Transcultural Perspectives in Education. Heterogeneity – Othering – Belonging

 

Time and place n.n.

A transcultural perspective does not approach cultures as ethnically closed, linguistically homogeneous and territorially limited but instead understands them as constituted through transformations and the interweaving of different cultural groups, actors and symbolic tools. All of this occurs in particular regional and historical contexts, affecting social and individual negotiating strategies and resulting in new cultural geographies. As they originate from interrelations between human activity and the environment, such geographies are manifested in texts, images, sounds, artifacts and other media. These cultural dynamics create both possibilities and hindrances for personal and social development.

In recent decades, the ICT revolution, together with waves of migration and transnational communities have led to the rise of multiple and hybrid identities and practices. “Culture” is becoming increasingly fractured and contested leading to new forms of heterogeneity and othering. As a set of “normative” practices, pedagogy and its theories find themselves challenged by these global changes. Received modes of communicating norms and values, of experiencing familiarity, and of social belonging are all undergoing crucial transformation. In this context, the need for a transcultural approaches in education is more urgent than ever, and is reflected in everyday social and professional practices and in the contours of academic disciplines, as well as in policy-making.

Transcultural Studies emerged from the discipline of Cultural Studies, and like the latter, they understand culture in processual terms. Such an understanding challenges the traditional idea that cultures are internally cohesive, self-contained and inoculated from external influences. The transcultural approach can thus be said to have an implicit educational agenda, which in turn means that key issues in pedagogy – such as learning, socialization, intergenerational relations, judgement, and assessment – should be considered from a transcultural perspective.

The purpose of this conference is to explore transcultural perspectives in education from both internal and external points of view. In other words, we seek to examine and elaborate the agenda of transcultural education in the context of pedagogical concepts that deal implicitly or explicitly with the problem of cultural limits, as well as to reflect upon the very conditions in which the development of a transcultural approach in education becomes possible. The conference is oriented toward inter- and trans-disciplinarity and welcomes theoretical/methodological diversity.

We invite submissions from a wide range of perspectives, including:

  • Concepts of culture articulated in and through theoretical and empirical research
  • Concepts of agency and communication understood from transcultural perspectives
  • Cultural heterogeneity and its pedagogical manifestations
  • Othering as a pedagogical concept, e.g. in multicultural, intercultural, and comparative approaches in pedagogical praxis
  • Concepts of heterogeneity, othering and belonging, in both their implicit and explicit dimensions, as viewed from critical, phenomenological, ethnographic, anthropological approaches, etc.
  • A/symmetry in intergenerational relations in various cultural contexts
  • Disciplinary interrelationships connecting transcultural and educational studies
  • Proposals for modeling a suitable systematics for transcultural studies with a focus on education

We especially welcome submissions that will take into consideration (one of) the following areas of interest:

  • Developments and directions in philosophy which are relevant to the task of developing a transcultural approach in pedagogy;
  • New technologies and media, which express and give rise to cultures and cultural differences as much as they promise their mediation and amelioration;
  • The importance of comparative religious studies for the cultivation of transcultural approaches in education.

 

 

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