Undoing Coloniality: Sculpting Anti-colonial Geographies in Philosophy of Education

October 23, 2015 - October 25, 2015
Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University

Education Building
3700 McTavish Street H3A 1Y2

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Space as a battlefield, as a geography studied to destroy an enemy, as a territory with fixed frontiers, is very different from the abstract idealization of empty space of Newton's physics or the existential space  of phenomenology…I am not speaking of the space of the claustrophobic or the agoraphobic. I am  speaking of political space, which includes all existentially real spaces within the parameters of an  economic system in which power is exercised in tandem with military control. Unnoticed, philosophy was  born in this political space… I am trying, to take space, geopolitical space, seriously.                       

Enrique Dussel, Philosophy of Liberation, 1980                                

Undoing Coloniality: Sculpting Anti-colonial Geographies 

in Philosophy of Education

 October 23rd-25th 2015, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

The idea that there are politics – as well as geography and economy – to philosophy entails that there are also politics and geography to our philosophies of education and teaching. As educators, we do not practice education in an abstract space, but in a geopolitical one. Doing education as a geopolitical enterprise implies that there are difficult choices to be made: perpetuating pedagogies and philosophies of education from a specific geography – space –  can mean excluding pedagogies from “other” geographies and spaces. Indian Residential Schools are cases in point that illustrate how engaging in assimilative pedagogies lead to subjugating and silencing, hence colonizing “other” pedagogies and epistemologies. The history of these schools also show how education can do harm, and serve as a manufactory of colonization, oppression and collective pain. As educators, teachers and makers of knowledges –and in the meantime dwellers in a geopolitical space- our teaching philosophies and pedagogies always have far-reaching consequences beyond our classrooms.   

The central question that guides this year’s GSCOPE meeting is about education as a geopolitical enterprise: Do our pedagogies, perhaps in ways we are not always aware of, support and perpetuate colonial hierarchies and knowledges across the globe, or are we fighting or resisting coloniality? To what extent do our philosophies of education safeguard or disrupt the current politico-economical order of the world? Most importantly, how can we create new anti-colonial pedagogies that acknowledge education as a geopolitical process?  How do we imagine new spaces of pedagogy in this world: new unimagined spaces? 

The 2015 Graduate Student Conference in Philosophy and Education invites high quality papers and panel proposals that address – but are not limited to – the following themes and inquiries: 

¥What do liberating educational philosophies look like? What values do they embrace and challenge/disrupt?  

¥How are multi-centric educational philosophies different from Euro-centric ones? 

¥How can philosophies of teaching transform into liberating praxis in education?  

¥ In what ways are we/should we -as educational theorizers, pedagogues, curriculum planners and philosophers from across the globe- be similar? Should educational philosophy and theory be done differently in different parts of the world?

¥What might it mean to think of education as an anti-colonial enterprise? 

¥How can our pedagogies pave the way for the restitution of lost/oppressed/colonized pedagogies/epistemologies? 

¥To what degree do liberating pedagogies lend themselves to indigenous ways of teaching and knowing? To what degree do they/should they differ?  

The conference will be held in the second half of October. Exact dates will be announced in early March. 

  • Keynote speaker(s) to be announced in March. 
  • The deadline for submissions of papers is May 18th. 
  • GSCOPE 2015 also accepts panel proposals. The deadline for panel proposals is May 10th. 

We are proud to announce the following exciting features of GSCOPE 2015: 

Online Presentation - For the first time, GSCOPE accepts online paper presentations for participants outside of US and Canada. The online presentation event is reserved for graduate students who do not have the means to travel, and it has been designed specifically for indigenous teachers and students across the globe who live far from Montreal. Once accepted, presenters can join the conference and present their papers via Skype. Please note that there is a limit to the number of online presentations.

Panel for MATL and Philosophies of Teaching- GSCOPE has designated a special panel for McGill’s MATL students. All papers are subject to standard review and submission processes. In your email heading please mention PAPER SUBMISSION for MATL PANEL. 

McGill Indigenous Studies Program Panel -  Students from Indigenous Studies Program at McGill are encouraged to submit high quality papers to this year’s GSCOPE. In your email heading please mention PAPER SUBMISSION- INDIGENOUS STUDIES PANEL. 

Collaboration with PES GSCOPE 2015 is in collaboration with PES for a pre-conference graduate student workshop in philosophy of education, to be held in Memphis on March 12th. For further information please contact Nassim Noroozi [email protected] or Eduardo Duarte at [email protected] . 

We are seeking reviewers, session moderators and volunteers to help with the conference. If interested, please send an email to [email protected].

Submissions :

All submissions are blind reviewed. Proposal for individual papers should not exceed 1000 words (excluding references). Panel proposal should not exceed 1500 words (excluding references).

Send your submissions to [email protected] 

Conference Coordinator: Nassim Noroozi 

[email protected]

[email protected]

Special thanks to the following professors for their wonderful support: 

Taiaiake Alfred - University of Victoria, British Columbia 

Eduardo Duarte - Hofstra University, New York and PES 2015 Program Chair

Kathy Hytten - University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Kevin McDonough -  McGill University, Montreal

Andrea Pitts - Vanderbilt University, Nashville


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May 18, 2015, 5:00am EST

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#decolonization, #colonial, #post-colonial, #education, #philosophy of education, #