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In Search of Educational Liberation: Revisiting the social foundations of education through the lens of revolutionary democracy, engagement and activism

November 3 - 7, 2021
Hilton Portland Downtown, Portland, OR

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2021 (11:59 pm PST)

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laureate, read the poem ‘The Hill We Climb’.  In this brilliant work, she addresses how challenging it can be to remain hopeful.  She does this by naming the pain, the trials, and the tribulations we experience due to the imperfections of our Nation.  Acknowledging the complexity of imperfection, she continues: "And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished." As we gather in Portland, Oregon, the site of unrest and protest, we reflect on a year and a half fraught with uncertainty and challenges.   We acknowledge the pain, disappointment, struggles, and loss that many of our colleagues faced since our last face to face gathering in Baltimore, MD in 2019.  All of us have lived through the convergence of a double pandemic, coronavirus and systemic racism, an insurrection within our country, and on-going economic fragility.  While most, if not all of us, are weary - we continue to push and move forward. 

This Call for Proposals is written with the intent to use storytelling to recenter, reclaim, agitate, inspire, and ignite the purpose, significance, and importance of the foundations of education.  The social foundations of education are comprised of the disciplines of history, philosophy, comparative/international education, cultural studies, sociology, and political science.  For many of us, the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) is the place where academics, teachers, researchers, and community partners, connected to and by social foundations of education, meet to engage in critical discussion, learn new frameworks, and support one another.  As we gather this year, we are to consider the fragility of democracy, the need for critical engagement, the impact and effect of activism, the hope in healing, and the desire to live in an anti-racist country and world. This year’s theme builds upon previous themes that center educational liberation. Participants are encouraged to revisit social foundations of educational practices while also reimagining revolutionary practices in education that have and will shape us.

  • What can we learn from critical engagement, community activism, and justice work that lends itself to reimagining hope through educational liberation?
  • What stories will we tell about educational revolution in search of hope and an antiracist democratic system? 
  • What stories will we tell about combating the fragility of democracy in search of educational liberation?

For continuity, we revisit critical questions posed by last year’s conference theme, Healing the Mind/Body/Soul: Revolutionary Education for Liberation

  • What informal and formal educational practices contribute to the healing of the mind/body/soul and justice in communities?
  • What can we learn from our ancestors to inform the future of more radical and revolutionary education?
  • What can we learn from community activism and justice work that lends itself to restoring the whole person?

Proposals related to educational studies that are not specific to this theme are also welcome.



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