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THE FUTURE OF EDUCATIONAL MATERIALISM

Call for papers – Educational Philosophy and Theory

Special edition on: The future of educational materialism

Edited by David R Cole, University of Technology, Sydney

This edition of the journal will attend to emerging developments in educational materialism by bringing together international scholars in this area. The basic questions that this edition of the journal will address are: How do educational materialisms work? and: What are the relevant theoretical variations on educational materialism and what are their practical applications?

As a starting point for this discussion one might take this quote from Ray Brassier: “While transcendental orthodoxy wastes time staving off the imminent liquidation of reason, sense, and life, transcendental materialism celebrates the deterritorialization of intelligence.”

There are a least three inter-related strands of educational materialism that this special edition will interrogate:

* Materialist dialectics: Deriving in main from the work of Karl Marx – the basic thesis behind this strand of educational materialism is that teaching and learning systems are directed towards the manipulation of capital. Schools deliver human capital to the markets – that assess and place qualifications, social status and individual capabilities in terms of capital. This situation has been further accelerated and complexified due to the global use of electronic markets and the emergence of virtual capital. This strand of educational materialism may include work on social capital that is often theorised using the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu.

* Transcendental materialism. The second theoretical platform for understanding educational materialism is derived from the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. This strand accepts material dialectics, yet intensifies and broadens the scope in the ways capital transforms situations. This is because capitalism also acts on an irrational level, and this can be clearly seen if one analyses advertising or takes into account the ways in which media systems manipulate emotions. Transcendental materialism looks for escape routes out of situations that might lead to internalisation – and in the case of education, this includes putting contemporary practises such as examinations under erasure.

* Speculative materialism. This recent development in materialist theory reconciles materialism with realism – and avoids the potential for duality between materialism and idealism. The essential thesis of this strand of educational materialism stipulates that the designation of ‘the human’ or ‘the subject’ defines limiting criteria that restrict research. The path to forthright understanding of education therefore requires the elimination of phenomenology or any ‘mentalism’ that might contain and lock up the possibilities of material agency.

Interested scholars should send a 500 word abstract in the first instance to David R Cole at david.cole@uts.edu.au by December 1st 2009

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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