A Summer Conference Season of Gender and Education Keynote Speeches

This summer has seen a number of feminist scholars give key note speeches relating to issues of gender and education at a range of academic conference. Fitting in with the theme ‘Education and Cultural Change’ Professor Floya Anthias from Roehampton University was invited to reflect on issues of ‘identity, belonging and culture in the modern era’ at the European Conference on Education Research. This year the conference was held in Helsinki, Finland. Professor Anthias delivered a paper titled: ‘Intersections and translocations:new paradigms for thinking about identities and inequalities’ . The talk attracted a large audience and continued to be debated well into the evening social event. An abstract for the speech and a digital recording can be found on the European Education Research Association website.

Professor Louise Morley, Director of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research at the University of Sussex, was also granted the honour of being invited to give the Routledge keynote lecture at the British Educational Research Association Conference in September this year. Professor Morley’s talk was given the title: ‘Imagining the University of the Future’. Gender was central to these discussions as Professor Morley focused on the ‘archaism of globalised gender inequalities and elitist participation patterns’ present in the current HEI system. This keynote lecture and an interview with Professor Morley about the lecture can be found on YouTube and also in the media section of this site. A recent article in the Times Educational Supplement also outlines the lecture. Whilst this article is accurate, because of the genre in which it is presented, it does seem to somehow miss the humour evident in the original presentation and the ‘tongue-in-cheek nature of some of the comments’. As such, a viewing of the online presentation is particularly recommended.

Both of these conferences also included a number of gender and education related paper presentations. Some interesting discussions surrounding sexualities equalities were developed in the BERA Sexualities Special Interest Group (SIG) sessions and in the Social Justice SIG panels at ECER (see the organisation websites for more details). The Social Justice SIG at BERA also provided space for some thoughtful theoretical papers and current research projects to be detailed. Some interesting papers given by Gender and Education Association members included Carrie Paechter and Becky Francis’ symposium session and Meg Maguire, Barbara Thompson and Kate Hoskin’s papers focusing on their recent research with female academics.

We are keen to celebrate the wide range of gender and education research which will have been presented at conferences across the world this summer and we recognise that the papers mentioned here represent a very small sub-section of the field. If you have attended any interesting lectures or papers which you think may be of interest to other GEA members then why not post a link to them in the discussion board below?

Dr Alexandra Allan, Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter

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