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Daily Archives: January 22nd, 2010

Crisis Sublime

THE PHENOMENON OF OBAMA AND THE AGENDA FOR EDUCATION

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS

The phenomenon of Obama and the agenda for education: Can hope audaciously trump neoliberalism?

Under Contract with Information Age Publishing

Co-editors:

Dr. Paul R. Carr: Educational Foundations, Beeghly College of Education, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH, USA, 44555, prcarr@ysu.edu http://www.coe.ysu.edu/~paulcarr/

Dr. Brad J. Porfilio: Educational Leadership, School of Education, Lewis University, Chicago, IL, USA, porfilio16@aol.com

Paul R. Carr is originally from Toronto, and now resides in Montreal. He studied for two years in France in the early 1980s, and then undertook the rest of his university studies in Canada in the areas of political science, sociology and education. He completed his doctorate in the sociology of education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in 1996, with his thesis examining anti-racism and institutional culture in education. For the past few years, he has been a professor at Youngstown State University, where he teaches courses in multicultural education, the sociology of education, diversity and leadership, and qualitative methodology. His current research is broadly concerned with social justice, with specific threads related to critical pedagogy, democracy, media literacy, and intercultural education. In 2007, he co-edited The Great White North? Exploring Whiteness, Privilege and Identity in Education ( Rotterdam : Sense Publishers), and, in 2008, co-edited another book, entitled Doing Democracy: Striving for Political Literacy and Social Justice ( New York : Peter Lang). He is currently finalizing two other edited books dealing with intercultural education and youth culture, respectively, as well as a single-author book on critical pedagogy and democracy. Paul is the co-founder and co-director of the Global Doing Democracy Research Project, which aims to produce a range of studies on the international level, leading to critical, comparative analysis of how democracy and education can be more effectively connected. He has a blog on the Paulo and Nita Freire International Center for Critical Pedagogy on the theme of democracy. Lastly, he has been involved in a range of projects and initiatives in relation to solidarity with Latin America. His website is: http://www.coe.ysu.edu/~paulcarr/

Dr. Brad J. Porfilio is Assistant Professor of Education at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. He teaches courses on critical pedagogy, qualitative research, globalization and education, multicultural education, foundations of education, and curriculum theory in the Educational Leadership for Teaching and Learning Doctoral Program. The Educational Leadership Program at Lewis University is unique in its critical and transformative focus where students are prepared to become transformative educational leaders who are deeply discerning, knowledgeable and approach the educational system as a potential avenue for challenging and transforming the status quo. Dr. Porfilio received his PhD in Sociology of Education in 2005 at the University at Buffalo. During his doctoral studies, he served as an Assistant Professor of Education at Medaille College and D’Youville College, where he taught courses across the teacher education spectrum and supervised pre-service and in-service teachers from Canada and the US. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and conference papers on the topics of urban education, critical social studies education, neoliberalism and schooling, transformative education, teacher education, gender and technology, and cultural studies.

Premise for the book:

Obama is, arguably, popular at home and (especially) abroad, especially among people of “color”. Expectations are high that he will transform the United States. His style, message and presence are extremely attractive, especially following eight years of problematic leadership in the White House.

Why is Obama popular? Does he provide hope, as he eloquently argued throughout the electoral campaign? Can he change society when the two-party system, combined with an overpowering neoliberal economic model, is infused into the cultural and political landscape of society? Will he challenge the military-industrial model, scaling back the 750 US military bases in a hundred countries and untold billions being spent on military purposes? Will he dismantle monopolistic, undemocratic business practices that supposedly underpin the marketplace? How will he promote meaningful critical engagement and change in relation to race, discrimination, marginalization and differential power relations?

The above questions are fundamental to framing a debate around what type of hope and change we are considering. To undertake an analysis of what this means in real terms of change, we are seeking progressive scholars to interrogate Obama’s education vision, agenda and policies, and, further, to assess how well the education agenda might address the broader call for change. While this is early in Obama’s first term, we consider education to be the lynchpin to promoting a paradigm of engagement that advances social justice while contextualizing neoliberalism. We have found only one book that addresses the Obama agenda but this work is not a critical diagnosis of the issues.

Globalization is not simply a concept that leads to prosperity for all, and continuing to consider education as a consumer-good, rather than a public good, can serve to reinforce social inequities. Moreover, the antipathy that many people around the world exemplify toward Americans, often focused on US foreign policy, will not be diminished if Americans themselves are not more engaged with “others”. Education is the key to critically understanding and challenging war, patriotism, inequities, injustices, and building a more robust, dynamic and meaningful democracy.

The challenges in education are enormous, given the effect of several years of No Child Left Behind. Obama’s early indications at changing education policy have left some believing that the substance is much more conservative than the style. Support for charter schools and merit pay for teachers have left some wondering if the US will further slide into decay internationally, where it traditionally does poorly on comparative assessments. Renowned cultural studies scholar Henry Giroux has commented that Obama’s plans for education will serve to further disenfranchise marginalized groups.

We are interested in examining the state of public education under Obama, and how education may or may not be used as a lever to transform society, to effectively build the socio-cultural and political architecture that can buttress a diminution of racial, ethnic, religious, gender and class cleavages. Thus, understanding and interrogating neoliberalism will be an integral focus of this book, seeking to determine if the change espoused from above (the Obama government) can find its way into the classroom, the community and workplace.

Our conceptual framework is inspired by the burgeoning critical pedagogical movement (Freire, Giroux, Kincheloe, Macedo, McLaren, Steinberg). As Freire has underscored, education is a political project, and our analysis will critically dissect and unravel the policy, curricular, pedagogical and socio-political contextual variables, manifestations and proposals framing the Obama educational agenda.

With trillions of dollars being spent on bailouts of banks, insurance companies and car manufacturers, in addition to the endless stream of funds being allocated for war, little attention has been paid to the importance of education. Yet, education is where society can be transformed or re-produced.

This book will not only provide a detailed, critical analysis of the Obama education agenda. It will also provide proposals and insight into an alternative vision for education, one that takes into consideration neoliberalism, and seeks to neutralize it through critical pedagogy.

Audience:

 This volume will be a valuable resource to instructors who teach in the fields of teacher education, social studies, educational leadership, social work, social, cultural and philosophical foundations of education, sociology, political science, and global studies as well as their students. It may also be of interest to researchers, scholars, and the broader education public as well as mainstream and media sources.

Time-frame:

1)      Proposals due by March 1, 2010;

2)      Confirmation of selected chapters by April 1, 2010;

3)      Contributors will have their first drafts completed by June 15, 2010.

4)      The editors will review these first drafts, and provide authors detailed comments and suggestions by July 15, 2010.

5)      The contributors will make all of the necessary edits, and send the final chapters to the editors by September 1, 2010.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

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Georg Lukacs

LUKACS, REIFICATION AND CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE PROLETARIAT

Marx and Philosophy Society

Symposium on Georg Lukács’s ‘Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat’

2-6pm, Saturday February 6, 2010, at the London Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald Street, London WC1

Speakers:

Gordon Finlayson
Tim Hall
Michalis Skomvoulis

Gordon Finlayson is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sussex and is the author of many books and articles on the Frankfurt School.

Tim Hall is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of East London. His article ‘Reification, Materialism & Praxis: Adorno’s critique of Lukács’ is forthcoming in Telos (2010) and he is the co-editor of The Fundamental Dissonance of Existence: New Essays on the Social, Political and Aesthetic Theory of Georg Lukács (New York, Continuum: 2010).

Michalis Skomvoulis is a PhD student at the University of Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne and has written extensively on Lukacs.

The English translation of Lukács’s essay is available at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lukacs/works/history/index.htm

Attendance is free and open to all. To register e-mail Meade McCloughan: m.mccloughan@ucl.ac.uk

Directions and map: http://tinyurl.com/ywmsvc  

Tube stations: Holborn and Russell Square

Marx and Philosophy Society: http://www.marxandphilosophy.org.uk/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com

Jacques Ranciere

THE EMANCIPATED SPECTATOR – JACQUES RANCIERE

NEW TITLE: THE EMANCIPATED SPECTATOR

JACQUES RANCIÈRE

Published 25 January 2010

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“Ranciere’s writings offer one of the few conceptualizations of how we are to continue to resist.”  Slavoj Zizek

“Ranciere is an heir to Foucault.”  Alain Badiou

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AUTHOR EVENTS IN LONDON:

3rd February 2010: ICA / Jacques Ranciere in conversation with Kodwo Eshun, Otolith Group / For more details and to book click here:: http://www.ica.org.uk/The%20Image%20in%20Question+23536.twl

4th February 2010: Whitechapel Gallery / Big Ideas: Jacques Ranciere in conversation with Adrian Rifkin and Andrea Phillips / For more details and to book click here: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/shop/product/category_id/22/product_id/437?session_id=126278107878a96fc6fd05d128adaed940ce9e71eb1

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“Every spectator is already an actor in her story; every actor, every man of action, is the spectator of the same story.”

A ‘68er whose radical ardour remains undimmed, Jacques Ranciere is one of the most influential and compelling thinkers of our age in France since Foucault and Deleuze, lauded by both art theorists and artists.

Now this leading theorist of the art world returns with the follow-up to his acclaimed manifesto for contemporary art and film, THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE which located art firmly in relation to politics.

Theorists of art and film commonly depict the modern audience as passive consumers. In response, both artists and thinkers have sought to transform the viewer of art or the spectator into someone involved in the drama before them – seeking to ‘emancipate’ the spectator and make them politically active.

For example, the influential curator of the Tate Britain’s recent exhibition ‘Altermodern’, Nicholas Bourriaud, has championed the notion of a more socially engaged art, where the public are encouraged to participate in an event or artwork. We have seen the influence of such ideas in such projects as Antony Gormley’s ‘One & Other’ that took place on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Ranciere turns these ideas over and argues that “Being a spectator is not some passive condition that we should transform into activity. It is our normal situation.” For Ranciere, there is no privileged starting point in art but we should reassess the relations between seeing, doing, speaking: emancipation means blurring these boundaries.

Looking over the tradition of critical art and what the desire to insert art into life has achieved, Ranciere asks, ‘has the militant critique of the consumption of images and commodities has become, ironically, a sad confirmation of its omnipotence?’

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Praise for Jacques Ranciere

“His art lies in the rigor of his argument – its careful, precise unfolding – and at the same time not treating his reader, whether university professor or unemployed actress, as an imbecile.” Kristin Ross

“It’s clear that Jacques Ranciere is relighting the flame that was extinguished for many—that is why he serves as such a signal reference today.” Thomas Hirschhorn

“In the face of impossible attempts to proceed with progressive ideas within the terms of postmodernist discourse, Ranciere shows a way out of the malaise.” Liam Gillick

Praise for HATRED OF DEMOCRACY

“A piercing essay on the definitions and redefinitions of the term “democracy” … the present catastrophe in Iraq provides more than ample proof of Ranciere’s bold assertion that we need to rethink the relationship between democracy and power before setting in motion any more wars in the name of “freedom”.” Times Higher Educational Supplement

“This tastily sardonic essay is partly a scholarly sprint through the history of political philosophy, and partly a very enjoyable stream of insults directed at rival penseurs.” The Guardian

“Ranciere critiques the political stance in the west that pours scorn on mass protests and popular culture at home, yet promotes the spread of democracy by force throughout the world. … But Ranciere eschews polemic in order to show the confusion in our political discourse. He challenges what he sees as the widely held view that democratic life is synonymous with “the apolitical life of the indifferent consumer”.” New Statesman

Praise for THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE

“A series of gratifyingly knotty and close discussions of 19th- and 20th-century literature, film and painting” The Guardian

“French philosopher Jacques Ranciere is a refreshing read for anyone concerned with what art has to do with politics and society.” J.J. Charlesworth, Art Review

“What we see here is Ranciere developing a unique voice as a political theorist.” Bookforum

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Jacques Ranciere is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII.  His books include THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE, HATRED OF DEMOCRACY, and ON THE SHORES OF POLITICS (all from Verso), THE POLITICS OF AESTHETICS, DISAGREEMENT, THE PHILOSOPHER AND HIS POOR, THE IGNORANT SCHOOLMASTER,SHORT VOYWAGES TO THE LAND OF THE PEOPLE and NIGHTS OF LABOR.

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The Emancipated Spectator Author: Jacques Ranciere / 25 January 2010 / 
Hardback /
978 1 84467 343 8 /£12.99 / $23.95/144 pages / Hardback

For more information visit http://www.versobooks.com/books/nopqrs/r-titles/ranciere_j_emancipated_spectator.shtml

To buy the book in the U.K:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844673438/The-Emancipated-Spectator
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emancipated-Spectator-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/184467343X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264006364&sr=8-1

To buy the book in the U.S:
http://www.amazon.com/Emancipated-Spectator-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/184467343X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264000587&sr=8-

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ALSO OUT NOW:

New in Paperback

HATRED OF DEMOCRACY

Published 7 December 2009

978-1-84467-386-5 / Paperback /$16.95 /£8.99 / 112 pages

In his new book, Jacques Ranciere examines how the West can no longer simply extol the virtues of democracy by contrasting it with the horrors of totalitarianism. As certain governments are exporting democracy by brute force, and a reactionary strand in mainstream political opinion is willing to abandon civil liberties and destroy collective values of equality, Ranciere explains how democracy—government by all—is the principle that de-legitimates any form of power based on the superiority of those who govern. Hence the fear, and consequently the hatred, of democracy amongst the new powers that be.  HATRED OF DEMOCRACY rediscovers the ever-new and subversive power of the democratic idea.

To buy the book in the U.K:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844673865/Hatred-of-Democracy
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hatred-Democracy-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/1844673863/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264006391&sr=1-2

To buy the book in the U.S:
http://www.amazon.com/Hatred-Democracy-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/1844673863/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264000236&sr=8-1

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THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE

Published 23 February 2009

978-1-84467-297-4 / Paperback /$16.95 /£9.99 /152 pages

The leading theorist of the art-world – the adjective ‘Rancierian’ is already in use –returns with his bestselling manifesto on the relationship between art and politics, now in paperback.

To buy the book in the U.K.:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844672974/The-Future-of-the-Image  
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Image-Jacques-Ranciere/dp/1844672972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264006443&sr=1-1

To buy the book in the U.S:
http://www.amazon.com/Future-Image-2009-paperback/dp/1844672972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264000279&sr=1-1

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Cultural Marxism *

MARXISM IN CULTURE: PROGRAMME FOR SPRING TERM 2010

Friday 22 January
Discussion of the film Venezuela from Below
Gail Day (University of Leeds)

Friday 12 Febuary
Marxism and Cosmopolitanism
Gilbert Achcar (School of Oriental & African Studies)

Friday 5 March
Advertising and the Politics of Aesthetics
Michael Sayeau (University College London)

Friday 26 March
Shaftesbury’s Theory of Art: Substance and Identity
Richard Checketts (Royal College of Art)

All seminars start at 5.30pm, and are held in the Wolfson Room (unless otherwise indicated) at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, Malet Street, London. The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to the bar.

Organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Maggie Gray, Owen Hatherley, Andrew Hemingway, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Nina Power, Pete Smith, & Alberto Toscano.

For further information, contact Andrew Hemingway, at: a.hemingway@ucl.ac.uk or Esther Leslie at: e.leslie@bbk.ac.uk

* Image from The Spearhead, article on The Menace of Cultural Marxism http://www.the-spearhead.com/2009/10/16/the-menace-of-cultural-marxism/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com