Annual distinguished lecture: Education and the global politics of knowledge

14 May 2015, 5.00 PM - 14 May 2015, 6.30 PM

Professor Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney)

TLT Social Sciences Complex, 12A Priory Rd, University of Bristol, BS8 1TU

Abstract: This lecture will reflect on how knowledge structures, education systems, and social dynamics connect on a world scale.  Reproductionist sociologies of education gave a central place to curriculum but presupposed a stable, bounded social order.  This doesn't speak to the shattering effects of colonialism and the vast transformations of postcolonial societies.  We must now recognize a global economy of knowledge, structured by colonialism, with steep hierarchies and global divisions of labour – a history both denied and renewed by neoliberal education policies and global markets in labour and information.  Epistemological challenges arise from the excluded knowledges of colonized cultures, and from the experience of anticolonial and postcolonial social struggle.  Defining curricular justice is not a matter of substituting one knowledge system for another, but asking what are the socially powerful knowledges relevant to action by the subordinated majorities of the world’s people.  Through such questions we can connect the debates about decolonial perspectives and southern theory to issues of teaching practice.

Biography: Leading sociologist Professor Raewyn Connell, BA (Melb), PhD (Syd), holds a University Chair in the University of Sydney in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. She has previously held posts at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Flinders University in Adelaide. She has held visiting posts at the University of Toronto, Harvard University, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Professor Connell has written on education, social inequalities, southern theory, gender and power, and teachers work.

Time: 5 - 6:30pm.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception.

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Professor Raewyn Connell

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