Liberal Education Conference 2023: Migration, Refugee Crises, and Decolonization

May 4, 2023 - May 5, 2023
Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University
Calgary T3E6K6

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  • Mount Royal University
  • University of Lethbridge
  • Medicine Hat College


Mount Royal University

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The present realities of decolonization, immigration, and refugee migration require critical enquiries into the provision of liberal studies in higher education. The aims and methods of liberal education as a pedagogical exercise and a cultural practice need to be examined within the dynamic intellectual, social, economic, and political contexts created by today’s unprecedented movement of peoples and intersections of cultures. Variously seen as forced migration, exile, dislocation, statelessness and even environmentally induced displacement, the Global refugee crises present multilocational and multilayered challenges. This conference aims to create a focused debate around not only the phenomenon of refugee migration but also seeks to understand the crises as within a continuum of other constructions of the refugee as the non-Western Other. This construction leads to the near necessity of speaking of decolonization as an imperative located possibly within liberal education and its practices. The intertwining of the refugee experience with Indigenous communities’ lived experience calls for thoughtful intervention. Can liberal education aid in the process of decolonization? Is it a singular process, or are there multiple ways in which decolonization can occur? What does decolonization look like?The aims of liberal education are variously articulated as an instrument for the teaching of transferable practical skills, the making and enabling of responsible citizens, or the cultivation of virtue, self- knowledge, and broad, general wisdom. These aims and the means of achieving them all need to be reassessed as our wider society is transformed by both by the infusion of new peoples and the increased engagement of Indigenous communities.The Department of General Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and its partner, Medicine Hat College, in Medicine Hat Alberta, Canada and U of Lethbridge invite papers and panel presentations for our fifth Liberal Education Conference on the theme of Liberal Education in an Era of Migration, Refugee Crises, and Decolonization. Broad topic areas related to this may include, but are not excluded to:the challenges to the historical grounding of liberal education in a time of increased cultural heterogeneity the place of liberal education in the construction of a common meeting place in society embracing diverse, distinct cultures
the experience of arrival and purposes of liberal education for refugee or recent immigrant
the possibility of a coherent program of liberal education in the absence of a common culture
liberal education as a progressive instrument in the face of hostility to migration, decolonization and cultural diversity the aims of liberal education in a multi-cultural society
the idea of openness and Liberal EducationIntersectionality of the refugees and the indigenous communitiesInternational refugee law and the overlap with liberal educationthe curriculum of liberal education: which are the great books; or is liberal education dependent on canonical texts, whatever they may bedecolonization and canonization
pedagogical practice in the presence of cultural diversity — the problems “language proficiency,” cultural capital, and behavioral norms in the classroomcontending cultural norms and the possibility of a general, liberal educationshould liberal education be an instrument of social and cultural integration?trauma, memory and identity formation and how liberal education might address the issuesliberal education and the building of intercultural solidarityimmigration and the infusion; inspiration; and transformation of liberal educationWe seek abstracts for high quality papers on the conference’s theme, some of the topics we have suggested, or any matters related to ‘liberal education in an era of refugee migration and decolonization’.Please prepare your abstract of no longer than 300 words for blind-review by March 17, 2023. Send your abstracts, suitable for blind-review, to [email protected]. Decisions will be announced byMarch 25, 2023. Please include a separate cover page withthe title of your paper or panel
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Please send documents in PDF or Word format.Registration is $350.00 for full-time faculty. Graduate and undergraduate students can attend the entire conference for $100.00. If you are a student, please contact us before registering. We have a limited hybrid option for 150.00.All funds are Canadian. Registration, conference venue, and an announcement of keynotes are forthcoming. Our intention is to publish a selection of papers from this conference as we have in the past.Accommodation information is below.This conference is sponsored by the generous support of Medicine Hat College, U of Lethbridge and Mount Royal University.Special thanks to the Faculty of Arts Endeavour Fund, the School of Liberal Education at the University of Lethbridge, and the School of Arts, Sciences, and Education at Medicine Hat College!

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May 5, 2023, 9:00am MST

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