Tag Archives: Conference

Society, Democracy, and Economics: Challenges for Social Studies and Citizenship Education in a Neoliberal World

On February 20, 2020 I will be delivering the keynote address at the annual meeting of Gesellschaft für sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft (GSÖBW) / Society for Socio-Economic Education and Science in Vienna, Austria.


In 1989, Francis Fukuyama declared the “end of history,” arguing the collapse of the Soviet Union, end of the Cold War, and universalization of liberal-democracy was the end point of the humankind’s ideological evolution. Since then we have witnessed a continued retreat of civil rights, a massive rise in inequality, and liberal-democracy has now delivered a string of illiberal authoritarian, nationalist leaders worldwide. Many analyses of right-wing populism are dualistic – creating a narrative of democracy against right-wing nationalism. Individualism is at the heart of classical liberalism and as such is the root of the democratic crisis that is represented by the contemporary rise of so-called populism. In this paper I explore national democracies and the relationship between bourgeois democracy and fascism. Given what we know about the state of democracy in the world today, is it even possible to teach for a democracy that is not dominated by capital? Do we want to teach for capitalist democracy? Is there an alternative? Is the concept of democracy bankrupt? Is democracy as a concept and practice even salvageable? If democracy is salvageable then teaching about and for democracy in contemporary times cannot be done without engaging the complexities and contradictions that have come to define what real existing (or non-existing) democracy is and its relationship with fascism and populism.

Keywords: populism, democracy, social studies education, citizenship education, neoliberalism, socio-economic education

The full text of the talk is available here: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.23273.85600

Rethinking Alternatives to Neoliberalism in Education (ICCE 2017)

Earlier this month, I was a plenary speaker at the VII International Conference on Critical Education at the University of Athens (and Marasleios Pedagogical Academy of Athens), Greece. The conference theme was “Rethinking Alternatives to Neoliberalism in Education.”

The Athens newspaper Documento published an article on the conference by Anna Papadimitriou, which includes interviews with several conference plenary speakers including Dave Hill, Marnie Holborow, Grant Banfield and myself.

Documento, Ο νεοφιλελευθερισμός εισβάλλει σε σχολεια και πανεπιστημια [Neoliberalism invades schools and universities], July 2, 2017, pps. 33-35),

My talk was titled “Democratic Education in the Age of Empire: Critical Pedagogy in the Pursuit of Dangerous Citizenship.” Here is the abstract of the talk:

There is a disconnect between the rhetoric and reality of democracy in that subverts traditional approaches to democratic education. The tropes that have historically dominated the discourse on democracy and democratic education now amount to selling students (and ourselves) a lie about history and contemporary life. Our challenge is to re-imagine our roles as educators and find ways to create opportunities for students to create meaningful understandings of the world. Education is not about showing life to people, but bringing them to life. The aim is not getting students to listen to convincing lectures by experts, but getting them to speak for themselves in order to achieve, or at least strive for an equal degree of participation and a more democratic, equitable, and just future. This requires a new mindset, something I call dangerous citizenship.

Rouge Forum 2016 – Teaching for Democracy & Justice in an Age of Inequality


Teaching for Democracy and Justice in an Age of Inequality

May 27-28, 2016
Calgary, AB, Canada


Keynote Speaker: E. Wayne Ross, Professor, University of British Columbia
Location: St. Mary’s University [map]
Registration information and form
Submit Proposal
Housing Information
Program and schedule
Session abstracts
Conference web site

The Rouge Forum holds meetings on a regular basis at both local and national levels. The national conferences have been held on a more or less annual basis; all meetings are action-oriented and the national conferences usually include workshops for teachers and students; panel discussions; community-building and cultural events; as well as academic presentations. Many prominent voices for democracy and critical pedagogy have participated in Rouge Forum meetings. On this site you’ll find the latest information about upcoming Rouge Forum meetings and conferences as well information on past conferences, including abstracts, papers, and videos.

Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice (Left Forum 2014)

The theme for the 2014 Left Forum Conference is “Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice” (read or download it). The call for panels can be downloaded here.

This is the 10th year of the Left Forum, which will be held from May 30th – June 1, at the spacious new conference center at John Jay (CUNY) College in New York City. The conference grounds include beautiful open social spaces and many conference rooms (preview here).

ATEE Winter : Social Justice and Diversity in Teacher Education (Budapest)

Association for Teacher Education in Europe

Winter Conference 15-17 April 2014—Budapest

Social Justice and Diversity in Teacher Education


Extended NEW deadline: 20th February 2014

The main aim of the conference is to facilitate scientific dialogue around the theme of social justice and diversity in connection to teacher education in a wide sense through questions and answers offered by solid research studies. Traditional conferences often give very limited place for real dialogue and sharing around findings and problems. However, research is always a social activity too, and it needs to be discussed, shared and reflected in research communities. Scientific activities might also better contribute to the transformation and development of societies and communities if knowledge coming from research is constructed and reflected together by gathering findings, questions and possible answers. In order to promote dialogue, discussion and common knowledge construction, the sections of the conference will be organized in accordance with this principle, and the whole conference will be characterized by this atmosphere of sharing.

Confirmed keynote speakers: 

Peter McLaren (USA)
Geri Smyth (Scotland) 


The conference welcomes any kind of theoretical, empirical or methodological research papers related to the conference theme from different disciplines, approaches and research traditions. Participatory, collaborative or practitioner research studies are particularly welcome as well as policy analysis.

Important dates: 

  • EXTENDED deadline for submission of abstracts: 20th February 2014
  • Notification of acceptance: 5 days after the submission
  • Deadline for submission of papers and presentations: 15th March 2014 (on the form of the website that is under construction)

All participants who want to present their work at the ATEE Winter Conference are invited to submit a brief and concise abstract (max. 100 words!). Please use the registration form. Contributors can submit proposals for individual papers of one or more authors. This is the preferred type of presentation because of the special structure of the conference: parallel sessions of 60 minutes with two papers (10-10 minutes for presentations and 40 minutes for discussion). However, if a group of researcher would like to submit a symposium or a workshop related to the topic of the conference, they should contact the organizers: ateewinter2014@gmail.com

If you would like to participate in the conference without presentation, please also use the registration form.

In order to foster real dialogue in the sessions, participants have to send their full paper (between 5000 and 8000 words) or at least a shorter, draft version of their paper (2500 – 3000 words) and their presentation (if they wish to use slides) one month before the conference. The papers and presentations will be uploaded to the conference website (to a platform accessible for participants). It is very important that the participants choose and read the papers in advance, and in this way after the shorter presentations, there can be a real dialogue about the research studies in the sessions. The number of presentations is limited to 110, and each author can submit only one abstract as single (or main) author, and another one as co-author.

General guidelines for abstracts:

  • All abstracts should be submitted in English, which is the official language of the conference.
  • All abstracts should be submitted on the registration form on this website.
  • High quality research can be presented in some words. Abstracts should be very concise, no longer than 100 words (title not included). They should indicate briefly the (theoretical and/or epistemological) approaches and applied methodology and the summarized main findings; or they should present the theoretical or methodological problems of the paper, and the offered answers, views or statements.

Criteria of evaluation:

  • connection to the conference theme;
  • clear and brief formulation of the focus of the paper;
  • scientific quality: methods, theories clearly indicated;
  • convincing summary of the findings or views;
  • appropriate style and language in accordance with the topic of the paper and with the concise nature of the abstract.

Full papers, after a process of double blind review, will be published online on the Conference Proceedings. High quality papers could be sent for submission to the European Journal of Teacher Education.


25th Annual Peace Studies Conference: Security, Surveillance, and U.S. Imperialism

25th Annual Peace Studies Conference


THEME: Security, Surveillance, and U.S. Imperialism
December 7, 2013
12PM to 7PM
Building: University Union West
Room: UUW 324 & 325
Binghamton University, New York, USA
University Map, Directions, Lodging, etc:

For General Questions contact Anna Pinchuk with Peace Action: 607-245-6695

12:00 – 12:30 Tabling & Arrival Time
12:30 – 12:45 Welcome Address – Mallory Schmackpfeffer, President of Binghamton University Peace Action


(1) Peace Studies for SUNY
The desirability of a SUNY-directed model of Peace Studies that would promote alternatives to violence through the creation of a minor by 2016 and a major by 2020.

Jack Gilroy is a high school teacher at Maine-Endwell and has been a peace activist since the Vietnam War. He was the director of the Committee of Responsibility in Upstate New York working to bring back war injured children from Vietnam.

(2) Activist Strategies for Peace Education
Educational pedagogies and projects that promote the implementation of peace that can be implemented in anti-bullying and other existing programs directed at youth.

Tim Wolcott teaches Life and Physical Science and supervises the greenhouse projects at Waverly Middle / HighSchool. As Adjunct Professor at the University of Albany he also directed Waverly’s Science Research Program.

(3) Guns on Campus: Securitization and Campus Policing
An interrogation of debates surrounding the campus presence of guns to police student populations and securitize the university environment to the detriment of peace.

Ben Brucato is a doctoral candidate in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has published research on surveillance and policing at colleges and universities.


(1) End of Prisons
This is a two person presentation on a recently released book “The End of Prisons,” which provides an in-depth look at what prisons try to accomplish and how we can dismantle them through an abolitionist strategy of decarceration in the relation to the American legal system, national security, and human rights.
Mechthild Nagel is Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Cortland and is the Director of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies.

Ute Ritz-Deutch received her PhD in History From Binghamton in 2008 and currently teaches out of the History Department at SUNY Cortland.

(2) Resisting Federal Surveillance: The Case of Burning Books
After a decade of being under heavy federal surveillance for exercising free speech in support of the Earth Liberation Front, Leslie James Pickering discovered his associates are being questioned by the FBI, the Post Office copying his mail, and was individually put on a secret list for maximum security screening at airports. This multimedia presentation will show the methods of federal government uses to repress activists and ways in which they can be resisted.

Leslie James Pickering is an activist, author, and co-owner of Burning Books in Buffalo, NY. He was a spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front Press Office from the late 1990s to the early 200s.

(3) The Embodied Resistance of the Black Body
Argues that resistance must come from one’s epistemic privilege and that the black body offers a unique positionality to confront sites of violence through their constant engagement with anti-blackness.

Raul Cepin is an undergraduate at Binghamton University and is a Varsity member of the University’s debate team.

4:00 – 4:30 Break

4:30 – 6:00 PART 3. Drone Warfare: Consequences and Resistance

(1) A History of Drones and Resistance
As drone warfare has increased the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars has begun campaigning to say no to targeted assassinations. Their actions of civil disobedience has resulted in numerous jailings and detentions of activists.

Jim Clune has been active with the Upstate Coalition to Down the Drones and End the Wars since its inception and has been to El Salvador, Iraq, and Palestine to stand in solidarity with those who have suffered.

(2) Syracuse’s Hancock Airbase
A focus at the 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard and recent court rulings that have issued orders of protection meant to suppress collective outcries against the victimization of women, children, and other non-combatants.

Ed Kinane formerly worked on Wall Street and taught high school and college. He has worked with Peace Brigades International in Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, and Sri Lanka.

(3) Drones as War on Terror
An account of people on the ground who have been killed by drone strikes and the absence of reports from the United States to provide a justification for their strikes, as drone policy finds itself exempt from national and international laws.

Judy Bello was jailed for 3 days for protesting the Hancock Air National Guard Base, co-led a FOR Delegation in Iran, administers the website for Upstate Drone Action Coalition, and blogs at The Deconstructed Globe.

6:00 – 6:45 Awards – Dr. Amber E. George

Anna Pinchuk
“2013 Peace Studies Undergraduate Scholar of the Year”

Drew Winter
“2013 Peace Studies Graduate Scholar of the Year”

Reies Romero
“2013 Peace Studies Undergraduate Project of the Year”

Sarat Colling
“2013 Peace Studies Graduate Thesis of the Year”

Dean Nieusma
“2013 Peace Studies Faculty Project of the Year”

Animals and War: Confronting the Military-Animal Industrial Complex
“2013 Peace Studies Book of the Year”

Greedy Lying Bastards
“2013 Peace Studies Media of the Year”

Louis Kriesberg
“2013 Peace Studies Lifetime Achievement Award”

6:45 – 7:00 Concluding Remarks – Dr. Mechthild Nagel

Rouge Forum 2013: Join Us at Wayne State University (May 16-19)

Rouge Forum 2013: Winning the Class Struggle Against Corporate Education Reform

See links below for Rouge Forum 2013 Conference details:

Conference Registration (click here)

Conference Housing Options (click here)

Conference program overview and keynote speakers (click here)


Download Rouge Forum 2013 Posters: here.

Dr Seuss and Dangerous Citizenship

This past weekend I had the great honor and pleasure to deliver a keynote address to the 6th Annual Equity and Social Justice Conference held at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

I would like to thank the conference organizers for inviting me to participate in an exciting day that included many cutting edge papers as well as a provocative and high energy performance/workshop by the Hip Hop Psychology Performing Arts Movement.

My keynote, titled “Dr Seuss and Dangerous Citizenship” explored the efforts of governments (in British Columbia, Arizona, and Texas) to keep schools “political neutral” and how these actions actually undermine opportunities for objective teaching and curriculum. I outline the contexts of rulings that have restricted the rights of teachers to express political views in BC (specifically in Prince Rupert where teachers have been banned from using particular Dr Seuss books and in a bizarre irony have also been prohibited from wearing t-shirts displaying portions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms). I also outline the attacks on Tucson (AZ) school district’s Mexican American Studies program and the right wing Christian revisions of the Texas history curriculum, which demote Thomas Jefferson and promote St. Thomas Aquinas; deletes abolitionist Harriet Tubman and highlights the Confederacy; and emphasizes the role of religion in American society at the expense of the US Constitutional separation of church and state.

If political expression is repressed and restricted in schools (and it certainly is, as I illustrate in this talk) then there are reduced opportunities to critically examine knowledge claims. The ideology of neutrality that dominates current thought and practice in schools (and teacher education) is sustained by theories of knowledge and conceptions of democracy that constrain rather than widen civic participation and functions to obscure political and ideological consequences of so-called “neutral” schooling, teaching, and curriculum. The consequences include conceptions of the learner as passive; democratic citizenship as a spectator project; and ultimately the maintenance of status quo inequalities in society.

I offer up “dangerous citizenship” as a framework I have developed along with Kevin D. Vinson (University of the West Indies) for re-thinking responses to these conditions and explore the work of interventionist artists as sources of inspiration for teaching and curriculum.

Download the paper and accompanying powerpoint from Academia.edu or below.

Dr Seuss and Dangerous Citizenship Talk

Dr Seuss Dangerous Citizenship PDF version of PPT

Conference: Education Under Siege by Neoliberalism

3rd International Conference on Critical Education
Education Under Siege by Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism
May 15-17
Ankara, Turkey

Call for Papers

Neoliberal and neoconservative educational politics have significantly been damaging education all over the World. Public education is regarded as old fashioned, private schools and a variety of types of education have been presented as an ideal model, schools and the students are now in a more competitive relationship, public education has been losing its status as a social right as a result of relationships with the market, and the state is rapidly losing its social character in the face of these developments. It leads us to rethink education given problems such as the education becoming less democratic, less secular and losing its scientific character; becoming more conservative and capital oriented and becoming less concerned with- in fact- detrimental to- issues of equality and critique. In rethinking education, the critical education movement takes an important role in creating new horizons and strategies against the global attack of the capital.

The International Conference on Critical Education, which was held in Athens for first meetings, provides a base for the academics, teachers and intellectuals who are interested in the subject to come together in order to overcome obstacles for public education. Therefore, in the age where education is under siege by neoliberalism and neoconservatism, we invite you to the IIIrd International Conference on Critical Education to reflect on the theory and practice of critical education and to contribute to the field.

On behalf of the organising committee,
Prof.Dr. Meral UYSAL
University of Ankara, Faculty of Educational Sciences
Department of Life Long Learning and Adult Education