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The Other Global University: Against Educational Apartheids

Fri, Nov 6, 2015

This forum brings together educators to rethink relationships between institutions of higher education, their local communities, and their global milieu. In response to current, hegemonic trends of globalizing higher education, we will explore alternative histories and theories of education, asking how local and global concerns in fact pertain to all educational institutions, and how educational inequalities pertaining to class, race, gender, and geography might be either exacerbated or redressed through new institutional, interdisciplinary, and pedagogic strategies. Rather than reject outright a concept of global education, this forum instead asks participants to consider what it would mean to truly make higher education globally accessible and what aims such an education would need to address. What hypothetical curricula, exchanges, funding structures, and institutional relations would respect societies’ and individuals’ rights to intellectual self-determination without, however, positing a priori assumptions of differing educational needs based on cultural or class distinctions?

Keeping in mind that free, compulsory, “universal” education (i.e., for children within a state’s boundaries) was inaugurated just over a century ago, we might take as a starting point the conundrum faced at the onset of universal primary education: How to impart both practical and theoretical knowledge? Or, put another way, how to establish fundaments of knowledge that somehow lend themselves to the pursuit of diverse vocations and professions, ranging from the agrarian to the academic, and can certain disciplines and forms of knowledge be justified as essential whether or not they prepare students for future occupations? Presentations will offer alternative visions of higher education, touching on issues of disciplinarity, class, geography, institutional structures, and new educational media.

Organized by Ginger Nolan, INTERACT post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and Jamyung Choi, INTERACT post-doctoral fellow at the Weatherhead Institute Columbia University. Co-sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Institute of Comparative Literature & Society, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Free and open to the public.