that it thinks working-class people in a highly diverse society will be able to put aside other allegiances such as race and gender to challenge a neoliberal economy that has, arguably, been pretty friendly to identity politics.’ Amy Chua (2018) describes ‘How America's identity politics went from inclusion to division’ explaining ‘When groups feel threatened, they retreat into tribalism’ and arguing ‘In America today, every group feels this way to some extent. Whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, straight people and gay people, liberals and conservatives – all feel their groups are being attacked, bullied, persecuted, discriminated against.’ She suggests that identity politics occurs on both sides of the political spectrum – nobody supports ‘an America without identity politics, for an American identity that transcends and unites all the country’s many subgroups.’ In America, Chua and others argue we have passed the era of liberalism and civil rights, and now national unity and equal opportunity are no longer the values that transcend group difference. Mark Lilla (2016) writing of ‘The End of Identity Liberalism’ argues that the Left’s exaltation of diversity is ‘a splendid principle of moral pedagogy, but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age.’ He suggests ‘In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.’ He goes on to say that the Left, if they want to return to political power, need to put a feel-good ‘Identitarianism’ behind them. Yet as Gregory Leffel (2017) points out, Lilla seems to have forgotten ‘that Trump won the election because of identity politics’ (my italics). America was founded on slavery and white supremacy, liberal identitarianism finally emerged in the 1960s after years of struggle, as a fully blown corrective and alternative legal system based on civil rights. Lilla was accused of ‘underwriting the whitening of American nationalism’ to make white supremacy respectable again (Franke, 2016). Whichever way you spin it ‘identity liberalism’ is an issue and white identity politics was in part responsible for Trump’s election victory. It is certainly no longer ‘business as usual’ as its ramifications for liberal internationalism with the beginning of trade wars are still working themselves out. Francis Fukuyama’s (1989) ‘The End of History’ that saw history in Hegelian terms as a clash of ideology, to proudly announce ‘Liberal democracy has won’ now seems utterly absurd. As John Ikenberry (2018) puts it the liberal international world order that dominated for seventy years is in crisis. Trump has proved himself recalcitrant on ‘Trade, alliances, international law, multilateralism, environment, torture and human rights’ (p. 7) and liberal democracy itself is in retreat as new authoritarianism, at once populist, nationalist and xenophobic, rapidly spreads around the world signalling ‘big man’ politics in countries as diverse as Hungary, Poland, Philippines and Turkey. For teachers and academics who spent the last forty years fighting neoliberalism and teaching the values of social democracy and human rights, this dramatic turnabout is disorienting, confusing and disheartening. What are the critical issues involved in this debacle? What and how should we teach against or about the alt-right? And what of liberal identity politics in the classroom?
Chua, Amy (2018) How America's identity politics went from inclusion to division, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/01/how-americas-identity-politics-went-from-inclusion-to-division
Delton, Jennifer (2017) The left’s grand delusion, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/07/28/the-lefts-diversity-problem/
Franke, Katherine (2016) Making White Supremacy Respectable. Again. BLARB,
Fukuyama, Francis (1989) The End of History, The National Interest, copy available, http://www.wesjones.com/eoh.htm, http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/essays/making-white-supremacy-respectable/, https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/gregory-leffel/left-s-problem-isn-t-politics-it-s-metaphysics
Ikenberry, John. G. (2018) The end of the liberal International order? International Affairs 94: 1 (2018): 7–23.
Leffel, Gregory (2017) The left’s problem isn’t politics—it’s metaphysics, Open Democracy
Lilla, Mark (2016) The End of Identity Liberalism, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-identity-liberalism.html
To indicate an expression of interest please send a 300-word abstract with title, name, affiliation and email address by March 31, 2019 to:
The Editors, Educational Philosophy & Theory:
CFP: EPAT CFP. Critical Philosophy & Pedagogy of the Image
Deadline: Mar 31, 2019
We live in a world of ‘visual cultures’ in a mediated world of social relations which is programmable given its algorithmic character. Its numerical coding allows for the automation of many of its functions and visual creation is no longer tied to technologies of exact reproduction such as copying. The new image-making technologies are part of a wider technological paradigm and mode of development of ‘informational capitalism’ characterized by image generation, processing, and transmission that have become the fundamental sources of productivity, power and identity. This image-making is the raw material of knowledge capitalism is increasingly the basis of a socially networked universe in which the material conditions for the formation, circulation, and utilization of knowledge and learning are rapidly changing from an industrial to information and image-based economy. Increasingly the emphasis has fallen on learning and media systems and network flows that depend upon the acquisition of new skills of image manipulation, analysis and understanding as a central aspect of the personal, the image-community, as well as national media and global contexts.
These trends signal changes in the production and consumption of symbolic visual goods, associated changes in their contexts of use, and new modes of distribution. The radical concordance of image, text and sound, and development of new information and knowledge infrastructures have encouraged the emergence of a global media networks linked with telecommunications that signal the emergence of global consumer culture the platforms and parameters determined by information utility conglomerates constituting the new trillion-dollar capitalist economy. What new subjectivities are constituted through image-based media and what role does image generation and control play in these processes? What new possibilities do the new image-based media afford students for educational autonomy? What distinctive forms of immaterial labor and affect do social and image-based media create? And what is the transformational potential of new image-based and social media that link education to its radical historical mission?
This work draws on and extends a paper called “Ten theses on the shift from (static) text to (moving) image” (free access at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23265507.2018.1470768) and is related to the broader research agenda associated with the Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy and the Association for Visual Pedagogies.
An historical epoch dominated by Greek ocular metaphors may...yield to one in which the philosophical vocabulary incorporating these metaphors seems quaint as the animistic vocabulary of pre-classical times. Richard Rorty (1980), Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, p. 11
Heidegger was influential in providing an account of the metaphysics underlying Greek philosophy in terms of vision and visibility. Heidegger’s account of Western metaphysics is deeply embedded in a metaphysics of presence where Being means presence and “seeing” is a means of grasping what exists.
W.J.T. Mitchell (1994) was one of the first to register a growing theoretical interest in visual culture suggesting a complex transformation was occuring in the human sciences and the sphere of public culture leading to a shift to the ‘pictorial turn’ and the twin ideas that ‘visual experience or “visual literacy” may not be fully explicable on the model of textuality’ (and that the ‘widely shared notion that visual images have replaced words as the dominant mode of expression in out time (p. 16).
In The Future of the Image Jacques Rancière (2008) suggests that there are two prevailing views about image and reality: the first, exemplified by Baudrillard, maintains that nothing is real anymore, because all of reality has become virtual, a parade of simulacra and images without any true substance; the second believes that there are no more images, because an ‘image’ is a thing clearly distanced or separate from reality and as we have lost this distance we are no longer able to discern between images and reality; and thus, the image, as a category, no longer exists.
The epistemology of the eye (as opposed to the ear) is central to the philosophical debate revolving around the primacy of vision in Occidental culture and the domination of the gaze that has interested French theory since Bataille and received extensive theoretical treatment by Sartre, Lacan and Foucault among many others. ‘The look’, ‘the gaze’, ‘le regard’, in the hands of these theorists becomes alternately a theory of subjectivity, a map of the existence of others, a form of development of consciousness, and a scientific means of governance and control.
The question of the image and ways of seeing is unquestionably tied up with the art philosophy and criticism and in particular the experience of the avant-garde whose representatives – poets (Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé, Baudelaire) as well as leadings artists of the major art revolutionary movements – sought new kinds of art and new forms of artistic expression (i.e., new ways of seeing) that were opposed to the traditional (bourgeois) institution of art seen to be captured by industrial capitalism. Today the industrial (and digital) reproduction of images has permanently altered the visual arts; images have become our cultural environment and can be owned, manipulated and manufactured. They define us and our identities and the struggle over their control serves to construct certain narratives, dramas, tableaux, scenarios and views at the expense of others.
The spectacle grasped in its totality is both the result and the project of the existing mode of production. It is not a supplement to the real world, an additional decoration. It is the heart of the unrealism of the real society. Guy Debord (1988) The Society of the Spectacle.
Baudrillard argues that a simulacrum is not a copy of the real, but becomes truth in its own right: the hyperreal. Where Plato saw two steps of reproduction — faithful and right. Where Plato sees basically two aspects the genuine thing and its copy (simulacrum) Baudrillard sees four: (1) basic reflection of reality, (2) perversion of reality; (3) pretence of reality (where there is no model); and (4) simulacrum, which bears no relation to any reality whatsoever. He argues that ours is a postmodern society that has become so reliant on models and maps that we have lost all contact with the real world that preceded the map.
Deleuze (1995) provides an analysis of the cinematic image according to a threefold periodization: What is there to see behind the image? What is there to see on the surface of the image? And, what can we see at all when the background of any image is always another image? Corresponding to each question is a stage of cinema based upon the changing function of the image.
Th[e] conversion of spectating, generally conceived as a consumer activity, into a socially productive activity depends on the establishing of media as a worksite of global production. Today, mass media functions as a deterritorialized factory, where the maintenance and retooling of a transnational, transsubjective infrastructure composed of human beings, factories, cottage industries, service sectors, as well as programmed software and electronic hardware is essential to the valorization of capital. The cinematicity of objects is harnassed as an alternative force and used to intensify production. The cinema and its technological descendants extract the labor for the maintenance and calibration of the social totality. Without television, as well as fax-modems, telephones, computers and digitized, computerized money, production would grind to a halt. Each of these media burrows its way into the flesh of the globe. - Jonathan Beller, The Cinematic Mode of Production p. 112.
Please send a 300 word abstract as an expression of interest with name, title and email address to The Editors by March 31, 2019.
The Editors, Educational Philosophy & Theory: