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66th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society

CIES 2022 Minneapolis
Illuminating the Power of Idea/lism
Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 18 - 22, 2022

The CIES 2022 theme Illuminating the Power of Idea/lism arises from the intersection of two immutable realities of our time and the impact both are having on the field of comparative and international education. The first is our global experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. The second is the rise of nativism and fundamentalism representing both ideological rigidity and political divisiveness. The CIES 2022 theme seeks to find ways to address these challenges by bringing forward new ideas with a sense of idealism in the work we do as educationists.

As we plan for CIES 2022, hoping to gather in person after a three-year gap, our theme is grounded in the context of time, place, and possibility. The context of time refers to the global pandemic that has upended the practice of education for learners in all environments. The context of place refers to Minneapolis, a city at the crossroads of global and local, a place of refuge for new arrivals to the U.S., but also at the forefront of racial justice protests since the 2020 murder of George Floyd. The context of possibility returns to the notion of ideas where at this time and in this place, we seek to foster dialogue, while anticipating gathering as practitioners, academics, and students - indeed, a global community of idealists.

From our conversations over the past few years focusing on Education for Sustainability (2019), Education beyond the Human (2020), and Social Responsibility within Changing Contexts (2021), it is more imperative than ever to look at the ways in which the current political, economic, social, cultural, linguistic, religious, and other forces intersect with education. There are existential fears that impact what we know to be true. Divisions on what constitutes science, knowledge, justice, and education threaten our humanity. Global movements aimed towards progressivism and transparency are undercut by entities that promote nativism and fundamentalism, further politicizing fear and loss. These powerful negative forces are coalescing. Education that fosters compliance and conformity makes it easier for them to take root and thrive. As a result, the planet is responding to a range of tensions. How will the CIES community address these strains?

As a community, we need to be aware of these pressures. However, we are also buoyed by our collaborations, engagements, knowledge, resources, and the breadth of our expertise and experiences. These past few years have taught us that even in the face of such circumstances, innovation and creativity can also thrive. CIES 2022 seeks to illuminate innovative and creative practices, and inform us on the rich and rigorous work being undertaken in an effort to open conversations that get us to boldly ask ourselves as a field: Why do we do things the way we do? What would happen if we threw caution to the wind and asked ourselves – what do we really want to accomplish? What would education look like if we took risks and dared to dream? How do we nurture our idealism into reality?

How can we use our time at CIES to discuss the impact of these challenges and the ways in which we have and will continue to address them? How can we elevate our time together as a community to build our expertise and strength for greater solidarity in times of global shifts?

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