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Social Movements

Social Movements

THE PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Call for Papers Volume 6 Issue 1 (May 2014)

Interface: A journal for and about Social Movements

The pedagogical practices of social movements

Sara C Motta and Ana Margarida Esteves

In this special issue, we aim to deepen conceptualisations, analysis and practices of critical and radical pedagogies in our struggles for transformation. We seek to explore the pedagogical practices of movements by expanding our understanding of knowledge and how movements learn beyond solely a focus on the cognitive to the ethical, spiritual, embodied and affective.

Our aim is to systematize and document these practices and to provide conceptual, methodological and practical resources for activists, community educators and movement scholars alike. We are really keen to receive creative pieces including longer articles, dialogues, critical reflections on practice/particular projects etc and pieces that use visual art, photography, and video as means of critical reflection.

The May 2014 issue of the open-access, online, copyleft academic/activist journal Interface: a Journal for and about Social Movements (http://www.interfacejournal.net/) invites contributions on the theme of The Pedagogical Practices of Social Movements.

The pedagogical, understood as knowledge practices and learning processes, often takes a pivotal role in the emergence, development and sustainability of social movements and community struggles. In this issue of Interface we seek to explore the pedagogical practices of movements by expanding our understanding of knowledge and how movements learn beyond solely a focus on the cognitive to the ethical, spiritual, embodied and affective. Our aim is to systematize and document these practices and to provide conceptual, methodological and practical resources for activists, community educators and movement scholars alike.

Pedagogical practices can constitute important elements in the process of unlearning dominant subjectivities, social relationships, and ways of constituting the world and learning new ones. They can be central in the ‘how’ of movement construction and community building in spaces such as workshops, teach-ins, and through popular education. They can contribute to the building of sustainable and effective social movements through music, storytelling, ritual or through processes that surround strategy building, the sharing of experiences or simply friendship. They can help activists and organizers to learn through their participation in counter-hegemonic, grassroots initiatives such as community banks, local currencies and workers cooperatives. They can also be important aspects of movement relevant research.

In this special issue of Interface we ask the broad question, ‘What role do pedagogical practices have in the praxis of social movements and their struggle for political change and social transformation?’ The practices we would like to explore include formal methodologies such as Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry (OSDE), participatory action research, as well as methodologies of popular and community education inspired by feminist, Freirean, post-colonial and Gramscian approaches, among others, but also the more informal pedagogical practices which remain under-conceptualized and theorized and which include the role of the affective, the embodied (the body and earth for example) and the spiritual.

However, we also understand the politics and dynamics of movement and community education and learning to be contested terrain. We see how mainstream institutions and actors have co-opted the language and methods of popular education and movement methodologies. These processes of co-optation often neutralize their radical and political potential. We also understand that social movements often end up reproducing, through these practices, inequalities based on factors such as class, gender, race/ethnicity, educational level, expertise and role within movement organizations. Therefore, we would be very interested in receiving contributions based on “insider” knowledge about power dynamics behind knowledge production and learning within social movements (i.e. relationship between experts and non-experts, leaders and other members, impact of gender, class, race, educational level and expertise), and how such power dynamics determine whose “voices” end up being represented in the process and outcome of knowledge leaders and other members, impact of gender, class, race, educational level and expertise), and how such power dynamics determine whose “voices” end up being represented in the process and outcome of knowledge production and learning, and whose voices end up being silenced.

Among the more specific questions we would like to address in the issue are:

 What learning processes and knowledge practices are developed by movements?

 What is the role of formal methodologies and pedagogies in movement praxis?

 What is the role of informal pedagogies of everyday practice in the building of movements, the development of their political projects and fostering their sustainability and effectiveness?

 What is the role of the affective, embodied and spiritual in learning processes?

 What is the role of ethics in movement learning?

 What is the role of counter-hegemonic economic practices, such as those classified as “Solidarity Economy”, in learning processes within social movements?

 In what way do activist researchers contribute to the learning of movements?

 What politics of knowledge underlie the politics of social movements?

 Do the processes of ‘alternative’ education within social movements and collective struggles transform, disrupt or replicate hegemonic social relations?

 What pedagogical and political insights can be gleaned from exploring education for mobilization and social change?

We are very happy to receive contributions that reflect on these questions and any others relevant to the special issue theme and that fit within the journal’s mission statement (http://www.interfacejournal.net/who-we-are/mission-statement/).

Submissions should contribute to the journal’s mission as a tool to help our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses from specific movement processes and experiences that can be translated into a form useful for other movements.

In this context, we welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research. Our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements — in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We thus seek work in a range of different formats, such as conventional (refereed) articles, review essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews — and beyond. Both activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process generally is geared towards assisting authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.

We can accept material in Afrikaans, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu.

Please see our editorial contacts page (http://www.interfacejournal.net/submissions/editorial-contact/) for details of who to submit to.

Deadline and Contact Details

The deadline for initial submissions to this issue, to be published May 1, 2014, is November 1, 2013. For details of how to submit to Interface, please see the “Guidelines for contributors” on our website. All manuscripts, whether on the special theme or other topics, should be sent to the appropriate regional editor, listed on our contacts page. Submission templates are available online via the guidelines page and should be used to ensure correct formatting.

Details: http://www.interfacejournal.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Interface-5-1-CFP-vol-6-no-1.pdf

Sara Motta

Sara Motta

**END**

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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