Upcoming critical education conferences and talks

News has crossed our desks about a few conferences to check out…

Universities, neoliberalism and inequality
28 April 2017
Goldsmiths, University of London

Radicalism and the University
13 and 14 June 2017
University of Essex, Colchester Campus

The 4th International Conference on Critical Pedagogies and Philosophies of Education
27 and 28 July 2017
University of Winchester

Critical Theories of Education Today
3-4 November 2017
Philadelphia, PA

And a talk nearby:

‘School and Principal Autonomy: resisting, not manufacturing the neoliberal subject’
10 May 2017
University of Nottingham, 1-2:30pm

Social Co-operatives and the Democratisation of Higher Education

On 5 April, Joss Winn (University of Lincoln) and Richard Hall (De Montfort University) presented a version of the introduction to their new book, Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education at the Co-operative Education and Research Conference in Manchester.

The paper, ‘Social co-operatives and the democratisation of higher education’, explores how taking the idea of ‘mass intellectuality’ seriously opens up radical new ways of thinking about what higher education is and can be. It ‘develops a critical analysis of ‘intellectual leadership’ in the University, and identifies on-going efforts from around the world to create alternative models for organising HE and the production of knowledge’. Arguing that real democracy is possible in learning, knowledge production and the relationship between the university and society, it concludes with a ‘critical-practical response grounded in the form of “co-operative higher education”. This rests on the assertion that ‘social co-operatives’ offer an organizational form that values democratic participation and decision-making and would constitute the university as a social form of mass intellectuality re-appropriated by the producers of knowledge.’

For more information and to read the paper, click here.

To learn more about current research into co-operative higher education and leadership, see Joss Winn here, Richard Hall here and a the Co-op Leadership project site here.


‘The marketised university and the politics of motherhood’

*New paper*

‘The marketised university and the politics of motherhood
Gender and Education, 2017

Sarah Amsler, School of Education, University of Lincoln, UK & Sara C. Motta,  Newcastle Business School (Politics and Policy), University of Newcastle, Australia

To read the paper in Gender & Education, click here or visit the University of Lincoln repository.

In this paper, we offer a critique of neoliberal power from the perspective of the gendered, sexualised, raced and classed politics of motherhood in English universities. By using dialogical auto-ethnographic methods to examine our own past experiences as full-time employed mother–academics, we demonstrate how feminist academic praxis can not only help make the gendered workings of neoliberal power more visible, but also enable us to nurture and sustain alternative ways of being and working in, against and outside the university. Far from desiring greater inclusion into a system which enshrines repressive logics of productivity and reproduces gendered subjectivities, inequalities, silences and exclusions, we aim to refuse and transgress it by bringing feminist critiques of knowledge, labour and neoliberalism to bear on how we understand our own experiences of motherhood in the academic world.


‘Pedagogy of hate’ – a review of Peter McLaren’s Pedagogy of Insurrection (2015)

Please see the abstract below of a new paper by Prof. Mike Neary, ‘Pedagogy of hate’. The paper engages with Peter McLaren’s recently published Pedagogy of Insurrection (Peter Lang, 2015). Look for the review in a forthcoming edition of Policy Futures in Education, and read early by visiting this link to a pre-print version of the paper.

“Written as  an extended review of Peter McLaren’s ‘Pedagogy of Insurrection: from Resurrection to Revolution’ published in 2015, this paper contradicts McLaren’s affirmation of political religion and the version of critical pedagogy on which it is based, claiming hate rather than Christian love as a core concept of Critical Theory. Not a personal, psychological or pathological hate, but a radical hate for what the world has become, or absolute negativity. Hate must be invoked as love-hate for the magic of dialectics to work against the holy love of McLaren’s Christian socialism. Radical hate reveals the main transcendental tenets of capitalist civilisation: God and Money, as impersonal forms of social domination that must be brought down to earth so real existence can learn, learn, learn itself. That is the educative power of the Pedagogy of Hate. Now and forever.”

New research on Nigeria’s Qur’anic Schools and Almajirai – African Studies Association 2016

Hadiza at conference

Hadiza Abdulrahman, doctoral researcher with the  University of Lincoln’s School of Education, recently presented  her work at the 59th meeting of the African Studies Association in Washington, DC. Her contribution to a panel on New voices in the study of Islam in Africa: the production and contestation of Muslim institution in West Africa was a paper entitled ‘Contested representations of Northern Nigeria’s Qur’anic schools and almajirai’. This work is based on her PhD research. Congratulations to Hadiza, and watch this space for updates on her research.

Workplace Special Issue #28 – Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor

New special issue of Workplace Journal out now!

Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor

New research on the Almajiranci system of education

RiCES postgraduate researcher Hadiza Kere Abdulrahman has recently been busy speaking about her doctoral project on the Almajiranci system of education in Northern Nigeria.  

In June, she spoke at both the University of Lincoln Africa Research Forum  and at the 2016 Cadbury Conference, Bodies of Text: Learning to be Muslim in West Africa on ‘Contested Representation of Northern Nigeria’s Almajirai and Qur’anic Schooling‘.

In December 2016 in Washington, DC, she will take part in a panel of the African Studies Association, co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa, entitled ‘New Voices in the Study of Islam in Africa I: The Production and Contestation of Muslim Institutions in Contemporary Africa’. An abstract of her paper, ‘Contested Representations of Northern Nigeria’s Qu’ranic Schools and Almajirai’, is below.

‘Contested Representations of Northern Nigeria’s Qu’ranic Schools and Almajirai’ (Abstract)
Hadiza Kere Abdulrahman

‘Almajiranci, Islamic-based system of education in Northern Nigeria, involves boys as young as seven being sent off to study and memorize the Qur’an under the tutelage of a Malam. It is currently a topic of great debate in Nigerian society as researchers and the media have linked Almajiranci and Almajirai to everything from religious uprisings to Boko Haram and political unrests. Early indications from my phenomenological study of the products of Almajiranci have shown that the narratives employed above are contradictory to the narratives that the past Almajirai create and utilize for themselves. The critical and negative representations of Almajiranci are at odds with the ones they have of themselves. There is therefore a tension between the dominant narratives and the experiences of these young men, who see the value of Almajiranci and whose identities—as humans and as Muslims—have been shaped by the system. This research gives voice to the Almajirai, who are centrally involved in the construction, contestation and transformation of meaning in the system. The misrepresentation of the Northern Nigerian Almajiri’s identity and its broader political and social significance is at the heart of this research, which opens up cross-disciplinary inquiry on religion, education and identity.’