Workshop on Educational Transformations and Societal Change in Liberalizing India
9-11 January 2020
Organized by School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University, India
Research on education in India has been seeking adequate frameworks to explain the complex and contradictory effects of economic liberalization. Ensuing debates have centered around discussions of market expansion and the state's retreat from its commitments to education. These debates, however, have not sufficiently addressed the co-existence of opportunities for social mobility alongside renewed intensifications of exploitation. In this context, the moral burden placed on education in addressing varied forms of inequalities and historical injustices has often rendered educational research prescriptive. This workshop invites us to assemble robust frameworks that can attend to the ways in which educational actors negotiate the contradictory conditions of post-market reform society. We conceive of 'education' broadly and as not limited to teaching and learning in spaces of schooling, higher education, or teacher education.
Supported by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, this three-day international workshop will be held from 9th to 11th January 2020. It will be hosted by Ahmedabad University. We have conceived of this as a small, intimate workshop which will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from both India and abroad.
The workshop will be organised around two broad themes:
I. Devolution of Governance and Proliferation of (Infra)structures: This theme focuses on the restructuring of administrative infrastructures, managerial discourses, and forms of self-governance. Market reforms in India were accompanied by a reconfiguration of the state, resulting in a proliferation of governing agencies such as local elected bodies, public-private partnerships, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and transnational advocacy groups. These agencies seek to regulate the state and create empowered citizens. Bringing together scholars who examine re-configurations of the state, forms of negotiation and regulation, and new modes of citizenship, this discussion will inform educational debates around governance.
II. Democratization of Aspiration: On the one hand, state and market agencies are engaged in the production of consumer desire while on the other hand, non-elite consumer desires unsettle entrenched inequalities while producing new forms of marginalization. Further, re-arranged values of land, diversification of employment opportunities, and intensification of precarity in the post-market reform period heighten desires for educated selves. Bringing together studies of aspirational mobilities in varied domains like work in the service industry, migration, and urbanization with new forms of aspirational politics, the discussion will enrich debates about educational aspirations.
Call for Applications
This will be a small, intimate workshop which will bring together an interdisciplinary group of junior and senior scholars. Senior scholars will be those who have extensively studied liberalization and its attendant discourses in varied contexts at the intersections of disciplines such as anthropology, education studies, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology. During the workshop, early career scholars will have opportunities to be mentored by senior scholars.
We invite applications from junior scholars who study education, broadly defined, from a range of disciplinary perspectives including sociology, anthropology, history, development studies, education studies, economics, political science, and cultural studies. Prospective applicants might be:
Early career scholars who defended their dissertation on or after 1 January 2014.
PhD students who are in advanced stages of their data analysis and dissertation writing or have completed their synopsis submission.
The application will consist of four parts:
1. CV; including name of institution (if affiliated to an institution) and year of PhD registration or completion whichever is applicable
2. A personal statement that describes how your experiences have shaped your research interest/dissertation topic (250 words).
3. Description of a research project relevant to one of the two themes of the workshop. This segment can focus on any aspect of the research process such as research questions, design, or theoretical framework (up to 500 words).
4. Struggles encountered in the process of data analysis, such as those arising from limitations in literature in explaining your field data or your struggles in analyzing unanticipated insights and contradictions in your data (up to 500 words).
We strongly encourage scholars from regional universities as well as scholars from Dalit, Adivasi, and under represented backgrounds to apply.
The application should suitably address the intersection between education, defined broadly, and large scale societal change in India. Selected applicants' statements will be forwarded to senior scholars who will prepare feedback, comments, and questions in preparation for the mentoring sessions at the workshop. Further requirements for the mentoring sessions will be communicated after the selection process.
The cost of domestic travel and accommodation during the workshop will be covered.
Please send your application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org Applications are due July 1st, 2019. Selected applicants will be informed by September 1st, 2019.