Date: Friday, February 26th 2016
Venue: Scarfe Room 310
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Title: Dangerous indeed: A response to Wayne Ross’ “Courage of hopelessness”
Speaker: Dr. Peter Seixas, Professor, EDCP
Light lunch served at noon outside Scarfe room 310. The Lecture commences at 12:30 pm. There is no need to RSVP.
Yes, yes, the past gets in the way; it trips us up, bogs us down; it complicates, makes difficult. But to ignore this is folly, because, above all, what history teaches us is to avoid illusion and make-believe, to lay aside dreams, moonshine, cure-alls, wonder-workings, pie-in-the-sky—to be realistic.
–Tom Crick, the history teacher, in Graham Swift’s Waterland, p. 108
In his EDCP Seminar on January 15, Dr. Wayne Ross challenged commonplace notions of schools, teacher education, the subject of social studies, democracy and freedom. In this talk (text, video, powerpoint), I review the arguments and confront them as a colleague—in the department, in social studies education, and in the project of educating teachers for British Columbia schools. As the basis of my critique, I offer a theoretical framework through the concept of “historical agency,” which calls attention to the abilities of people to act individually and collectively to shape the course of history, as well as the limitations on those abilities. It offers a way to steer a course between the two closely related traps of hopelessness and utopianism. I sketch its utility specifically in relation to 1) understanding our own social and political situation, 2) thinking about the role of schools and teachers in democratic societies, 3) developing useful curriculum and pedagogy in Canada today, 4) educating student teachers in the Faculty of Education, and 5) conducting educational research that matters.
Is an Emancipatory Communism Possible?
A talk by Allan Armstrong
Wednesday, April 13th at 7:00 PM
at TRS, Inc, 44 East 32nd Street, 11th Floor
Manhattan (between Madison & Park Avenues)
Mention of the word “Communism” today conjures up visions of tyrants. Young people, even when they clash violently with the representatives of global capitalism in Seattle or London, call their protests “anti-capitalist,” not communist. However, anti-capitalism is not enough. Revolutions can lead to
immediate feelings of intense liberation, but they are usually followed by much longer periods of defense, setbacks, and painful reconstruction. The 20th century was the “Century of Revolutions,” but it eventually produced so little for humanity at such a high cost, that it is not surprising that many are very cautious, despite growing barbarism.
Allan Armstrong will argue that it is vital that we outline a genuine new human emancipatory communism, which takes full stock of the failings of both “official” and “dissident Communism,” and which can persuasively show that human liberation can still be achieved. He will explore Marx’s vision, particularly as detailed in his “Critique of the Gotha Program,” which emphasizes the need to break with capitalist production relations rather than expecting a new society to come about through political changes.
Allan Armstrong, a republican, Scottish internationalist, and communist, is currently co-editor of Emancipation & Liberation, the journal of the Republican Communist Network. He is also involved with the commune, a collective dedicated to outlining a new communism for the 21st century. Armstrong is the author of “Why We Need a New Emancipatory Communism” and “The Communist Case for ‘Internationalism from Below“