Study Circle 8: Futures of Education, Cultural Diversity, Imaginations and Collective Transformations in Time of the Anthropocene
Call for Papers
Topic: Education and Nature as the Other in the Anthropocene
Summer Session Symposium 1-31 October 2021
About this study circle
The aim of the Study Circle is to analyze, discuss and (re)think the futures of education, cultural diversity and the individual, collective and social transformations in the current epoch of the Anthropocene. Anthropocene is the unofficial term for the present epoch which denotes the dominance and global effects of human activities on the Earth’s ecosystems, biodiversity and geology. This poses new challenges and threats to our collective life (both human, animal, and to the ecosystems), and forces transformations. This includes issues such as human rights, world citizenship, alterity, heterological thinking and new concepts of peace and sustainability, both from western and non-western perspectives, human and non/trans-human perspectives. Dealing with these different issues, the “response” to the Anthropocene is ever-present, whether as optimistic or as pessimistic approaches. Currently, education systems are undergoing reforms to meet the needs of the economy for growth. One example is the reform effective in Norway from next school year, where the aim is to produce workers for the future for the sake of the economy. Such a focus leaves out much to be wanted in an educational setting with regards to answering the current crisis. Traditionally, the idea of Bildung has served as a conceptual framework from which to form a critique of these trends. Due to its holistic focus on education, Bildung can serve as a mutual opening of the self and the world as reflected in the idea of the Anthropocene, and create a relation between the human and the non-human other.
The study circle is organized around the following six major themes:
Theme 1. Education and Nature as the Other in the Anthropocene
Theme 2. Education and the Human Other in the Anthropocene
Theme 3. Education and the Technological Other in the Anthropocene
Theme 4: Imagining the Future – Traditions and Transformations
Theme 5: Diversity, Transformation and the Future
Theme 6: Action-oriented Change – Potentialities for Sustainability
About the Summer Session Symposium 1-31 October 2021:
The Symposium will be organized around Theme 2: Education and the Human Other in the Anthropocene.
The focus on technical and capitalist aspects of education, as education for growth and technical skills, implies that everything, including ourselves, are reduced to resources and we are therefore not “someones” having value in and of ourselves. The claim for this value needs to be made, but in relation to and with respect to the radical non-human or more-than-human other (Deleuze and Guattari; Nietzsche; Jagodzinski).
This task calls for politics to change, in order to accommodate its failure to form alliances with other movements, imaginations and educational practices. The concept of universal human rights, as well as the rights of the non-human others, and their sustainability (we can call them “universal being rights”), refers to politically articulated relations of differences in the so- called “plus globalization” (Latour, 2019). The term designates a new reality that questions globalizations early focus on profit maximization and the reduction of human beings to resources, and instead it asks for the re-grounding of ourselves as citizens, both as terrestrial nomads and world citizens.
The following points serve as focus points for the Summer Session Symposium:
- Exploring the limits and possibilities of current pedagogy and educational system in a global world
- Exploring various definitions of humanity, human rights and its relation to educational theories and practices
- Human Rights – Universal or ethnocentric: Critiques and possibilities (?)
- Place, place-making and global sense of place in urban and non-urban educational settings
- The capitalist aspects of education (the so-called students-clients, etc.)
- Globalization vs plus-globalization (Latour and others)
- Reducing humans to resources?
- D&G, Nietzsche, Jagodzinski’s views on education…
- Universal rights vs universal human rights
- Humans as terrestrial nomads and planetary citizens
Description of the theme:
In this first theme we wish to explore nature as the non-human other and the possibilities and limits of the current pedagogy and educational systems in both the Nordic area and the Baltics in relation to the non-human other. This means daring to explore and reinterpret the entire foundations of our educational traditions, and even the definition of humanity in light of insights from the non-human other. Through current proposals such as dark pedagogy, wild pedagogy and ecocritical pedagogy, and ideas such as “bewildering education” (Snaza 2018), “decentering the human”, “environmental literacy”, “re-wildering the human consciousness”, and knowledge emerging from a “natural library” (Hawke 2012), we can find interesting perspectives on how nonhumans can be included in educational activities – not only as objects for study, but also as agents in their own right. This will bring about ideas on how to develop heterological relations with the radical other, at the same time discussing if human rights need to be limited, changed or otherwise rethought from the roots in relation to having eco-rights on an equal base. Also non-western traditions, where we find different ontologies, anthropologies and naturephilosophies, should be included in the exploration of (re)defining the human and non-human other and their relations, including the investigation into what McKenna called the archaic revival (McKenna 1991).
The NSU Summer Session 2021 will not be held in a physical location, due to the current Covid-19 world pandemic. Instead it will be held online for all the activities mentioned in this CfP for the Study Circle 8.
The deadline for submission of the title and a brief abstract (3-5 lines) is 10 September 20, 2021. Please note that you have to send the title and the abstract to all three coordinators mentioned in the call.
Those who have applied will be informed about the decisions by 20 September 2021 and we will send out the program for the Winter Session including technical details, regarding the online conference platforms (Zoom, or others) which we will have an access to in a secure version.
You can apply for the Summer Session Session 2021 in some of the following formats:
- Presentation of an academic paper or lecture – 30 mins.
- Shorter presentation of ideas on the topic of the CfP – 10 mins.
*The length of the talks/ presentations is adjustable, depending on the number of participants and density of the program.
Since this is a Summer Session, there will be obligations regarding FMs (FellesMøter), GA (General Assemblies) and other NSU-related activities during 1-31 October. We will need to select delegates for these meetings, since this will be important for voting during GA. The First General Assembly will take place on 17 October, and the second on 30 October 2021, and a voice as to the future of NSU. The closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, 31 October 2021.
We will send out information about dates and times for these meetings as soon as we can.