CFP: Critical Theories in the 21st Century

by E Wayne Ross on August 3, 2012

Call For Proposals
Critical Theories in the 21st Century

Due to the success of last years’ inaugural event, we are very excited about the upcoming Critical Theories in the Twenty-First Century conference at West Chester University. Due to the deepening crisis of global capital and the anti-capitalist movement in embryo (since last November), this year we added a special theme: Critical Education Against Capitalism. As many reactions to the ravages of capital are reformist in nature, failing to identify and target the true causes (i.e. private property as a complex historical process) of exploitation, injustices, war, educational expansion as well as educational budget cuts, ideological indoctrination, and so on, especially in critical pedagogy, this discussion targeting the root capitalist cause of life at the present moment is particularly relevant and needed.

Consequently, whereas last year “the call for proposals” was “general enough to be inclusive of many critical approaches to transformative or revolutionary pedagogies and theory,” this year we ask the critical pedagogy community to present their works in a way that demonstrates how it contributes to achieving a post-capitalist society. As such, we can suggest a few relevant themes for proposals: Marxist educational theory, Anarchist pedagogies, austerity/educational budget cuts, ignoring poverty, racialization and hegemony, (anti)settler-colonialism/imperialism, indigenous critical theory/autonomous governance, anti-capitalist eco-pedagogy, atheism and education, queer theory against capital, etc.

While this conference will include important presentations and debates between key figures in critical pedagogy, it will not be limited to this focus. In other words, as critical theory becomes more inclusive, global, and all encompassing, this conference welcomes more than just academics as important contributors. That is, we recognize students and youth groups as possessing authentic voices based on their unique relationship to capitalism and will therefore be open to them as presenters and discussion leaders (as was done in 2011). While this inclusivity is obviously designed to challenge traditional distributions of social power in capitalist societies, it will not be done romantically where participants’ internalized hegemonies are not challenged. Put another way, while students will be included as having something valuable to contribute, they will both be subjected to the same scrutiny as established academics, as well as invited to share their own critiques. All participants will therefore be included in the discussions of why and how to achieve a post-capitalist society.


November 16th and 17th 2012


Friday evening and all day Saturday


West Chester University, West Chester, PA


To contribute to the wide and deep network of critical educators throughout the world working with students and workers building a vast coalition of critical thinkers who know that a meaningful life after capitalism is possible.

More info here.