Welcome from the Associate Dean for Diversity and International Programs
The fourteenth annual Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference promises to be an engaging venue for scholars, teachers, and community activists to gather and discuss core issues of justice in education. This conference, which is organized and led by the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education program in the College of Education, is part of a legacy devoted to critical scholar-activism and the land-grant mission of Washington State University.
This year, the conference graphics feature the Sankofa bird, a symbol from West Africa expressed in the Akan language as “se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki” which translates to “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” The Sankofa bird is also frequently used as a reminder that whatever we have lost or forgotten, can be reclaimed, revived, and preserved for the future. It is an honoring of our ancestors who have shown us the way and taught us strategies for survival and resistance.
Our conference theme encourages critical and intersectional dialogues on the cultural politics of education, and in particular, decolonial and antiracist education and pedagogies of dissent, resistance, and survival. We are excited that Dr. Michael J. Dumas will join us as this year’s keynote speaker, sharing with us his wisdom and criticality in Black Critical Theory (BlackCrit) as we mobilize to combat antiblack racism in education and society.
Michael J. Dumas is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and the African American Studies Department. He earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education with an emphasis in social and educational policy studies from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research sits at the intersection(s) of the cultural politics of Black education, the cultural political economy of urban education, and the futurity of Black childhood(s).
He is primarily interested in how schools become sites of Black material and psychic suffering and anti-black violence, how disgust with and disdain for blackness inform defenses of inequitable distribution of educational resources, and ways that anti-blackness persists in education policy discourses and in broader public discourses on the worth of economic and educational investment in Black children. His recent publications have appeared in such journals as Teachers College Record, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and Discourse, and he was an invited contributor to the Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education and the Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education. He is currently lead editor of a forthcoming special issue of Teachers College Record, titled, “Political Economy, Race and Educational (In)equality: Realizing and Extending the Radical Possibilities of Jean Anyon,” and is also lead editor for the 2016 Politics of Education Yearbook, which will appear as a special issue of Educational Policy dedicated to the cultural politics of race.
In the current political landscape, it is nearly impossible to experience a day without being bombarded with rhetoric, images, and policies that highlight the unequal distribution of power experienced in the United States and the world. Postcolonial and transnational feminist Chandra Mohanty asks us, “What does it mean to think through, theorize, and engage in questions of difference and power? It means that we understand race, class, gender, nation, sexuality, and colonialism not just in terms of static, embodied categories but in terms of histories and experiences that tie us together—that are fundamentally interwoven into our lives” (p. 191). It also means that as Stuart Hall (1990) contends, that Cultural Studies and the study of cultural politics can provide “ways of thinking, strategies for survival, and resources for resistance” to fight global white supremacy (p. 22). In recent years, protest movements around the globe have played a major role in challenging the injustices of power and domination. In the United States, the election of the 45th president has sparked a noted rise in protest movements. As a public culture of dissent—both globally and nationally—strengthens to combat structural power and domination, we invite proposals that encourage educational researchers to rethink the purpose of education in antiracist and decolonial ways. What is the role of education in a public culture of dissent? Also, how might education be complicit in the production and reproduction of racist and colonial ways?
Under the conference theme, Power and Cultural Politics in Antiracist and Decolonial Education and Educational Research: Intersectionality, Resistance, and Survival, presenters will share papers, workshops, and posters that share research that interrogates the cultural politics of education and engages scholarship that critically examines the relationships between knowledge, power, and experience in education for greater equity and justice. What is the role of education and of educational research in a public culture of dissent? How can oppositional pedagogies, or “pedagogies of dissent” (Mohanty, 2003) operate in the context of cultural politics? What does it look like in K-12 education and higher education? We’ll have presentations that interrogate the cultural politics of education and engages in questions of knowledge, power, and experience in education for greater equity and justice.