Education, Imperialism, and Resistance – call for papers

Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan
August 10-11, 2009

Deadline for abstracts: November 30, 2008
Notification of acceptance: January 31, 2009
Deadline for papers: May 31, 2009

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle Working Group on Teachers, Researchers, and other Education Personnel invites academics, scholars, researchers, education and social activists and progressive intellectuals to an international conference on "Education, Imperialism, and Resistance," to be held in Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan on August 10-11, 2009. It will be hosted by the International Center for Taiwan Social Studies and Taiwan: A Radical Quarterly in Social Studies.

The conference aims to bring together academics and social activists to put forward a progressive critique of imperialism and education.

Imperialism is at the root of untold suffering for billions of people throughout the world. Imperialist banks and corporations reap huge profits from the exploitation of working people even as the world economy is racked by crises, the gap between rich and poor countries widens, hundreds of millions are thrown into unemployment, billions are kept in poverty, and environmental destruction proceeds unabated. The imperialist countries, led by the United States, wage wars of aggression to control valuable markets and resources and suppress revolutionary movements. All over the world, imperialism intensifies the oppression of women, exacerbates racial and ethnic conflicts, and incites discrimination against migrants. (Photo: students oppose state of emergency in Bangladesh, 2007)

In the guise of neoliberal globalization, imperialism is having a devastating impact on education. Drastic cuts in public spending for education have become the norm. Teachers, researchers, and other education personnel suffer deteriorating standards of living as salaries fail to keep up with rising costs. Large numbers are being laid off as governments close down schools and universities deemed inefficient. As education becomes the flashpoint for popular struggles, schools and universities are increasingly subjected to state repression.

Imperialism exercises an ever-tightening grip on education. The WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) has placed liberalization of the so-called education market and the privatization of education on the agenda of future negotiations, along with other basic social services. Teaching and research are to an unprecedented extent driven and defined by corporate interests.

Imperialist control of education is a key element in imperialist domination of culture as a whole. U.S. imperialism, in particular, makes full use of the means at its disposal—chiefly its huge monopolies in mass media—to shape world public opinion according to its interests. Monopolies have increasing influence over curricula, education programs, institutional organization, and research agendas.

Struggle over knowledge and research is a key aspect of struggles against imperialism.  On the one hand, imperialist domination of education and research is used to undermine people’s struggles. On the other, a critique of imperialist ideology can be an important tool in the struggle for radical structural change. Throughout the world today, education workers respond to imperialist globalization through solidarity and struggle to defend their rights and welfare, the people’s right to education, and advance the struggle for a more just and humane future for all. (Photo: Demonstration during 2005 strike of 230,000 students in Quebec against C$130 milllion cutbacks in education.) 

Participants to the conference are invited to present a critique of any aspect of imperialism and education including access to education, education sector reforms on neoliberal lines, right to education and livelihood, the political economy of education, the politics and theories of knowledge production and research, the impact of privatization and liberalization on educators and students and the impacts of education sector reforms on societies. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches to these concerns.

Individual papers and panel presentations on the general theme are most welcome.  Specific papers on any of the following themes may be submitted for consideration. Tracks correspond to the possible organization of the plenary sessions.  The program committee reserves the right to merge, reschedule or reassign topics, based on suggestions and interest from the participants.

Track 1.   Education and Imperialism

Education and Imperialism: Historical Perspectives
Basic Education and Imperialist Globalization
Higher Education and Imperialist Globalization
Debt, Aid, and Education

Track 2.   Education and Markets

Education, Industry, and Imperialist Globalization
Free Trade Agreements and Education
Global Migration and Education
Transnational Education

Track 3.   Education, Oppression, and Resistance

Education and the Social Movements
Education and National Liberation
Race, Ethnicity and Education
Education and Human Rights
Gender Issues and Education
Rights and Welfare of Educators

Participants may also form panels and are urged to submit the corresponding proposals. Panel organizers will be responsible for organizing panels put forth by them.

The organizing committee will review submissions and decide on the final schedule of presentations. Selected papers will be considered for publication, after peer review.

Papers should be prepared and presented in English. There is no page limit but contributors are encouraged to limit their paper to less than or equal to 20 pages (A4 paper, font 12, double-spaced) including the cover page, abstract, text, references, tables and figures. The format should follow standard academic styles.

An abstract of not more than 500 words, together with a one-page resume of the proponent, must be submitted to the Conference Secretariat on or before 30 November 2008 at the following email address:

Notification of acceptance will be released on 31 January 2009. Completed papers must be submitted electronically to the Conference Secretariat on or before 31 May 2009 for inclusion in the final conference program.

Deadline for submission of panel proposals is December 15, 2008. The panel line-up will be announced on February 1, 2009.


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