Posted on 23 March 2015.
Posted on 15 March 2015.
2015 Biennial Conference of the GEA Association: Keynote speakers’ short bios and abstracts
Prof. Katarina Eriksson Barajas, Linköping University, Sweden
The Power of Fiction as a Pedagogical Tool for Eliciting Gender Discourses
My paper examines discussions of gender values in everyday life, elicited by books, film and theatre. The analysis draws on three Swedish data sets: 1) teacher-led book talk sessions that raise gender issues in small groups of pupils in Grades 4-7, 2) the use of a feature film (Lilya 4-ever, about sex trafficking) to instill gender equality values in upper secondary school, and 3) discussions of gender issues among adults after leisure-time visits to movies and theaters. The data is analyzed using a discursive approach (Edwards and Potter 1992) combined with poststructuralist feminist research on (children’s) reading (Davies and Banks 1992; Walkerdine 1990). The idea that we learn and develop fundamental values, such as gender equality, through fiction, coincides with research findings indicating that we develop empathy by reading good literature (Kidd and Castano 2013). My presentation contributes some empirical knowledge about how people are “doing equality” in natural everyday settings. The analyses show that gender stereotypes are, at times, transcended in discussions around fiction, regardless of the gender content in the book, film or play in question. Additionally, the analyses show that, even outside of educational contexts, fiction is spontaneously used by participants to address gender equality issues. The idea that fiction can open one’s mind follows Swedes throughout their education, and is apparent among adult film enthusiasts and theater-goers, and also relates to research of everyday learning and adult education (cf. Larsson 1996).
Davies, B. and Banks, C. 1992. ‘The Gender Trap: A Feminist Poststructuralist Analysis of Primary School Children’s Talk about Gender’. Journal of Curriculum Studies 24: 1-25.
Edwards, D. and Potter, J. 1992. Discursive psychology. London: SAGE.
Kidd, D.C. and Castano, E. 2013. ‘Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind’. Science 342: 377-380.
Larsson, S. 1996. ‘Vardagslärande och vuxenutbildning’.
Walkerdine, V. 1990. Schoolgirl fictions. London: Verso.
Keywords: Every day life, popular culture, fiction, gender equality.
Katarina Eriksson Barajas is Professor of Education in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning at Linköping University, Sweden. She is interested in child studies, comparative literature, discursive psychology, gender studies, and reader-oriented research. Her research focuses on needs and uses of fiction by applying a discursive approach on everyday practices concerning literature, film and theater. One such practice is the use of fiction as a didactic tool.
Prof. Penny Jane Burke, University of Roehampton, UK
Feminist insights have contributed a richer understanding of the profound relationship between the histories of gendered subjectivity, ontology and epistemology and the vacating of the emotional from the world of the academy. In this keynote I will explore the emotional layers of pedagogic experiences not only to illuminate ‘fear as emotion’ but also ‘fear of emotion’ (Leathwood and Hey, 2009: 435). Such fear is entangled in the destructive forces of multiple political frameworks operating simultaneously to reform processes of misrecognition and symbolic violence, even as higher education policy is demanding that universities evidence inclusive practice as part of their commitment to diversity. Underpinning the hegemony of neoliberalism, meritocracy, and globalisation, and related undercurrents of misogyny, racism and classism, is the construction of ‘difference’ through fixing and pathologising identity positions. Difference and emotion are posed as dangerous forces that require homogenising and neutralising via technologies of managerialism and through the fixing of socially constructed categories. Such manoeuvres are deeply bound to moves towards hyper-individualism in which specific performative and instrumentalist models of success are being mobilised. New formations of patriarchy within neoliberalism ensure that characteristics associated with difference in HE, such as ‘being emotional’ or ‘caring’, are regulated and controlled through a range of new disciplinary technologies, including of teaching. Pedagogical relations are thus deeply implicated in the gendered politics of (mis)recognition, and profoundly connected to the impact of the emotional on the body and the self (Ahmed, 2004) and to the politics of difference. I will argue that we need to re/imagine difference not as a problem to be regulated for neoliberal processes of standardisation and homogenisation but as a critical resource to reflexively develop collective and ethical participation in pedagogical spaces. Such collective participation is not based on a notion that we can overcome power relations, but an understanding that power is complex and fluid and an inevitable dimension of pedagogical relations in which difference is and should be part of the dynamics in which we create meaning and understanding.
Ahmed, S. (2004) The Cultural Politics of Emotion. New York: Routledge.
Leathwood, C. and Hey, V. (2009) Gender/ed discourse emotional sub-texts: Theorising emotion in UK higher education. Teaching in Higher Education. Vol. 14 (4), pp. 429-440.
Key words: emotion, pedagogy, fear, managerialism
Penny Jane Burke is Professor of Education at Roehampton University, London, where she is co-Founder and Director of the Paulo Freire Institute-UK (PFI-UK) and Research in Inequalities, Societies & Education. She is also Global Innovation Chair of Equity and Co-Director of the Centre of Excellence in Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Penny is passionately dedicated to developing methodological, theoretical and pedagogical frameworks that support critical understanding and practice of equity and social justice in higher education. Her research expertise includes gendered formations, higher education access and participation, pedagogical experiences and practices and student and professional identities. She has published extensively in the field of equity in higher education. After returning to study via an Access to Higher Education course, followed by a BA Honours and MA, Penny was awarded a full-time Economic and Social Research Council doctoral studentship from 1998-2001, which resulted in the publication of her book Accessing Education effectively widening participation (2002). Her most recent sole-authored book The Right to Higher Education: Beyond widening participation was published by Routledge in 2012. Her co-authored book Reconceptualising Lifelong Learning: Feminist Interventions (with Sue Jackson) was nominated for the 2008 Cyril O. Houle World Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education. Penny was recipient of the Higher Education Academy’s prestigious National Teaching Fellowship award in 2008 and she is the Access and Widening Participation Network co-Convenor for the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE). She is Editor of Teaching in Higher Education and a member of SRHE’s Governing Council and Publication Committee. Penny has held the posts of Professor of Education at the University of Sussex and Reader of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Prof. Marília Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
To move toward greater democracy in global production of knowledge
In international social science journals, including those with a feminist focus on gender, such as Gender and Education, articles about countries in the global South often show their location in their titles. In these articles, one finds explanations about the geographic and socio-economic context, the educational or political system, historical roots and so forth. But when a paper has no contextualization, and the authors use general words like girls, boys, women or teachers, then it probably comes from the metropole.
These points show some of the imbalances in global knowledge politics and despite the particular attention that gender studies developed to power relations, this situation is true also for our field. These questions have been debated for decades, all around the world, and they pointed out that the conceptual tools of metropolitan social science present themselves as universal and able to decode all societies. So the relevance of metropolitan theory and research is previously warranted by the universality from which it tacitly begins.
We, who produce knowledge from the global South, are used to translating in the broad sense of translation, which goes far beyond transferring linguistic meanings from one language to another. We are used to explaining and contextualizing, in order to make our ideas understandable. And besides translating our own texts and contexts, we also need to understand the locales in which the metropolitan research was conducted and the metropolitan theories were developed.
Behind this set of issues there is actually a wide-ranging epistemological debate about the possibility and need for universalization. But for now, I only intend to suggest a seemingly simple posture that can help us to move toward greater democracy in global production of knowledge, paying particular attention to feminist knowledge: an effort to clarify the contexts, an ongoing effort to shift towards the other, and to realize the necessary mediations to make the ideas of each one understandable for those who do not share the same cultural background.
Key words: North/South division of intellectual labor; translation; social science journals
Marília Pinto de Carvalho is Professor of Sociology of Education and Educational Policies in the School of Education at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her research interests focus on sociology of education, relating to gender and teachers’ work and also gender and school achievement of boys and girls. She is especially concerned with how gender, race and class work together in the context of institutional settings such as schools. Her current research is about how family socialization contributes (or not) to girls’ academic success in poor urban area schools.
Prof. Farzana Shain, Keele University, UK
Feminisms, imperialism and the ‘war on terror’
More than thirty years ago, Amos and Parmar’s groundbreaking paper ‘Challenging Imperial Feminism’, published in Feminist Review (alongside other seminal works including Hazel Carby’s ‘White women Listen’ and Mohanty’s ‘Under Western Eyes’) sparked productive debate among feminists about the limits of ‘global sisterhood’ and about Western feminism’s uncomfortable support of imperialist interventions. Since then, intersectionality, the concept alluded to by Amos and Parmar and later introduced by Kimberle Crenshaw to denote the multiple and interlocking systems of oppression that shape the lives of black women, seems to have been mainstreamed in academic work and policy discourse, though not without critique (Anthias, 2007). However, the use of feminist rhetoric by Western leaders after 9/11 to justify the global ‘war on terror’ as well as some open endorsement provided by mainstream human rights and liberal feminist organisations has led to a renewed debate in the last decade about the relationship between imperialism and feminism. Drawing on the recent dialogue between US based feminists (Kumar; Toor; Tax) about the legacy of the global ‘war on terror’ for feminist politics and activism, and with a particular emphasis on the way girls and women’s rights to education have been used to justify such interventions, this paper takes a critical look at the issues to reflect on the direction that has been travelled by feminisms since the 1980s.
Key words: ‘war on terror’, feminist politics, intersectionality, imperialism and feminism
Farzana Shain is Professor of Sociology of Education in the School of Public Policy and Professional Practice at Keele University. Her early research focused on the impact of neoliberalism on educational policy and practice in the further education sector in England. More recently, her research and writing has focused on young people’s gendered, raced and classed experiences of schooling and also on young people’s understandings of the politics of oil. She is the author of The New Folk Devils: Muslim Boys and Education (Trentham: 2011), and The Schooling and Identity of Asian Girls (Trentham: 2003), which collectively explore the social and political identifications of young people in a schooling context in England against the backcloth of the global ‘war of terror’.
Prof. Lois Weis, State University of New York, USA
Unprecedented levels of executive compensation and finance largely drive well-documented inequalities of income and wealth, with resulting explosive growth in wealth among the top 1% in the United States, in particular (Piketty, 2014; Piketty and Saez, 2012; Saez 2013). As a consequence, the vast majority of highly educated professionals in the US and elsewhere, as well as those who inherited wealth from their parents, find their relative positions substantially eroding in relation to a class of super-rich financiers and senior managers..
This well-documented realignment has deep implications for the extent to which and ways in which relatively privileged parents strive to position their children for future advantage. Based on two years of extensive ethnographic investigation in three representative affluent and elite secondary schools in the United States (Weis, Cipollone & Jenkins, 2014), I argue that as relatively privileged women increasingly engage in a form of “mother work” designed to position their children for access to highly valued postsecondary destinations (at a time when such access can no longer be assumed), women become centrally located in new forms and enactments of “class warfare.” As I will suggest, the stark insertion of gender and gendered labor into new class processes/ productions fundamentally alters the fulcrum of class struggle in current historic moment, thereby setting the stage for class structural arrangements of the 21st century. Where men arguably sat at the center of class analysis and class struggle/warfare of the not too distant past via industrial workplace struggles and/or accumulation and management of massive economic capital, it is now women, via the kind of intricate class positioning such as that explored in this lecture, who sit at the epicenter of new class productions, formation, and outcomes. Turning class/gender intersectionality “on its head” so to speak, sets the stage for future important work on class/gendered productions in a range of class fractions in nations differentially positioned in relation to globalizing culture and capital.
Key words: intersectionality, class, globalization, ‘mother work’, gendered labor
Lois Weis is State University of New York Distinguished Professor of Sociology of Education at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She has written extensively about the current predicament of White, African-American, and Latino/a working class and poor youth and young adults, and the complex role gender and race play in their lives in light of contemporary dynamics associated with the global knowledge economy, new patterns of emigration, and the movement of cultural and economic capital across national boundaries. She is the author and/or editor of numerous books and articles relating to race, class, gender, education and the economy. Her most recent volumes include Class Warfare: Class, race, and college admissions in top-tier secondary schools (with Kristin Cipollone and Heather Jenkins, University of Chicago Press, 2014); Education and Social Class: Global perspectives (edited with Nadine Dolby, Routledge, 2012); The Way Class Works: Readings on school, family and the economy Routledge, 2008); and Class Reunion: The remaking of the American White working class (Routledge, 2004).
Lois Weis is a winner of the outstanding book award from the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, as well as a seven-time winner of the American Educational Studies Association’s Critic’s Choice Award, given for an outstanding book. She is past-president of the American Educational Studies Association and past Editor of the American Educational Research Journal-Social and Institutional Analysis section. She sits on numerous editorial and advisory boards, including the International Advisory Group of the Forum for Youth, Participation and Democracy housed at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is member of the National Academy of Education (NAEd), an Honorary Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and has delivered invited lectures worldwide.
Posted on 04 November 2014.
Third and Final Call for Papers
DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 10 January 2015
University of Roehampton, 24-26 June 2015
The tenth international biennial conference of the Gender and Education Association, Feminisms, Power and Pedagogy, will be hosted by the School of Education and the Paulo Freire Institute (PFI)-UK & Research in Inequalities, Societies and Education (RISE), at the University of Roehampton, London, UK.
We are seeking contributions that engage with questions of power and pedagogy, broadly defined, in relation to gender and other ‘differences that make a difference’ (such as nation, geography, race, class, sexuality and dis/ability), on local, national and global levels. Feminisms are also defined broadly to include a range of ways of understanding gender and power and how these concepts relate to other inequalities. Similarly education and pedagogy include not only the formal, apparent pedagogies offered in educational institutions, such as schools and universities, and the hidden curricula of such organisations, but also the informal and often unnoticed pedagogies of, for example, material and popular cultures and pedagogies deployed by activists in NGOs and political movements. We are especially keen for this conference to be a forum for feminist engagements with education and pedagogy from across the world.
Dr Katarina Eriksson Barajas, Linköping University, Sweden
Prof. Penny Jane Burke, University of Roehampton, UK
Prof. Marília Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Prof. Farzana Shain, Keele University, UK
Prof. Lois Weis, State University of New York, USA
Plenary panel: Activists in Conversation
We are very excited to announce our plenary panel of activists to take place on the first day of the conference. This will be a conversation between feminist activists working in and outside academia, about how activism can educate, what academics and activists can learn from each other, and how they can support each other.
The speakers are:
Nelly Ali, a doctoral student, blogger and effective activist for street children everywhere, but specially in Egypt: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/geds/our-research/phd-students/nelly-ali and www.nellyali.wordpress.com.
Lucy Lake, chief executive of CAMFED: https://camfed.org/about/team/lucy-lake/.
Fahma Mohamed, Integrate Bristol, who spearheaded and is still active in the campaign to combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): http://integratebristol.org.uk/# for Integrate Bristol’s website and http://integratebristol.org.uk/2014/02/22/fahma-appeals-to-michael-gove-junior-trustee-of-integrate-bristol-launches-massive-campaign-with-the-guardian-and-change-org/.
Amaranta Thompson, Director of Development and Operations with the International Women’s Initiative: http://www.internationalwomensinitiative.org/#!management-team/c220n.
The conference aims to address the following key questions from feminist perspectives:
How can feminist theories of gender, education and pedagogy benefit from scholars from different parts of the world working together?
How do feminist activists around the world work to promote equality?
How can activists and academics work together to develop and promote equality through feminist and other approaches to pedagogy?
How can we build our understandings of education and/or pedagogy through critical analyses of power relations drawing on, for instance, feminist, subaltern, critical race and postcolonial theories?
How does power operate and influence educational and pedagogic processes, at local, national and global levels?
How do the political, economic and organisation contexts for the production of knowledge impact on the knowledge produced by feminist researchers and others, and what are the implications for social justice?
How can feminist and other approaches to education and pedagogy (e.g. Freirean, subaltern, critical race and postcolonial) reinforce, enrich and build on each other?
All papers, symposia and workshops should engage with educational/pedagogic issues, broadly defined. Within this broad context, examples of what the proposals for papers and symposia may cover include: feminist perspectives from different worldviews and political and theoretical perspectives; feminisms, social movements and pedagogies; the emergence and structuring of gender and education as a field of study in a range of national contexts; masculinities and femininities in education and/or pedagogy; popular culture, pedagogy and gender; policy, politics and practice in education; and neo-liberalism, globalisation and gender. However, this is in no way a comprehensive list and participants should not feel constrained by our suggestions, as we will finalise the conference streams in light of the papers, symposia and workshops accepted.
While contributions will critically engage with feminist theories, they may do so from a variety of fields and subject areas (e.g. gender studies, education, sociology, history, philosophy, linguistics, etc.) and theoretical perspectives. We invite proposals for individual papers and/or symposia from academics, students, policy makers and activists.
GEA featured symposia and workshops:
Featured symposia acknowledge the commitment of GEA to honour and showcase current and outstanding research and/or activism relating to gender and other differences that make a difference in education, broadly defined. Symposia may consist of one or more two-hour sessions. If organised in a conventional format, each session should consist of a minimum of four and a maximum of six papers (including a discussant if any). We would also be interested in receiving proposals for symposia or workshops that do not follow this conventional format but are more innovative in their organisation. To be featured symposia or workshops, the proposal must show that it has widespread appeal, and explores contemporary and/or historical issues relevant to the aims and purposes of GEA. Please note that each submission will be assessed separately against each of the criteria (relevance to the work of GEA, outstanding research and/or activism). Normally however the symposium/workshop proposer should identify a convenor/chair/facilitator and may identify a discussant for the session. Non-conventional formats should be described and justified in the overview of the symposium or workshop.
Fahma Mohamed and Habiba Said, of Integrate Bristol, will be running a workshop at the conference on teaching about FGM in school and we are in the process of arranging other workshops. If you would like to offer a workshop, please contact Debbie.Epstein@roehampton.ac.uk to discuss this.
Proposals for individual papers, symposia and/or workshops should be sent to Julia.Noyce@roehampton.ac.uk for blind-peer review by 10 January 2015. Proposals for papers should give an abstract of no more than 250 words. Proposals for symposia consisting of four to six papers (or double sessions consisting of eight to 12) should give an overall summary of the theme of the symposium proposed in 250 words or less and brief abstracts (up to 150 words) of the individual papers to be included in it.
Please save your proposal for an individual paper with author name followed by ‘GEA_2015’ (e.g. NAME_ GEA_2015) with a brief biography and contact details on a separate page. For symposia, please give the symposium organiser’s name followed by ‘GEA_2015’ and contact details, plus the names and brief biographies of all contributors on a separate page.
You will be informed whether your paper/symposium/workshop has been accepted by 31 January 2015.
Free conference workshop on getting published:
A free pre-conference workshop for doctoral students attending the conference on getting published in international refereed journals, run by the editors of Gender and Education, will also be held on the afternoon of 23 June. Space permitting, this will also open to other early career researchers who are in their first academic posts or have not got an academic job but preference will be given to research students who are not in academic jobs and who have not yet published in international refereed journals. If you wish to attend this workshop, please indicate this on your booking form. Acceptance will be on a first come first served basis.
In addition to the conference fee, all delegates will need to pay for one year’s membership of GEA (£30) to begin on 23 June 2015 for those joining for the first time. If you are already a member, this year will be added on to the end of your existing membership. If you are a life member, please contact Julia Noyce by email.
Early bird fees (to be booked by 31 March 2015):
Early bird rates are available for bookings made before 20 March 2015. It is probable that after that date there will be no further residential bookings available. We cannot guarantee accommodation for bookings made before 20 March, but have reserved a large number of rooms so hope there will be enough for everyone wanting accommodation.
Please note that residential bookings include accommodation on the night of 23 June 2015 and breakfast on 24 June as the conference will start no later than 9.30 am.
£275 – Early Bird conference booking fee (non residential package, inclusive of lunches and dinners)
£375 – Early Bird conference booking fee (full residential package, inclusive of three nights accommodation, breakfasts, lunches and dinners but please note that those in residence on Tuesday 23 June will need to sort out their own dinner)
£400 – Early Bird conference booking fee (full residential package, inclusive of three nights accommodation with ensuite, breakfasts, lunches and dinners but please note that those in residence on Tuesday 23 June will need to sort out their own dinner)
£110 – Early Bird conference booking fee (daily rate, inclusive of lunch and dinner)
Standard booking fees (from 1 April 2015):
£305 – Standard conference booking fee (non residential package, inclusive of lunches and dinners)
£405 – Standard conference booking fee (full residential package, inclusive of three nights accommodation, breakfasts, lunches and dinners but please note that those in residence on Tuesday 23 June will need to sort out their own dinner)
£430 – Standard conference booking fee (full residential package, inclusive of three nights accommodation with ensuite, breakfasts, lunches and dinners but please note that those in residence on Tuesday 23 June will need to sort out their own dinner)
£125 – Early Bird conference booking fee (daily rate, inclusive of lunch and dinner)
Accommodation is provided on campus but is limited. It will be available on a first come first served basis.
We have made arrangements with an excellent local nursery to accept children up to the age of 5 (subject to availability of places) from 8.00am-6.00pm during the conference at a daily charge of £58. Please contact Julia Noyce for details. See, also, bursaries, below.
We will be offering a limited number of bursaries to those who are giving a paper, are unwaged (including doctoral students on studentships) and whose institutions will not support them to come to the conference.
Full conference fee waiver. This will be available to those coming from other countries and who meet the conditions above. They will be awarded on a competitive basis, as judged through a process of blind refereeing.
Fee waiver of £100. This will be available to those from within the UK who meet the conditions above.
An additional fee waiver of £100 towards any extra costs of caring provision (e.g. for children or frail/ill adults) incurred by coming to the conference.
If you wish to apply for any of these three bursaries, please submit a short paragraph with your abstract explaining why you need such a fee waiver in order to attend the conference. Katja Jonsas (Katja.Jonsas@roehampton.ac.uk) and Kate Hoskins (Kate.Hoskins@roehampton.ac.uk) will be looking after bursary applications and will let you know before the Early Bird date whether you have been successful in gaining fee waiver or not. If you have any queries about bursaries, please contact one of them. Please do not make your booking until you have heard from them as you will need to indicate on your booking form that you are in receipt of a fee waiver.
Booking your place:
To book your place at the conference please go to the Roehampton ‘online store’ where you will find a link to the GEA conference. To book your place please visit the online store url.
Important information about visas:
Please note that we do not send letters of invitation out to all conference participants though we will, of course, provide receipts. However, should you require a letter to support your visa application, we will provide this once you have booked and paid for your place. We can then send a letter to state that you are intending to take part in the conference, and that you have paid. If for any reason your visa application is unsuccessful, we will refund your fee as long as you let us know by email no later than 29 May 2015.
For further information and updates, please visit the conference webpage.
Posted on 03 August 2014.
Feminisms, Power and Pedagogy: 10th Biennial Conference of the Gender and Education Association
University of Roehampton 24-26 June 2015
The tenth international biennial conference of the Gender and Education Association, Feminisms, Power and Pedagogy, will be hosted by the School of Education and Paulo Freire Institute (PFI)-UK & Research in Inequalities, Societies and Education (RISE), at the University of Roehampton, London, UK.
We are seeking contributions that engage with questions of power and pedagogy, broadly defined, in relation to gender and other ‘differences that make a difference’ (such as nation, geography, race, class, sexuality and dis/ability), on local, national and global levels.
Dr Katarina Eriksson Barajas, Linköping University, Sweden
Prof. Penny Jane Burke, University of Roehampton, UK
Prof. Marília Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Prof. Farzana Shain, Keele University, UK
Prof. Lois Weis, State University of New York, USA
Submission deadline extended to 10 January 2015
Notification for successful submissions: 31 January 2015
Posted on 19 May 2014.
The University of Warwick is organising an ESRC-funded workshop “Academia and Gender: Inducing cultural change to plug the ‘leaky pipeline’ workshop” at the Royal Society on the 5th-6th of June. This event will bring together academics in different disciplines, gender experts, policy makers and higher education administrators and aims at concrete actions and measures of success in the context of Academia, Gender and Culture change. For more information please click on the following link: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/pioneers/events/inducingculturalchange/programme/.
If you would like to join us, please register (by Tuesday 27th May 2014) at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/pioneers/events/inducingculturalchange/registration/
Please note that places are limited and will be offered on a first come first serve basis. For more information about the event, please contact Dr. Charikleia Tzanakou at: Charikleia.Tzanakou@warwick.ac.uk
Posted on 03 April 2014.
The international conference, Educating young people about sex: addressing issues of gender, sexuality and diversity takes place on 11-13 April in Brno, Czech Republic. The conference is part-funded by the GEA and is jointly organised by Vanita Sundaram (University of York), Lucie Jarkovska (Masaryk University) and Analia Meo (University of Buenos Aires) and aims to bring together scholars, activists and practitioners from a range of contexts to discuss key issues around sexuality, education and gender. Delegates will attend from Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal and the UK among other countries.
The conference keynote speakers are Dagmar Herzog, Claire Maxwell and Deborah Youdell who will be talking about topics as fascinating and diverse as historical and national reflections on child sexual abuse cases, the need to foreground gender in sexuality and relationships education, and the politics of sex education. Three of the conference delegates will write blogs about their experiences of the event and we look forward to hearing their reflections on the possibilities for sex and relationships education.
Posted on 01 April 2014.
Gender and Education in the Asia Pacific: Possibilities and provocations
We would like to invite you to the Gender and Education Association Biennial Interim Conference, which is being held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), University of Melbourne.
The conference themes address the knowledge and politics of place and speak to a wide range of concerns and settings, and is not limited to specific regions or countries. The questions raised by such a focus are prompted by, but not restricted to, the complexities of Australia’s geopolitical location in the Asia-Pacific region, its history as both colonised and coloniser, and its current position as part of the ‘global north and the global south’.
We welcome abstract submissions for individual papers, symposia as well as ‘non traditional’ presentations such as performance pieces, poetry and pecha kucha: http://www.pechakucha.org/
For more details including submission please visit the conference website:
e-mail enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on 05 November 2013.
By Yvette Taylor, GEA Member
I was excited to be invited to speak at ‘The Rebirth of Feminism’ conference, with the title posing potential… and, perhaps, problems or even pain. A ‘rebirth’ is loaded with prospects and (re)production, as enduring feminist labour. This is messy and, while something (and someone) ‘arrives’, the potential, problems and pain arguably carries on (see ‘feminist failures’).
Intrigued, I wondered what (and who) was being re-birthed, pondering on the newness implied, and the feminist lines and lives continued, renewed or rejected. Feminism(s) have long articulated and circulated the language of ‘family’, of ‘sisterhood’, and generational ‘waves’, suggestive of a generational inheritance and ‘passing on’; these notions can veer between a ‘never had it so good’ to a ‘failing the future’ sentiment. As the recent Gender and Education Association 2013 conference variously considered, I wondered ‘who gets to inherit and what is accumulated and lost in renewing feminism?’
I considered these questions as I searched for an object’ to bring to the conference, as instructed by the organisers. The chosen object was intended to foster discussion, deliberately deviating from a stand-and-speak format of knowing-feminist speaker versus feminist-in-training audience. Conscious of these knowledge exchanges, often bound up with generational positions, I chose to speak about my own retrieved school report cards, marking my own educational trajectory. Which I wouldn’t easily describe – or feel – as an ‘arrival’ (see here).
Report cards are something we’ve all likely experienced (arguably continued and self-audited as our own academic CVs). We’ve all been evaluated, and as educators, we all evaluate, celebrating potential and lamenting failure. When the question of our own academic biographies intersects with questions of women’s entry into the world of employment and education more generally, questions of potential can quickly become problematic – even recast as feminist failure. As Angela McRobbie highlights in the Aftermath of Feminism, women’s entry into the workforce, as beneficiaries of and achievers in education, has become a sign of ‘arrival’, that she has found her place in a (post)feminist world. But she can also go ‘too far’ and (some) women’s achievement has also been seen as a cause and symptom of a male-underachievement and ‘crisis of masculinity’ (even with his pay differential).
In presenting, I hoped to remind everyone of this story beyond me, even as I placed my report cards on the floor, in the group circle; as we report on feminist potential (and failure) we must, of course, move beyond our own stories. But here is mine: I rediscovered my school report cards, held as valued and treasured objects, even though what they conveyed on the pages was frequently a ‘failure’ rather than a ‘success’. In reading these educational (mis)representations of me, my initial curiosity moved to an anger and even dismay as I realized the emotional (and material) pull these stories still had for me as an adult.
I am deeply skeptical of the story of meritocratic promise, of working really hard (and, romantically, ‘against all the odds’) and so I certainly didn’t want to convey a problematic beginning, transformed by an educational ‘becoming’. Instead, I wanted to query these official stories, which seem profoundly marked by classed and gendered terms and anticipated trajectories. My own reports are littered with ‘lapses into idle chatter’, of being ‘easily distracted’ and rather ‘slap dash’ in approach: the phrase ‘continual underachievement’ is, for one subject, underlined and in my physical education report a rather harsh judgment is made that I have, in fact, ‘not mastered the basic skills’ (of badminton).
So, when the ‘girl with potential’ becomes celebrated, anticipated and lamented, as a sign of feminist future/failure, we need to be attentive to the re-birthing and recirculation of enduring inequalities, so as to report feminist potential for everyone.
Posted on 04 June 2013.
Women’s under-representation in education settings, and especially in their more powerful or influential posts is well established. In 27 countries of the European Union women occupy just only 20 per cent of A grade (full professor) (She Figures, 2012). In UK universities, men outnumber women by a margin of four to one in senior academic positions while women are over-represented in lower teaching grades and temporary research positions (Morley, 1999; Bagilhole, 2002). The under-representation of women within the academy extends to editorial board memberships (Metz & Harzing, 2009) and research funding bodies (European Commission, 2008). Finally, of the 24 research-intensive universities comprising the Russell group, only one namely, The University of Manchester is led by a woman.
These gender differences are even more pronounced in science and technology as the Times Higher Education’s Global Gender Index shows (Times Higher Education) but these differences are also evident in business and management schools. In my recent article I have analysed the data from the top 10 business schools around the world using the Financial Times rankings to show that women rarely exceed more than a quarter of all academic staff and that their representation in leadership positions is even lower (Fotaki, 2013). However, statistics do not show the informal processes of exclusion, devaluation, and marginalization that constitute major impediments to women faculty members’ achievements. These strike at the very heart of the academic enterprise, posing questions about the gendering of meritocracy. The absence of women from senior roles in management education settings may also have a potentially detrimental impact on promoting different role models for future operatives and leaders.
The dramatic increase of numbers of students and university lecturers in higher education, and management schools in the UK in particular, has hardly altered the nature of gendered work relations in the university. The majority of women academics occupy lower-paid teaching posts and temporary research positions and their unequal pay and career prospects are well documented. Gender inequalities and various forms of discrimination are also experienced by students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For example, women remain a minority on MBA courses, and there are very few programmes aiming to develop female business leaders (Ibeh et al., 2008).
Gender discrimination is culturally embedded and ideologically-informed stereotypes prove particularly difficult to shift. Researchers indicate how ‘feminine’ roles from outside professional life seem to continue to disadvantage women’s careers, and how their careers limit their personal life choices. However, complex considerations affecting women’s position in academia extend beyond marital status and the presence or absence of children or the existence of institutional policies aiming to promote gender diversity. Since gender stereotypes are ideological and prescriptive, their influence on academic employment processes is unlikely to diminish simply with the passage of time or with accumulating evidence of women’s capabilities. Women’s relative absence from senior academic positions is not simply a result of poor policy or erratic implementation, but a deep-seated issue requiring cultural and generational change.
Tomorrow’s one day research conference – ‘The Unequal Academy’ – will explore these issues, bringing together scholars from across a range of disiplinies and institutions to interrogate the nature and effect of these gender inequalities within academies. The aims of the one-day conference are:
(i) To examine in-depth the causes of such discrimination from a comparative perspective by drawing on a variety of theoretical approaches and empirical evidence;
(ii) To understand the reasons for discrepancy between university policies which are aimed to preclude discrimination and the lived experiences of women
(iii) To propose evidence-based ways of counteracting this phenomenon.
Speakers include: Prof Mary Evans London School of Economics and Political Science, Prof Rosalind Gill Kings College London, Prof Valerie Hey Sussex University, Prof Rosemary Deem Royal Holloway University of London, Prof Helen Gunter University of Manchester and Prof Marianna Fotaki Manchester Business School.
The event, sponsored by Jean Monet Interdisciplinary Research Centre, is organised on 5th of June in Manchester Business School Manchester Business School (MBS West room 3.97 9.30-17.30). Attendance is free but registration is required –please contact Sophie.Thomas@mbs.ac.uk to book your place!
The event is organised by Marianna Fotaki, Professor in Health Policy, Organisation Theory and Ethics in People Management and Organisations Division, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester. Marianna.Fotaki@mbs.ac.uk
Bagilhole, B. (2002). Challenging equal opportunities: Changing and adapting male hegemony in academia. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23, 1, 19-33.
European Commission (2012). She Figures. Women and Science. Statistics and Indicators. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
European Commission (2008). Mapping the Maze: Getting More Women to the Top in Research. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Fotaki, M. (2013). No woman is like a man (in academia): The masculine symbolic order and the unwanted female body. Organization Studies (forthcoming)
Ibeh, K., Carter, S., Poff, D. & Hamill, J. ‘How focused are the world’s top rated business schools on educating women for global management?, Journal of Business Ethics, 2008, 83:65–83.
Morley, L. (1999). Organising Feminisms: the Micro-politics of the Academy, Basingstoke, McMillan.
Times Higher Education, (2013) The Global Gender Index published on 2nd May 2013.
Posted on 12 February 2013.
On Friday the 2nd of November, in an event entitled Young Masculinities: Challenges, Changes and Transitions the British Sociological Association’s Youth Study Group turned their attention to masculinities, an area receiving ever increasing academic attention in light of both the concerns of ‘the problem with boys’ as well as shifts within contemporary theories of masculinity. These shifting theories of masculinity have been usefully brought together in relation to education in particular in a recent article in Gender and Education by Chris Haywood and Máirtín Mac an Ghaill (October 2012), who suggest that “studies of masculinity in education are reconsidering how masculinity is being constituted” (2012: 580). Thus, while researchers within the field of gender and education have had masculinity as a central site of analysis for some time, in the case of the BSA’s Youth Study Group, masculinity has been noticeably absent as Steve Roberts, the group’s co-organiser remarked when opening the seminar. Although education acted as an investigatory location for some of the papers (Cann, Ingram, Kehler, Schalet), education as a specific avenue of investigation for young masculinities was interestingly not at the forefront of the papers being given. Forms of education could nonetheless be observed in the papers offered, with young men learning about acceptable forms of cultural consumption, learning about codes of conduct within particular subcultural contexts, learning to regulate themselves, and applying what it means to be a ‘man’ in transition(s) to the work place. The relationship between education and young men was therefore located, in most of the papers, at the level of social and cultural practice rather than at a formal or institutional level. Continue Reading