Tuesday, April 19, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST

(Virtual Sessions Only)

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST

(Virtual Sessions Only)
3:30 P.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST

(In-person & Virtual Session)

Thursday, April 21, 2022
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST

(In-Person Sessions Only)

2021 Virtual Conference

Curriculum in the Viral Age

There is no end to what a living world will demand of you.

— Octavia Butler

Can we envision curriculum on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis? — William Pinar

COVID-19 has variously impacted our individual and collective lives, communities, and societies, bringing to light the fallacy of borders and the darkness of a pandemic that threatens to absorb the known world. It is tempting to give in to despair as the unknown—this unprecedented moment—bears global, social, political, cultural, and curricular implications. What role can curriculum studies play as we (re)envision a future that sustains the (more than) human?

There are years that ask questions and years that offer answers, wrote Zora Neale Hurston. The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only crises. The past year 2020 was marked also by global uprisings against police brutality and was followed by an insurrection on January 6, 2021, raising many questions. We invite proposals that engage the notion of “virality” and Curriculum in the Viral Age. Virality denotes both speed and globality, and the conference theme gestures towards the history not only of pandemics in relation to other global threats and emergencies. The curricular issues pandemics raise “go viral” and the reflections they provoke concern globalization, financialization, hegemony, (neo)colonialism, technology & social media, (il)liberalism, ecological risks, chronic poverty and world hunger to name but a few. There are endless avenues of inquiry to be pursued as the ramifications of the pandemic become clearer, and particularly so as they intersect with the equally viral issues of equity, social justice, and marginality in this time of great uncertainty.

What are the curricular impacts of this pandemic on education and (public, private, home) schooling?

What are implications for both educators (e.g., teachers) and caregivers (e.g., parents)?
How are often-silenced voices (of women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, for example) visible in curriculum (development) during the pandemic?
What (new) forms might curriculum take post-pandemic?
How might the pandemic inform what new curricular discourses are built in and for the future?
How does the curriculum assume disruptive and unpublished traits?

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2022 Conference

In-Person & Virtual Sessions

American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies

The 2016 AAACS call invited members to consider the ways in which we are “confronting and working through cataclysmic climate change, global refugee crises, epistemic violence of racism and other forms of oppression.” The challenge that we presented then involved an idea of “work[ing] together to heal ourselves and our communities even as we try to heal the earth.” In the spirit of the late, great Maxine Greene, we invited radical reimaginings of education that might lead to transformative actions aimed at making the world a more habitable and hospitable place. In this year’s call, we draw attention again to these crises and invite members to address what it might mean to live as humans during a time of human-driven death and dislocation, of projected climate tipping points, and increasingly likely end time scenarios. What might it mean to carry oneself with awareness and compassion amidst species extinctions, collapsing ecospheres, and the other anticipated disruptions on our horizon?

The Anthropocene, proposed as our current geological epoch, is characterized by profound human impacts on the earth’s makeup and cycles, including its atmosphere, resulting in what has been identified as the planet’s sixth mass species extinction. Characterizing the origins of the Anthropocene has become a politically charged matter as it involves questions of who (which humans) and what human activity/ies should be held most directly responsible for a foreboding process of change that is already upon us. What has now become inarguable among those tracking the evidence is that the attendant death and dislocation is on us, as humans, and that, increasingly, the deaths are not limited to other species. Still, and perhaps understandably, we fail to process the larger implications of what remain unimaginable realities. Some have even argued that it is impossible for us to bear witness due to the phenomenon’s “deceptive psychological structure” (to borrow words from Dori Laub, 1992, p. 82) and our position within a condition that we, ourselves, have caused. While others position our need to bear witness as present and necessary in existential terms. According to Nussbaum (2018), our human self-focused fixation involves not just “narcissism” but a “culpable obtuseness” (para. 3) and “failure of curiosity [that] is part of a large ethical problem” (para. 2). What responsibility do we bear to grapple with the ethical dimensions of our impulse to look away?

Additional questions that we ask our membership to consider in this call include:

How aware can/do we strive to be? In what ways are we complicit in diverting attention from the impending catastrophes of climate change?

What is our personal stance in relation to the threatening changes our species has wrought for life on this planet? What can curriculum studies do to offer or help us explore in this regards (heterogeneous ways of framing, useful analytical tools and heuristics)?

To what extent are we currently investing in systems that are serving to perpetuate the use and abuse of natural life and planetary rhythms?

What can we learn during a time of pandemic and climate change in relations to: societal trauma, isolation, mental health issues, drug and other addictions?

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