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Message posted on 12/12/2019

CfA | Education and/as its making: Vulnerabilities in the sociomaterial worlds of learning (8th STS Italia Conf.)

      • apologies for unintended crosspostings *

        Education and/as its making
        Vulnerabilities in the sociomaterial worlds of learning

        8th STS Italia Conference
        18-20 June 2020, University of Trieste (Italy)


        Assunta Viteritti, “Sapienza” University of Rome

        Leonardo Piromalli, “Sapienza” University of Rome

        New vulnerabilities arise in all fields of education and learning today.
        This track aims at dis/entangling them in their proximal and distal

        (Meta)data and infrastructures deluge as tools for researching and
        governing education (Williamson & Piattoeva, 2019) at policy and
        practice levels. Educational apps and platforms sculpt users’
        subjectivities, enact learning regimes and perform relationships thus
        making ‘platform societies’ operative (Decuypere, 2019; Van Dijck et
        al., 2018). Standards are adopted in ‘governing at a distance’ efforts
        as assurances of objectivity, transparency and trustworthiness (Landri,
        2018). Networks composed by experts, edu-businesses, edtech stakeholders
        emerge as new macro-actors doing governing work on education beyond the
        state boundaries and the formal sphere (Normand, 2016; Williamson,
        2019). Knowledge and disciplines are constantly in the making as
        unstable effects of translations and inscriptions of practical
        accomplishments which are materially, discursively, aesthetically,
        affectively mediated (Fenwick, 2015; Taylor, 2018; Gherardi, 2019).
        Policies too are entangled with such complex and multiple processes as
        fast, mobile, unpredictable assemblages that are always on the verge of
        becoming something different (Gorur, 2011; Cort, 2014; Williamson,
        Rensfeldt, Player-Koro & Selwyn, 2019). Power-laden discourses and
        theories are translated across multiple scalar levels through laws,
        casual chatting, scientific papers, research methods and techniques
        (Nespor, 1994; Ozga & Gerwitz, 1994).

        Various effects emerge from the unstable relationships connecting these
        f/actors within the increasingly intricate space-times of educational
        processes and practices. The end of the programme institutionnel of
        modernity (Dubet, 2008) brings new tensions that call into question the
        relations between humans and non-humans in the fields of education. On
        the one hand, processes of democratisation of knowledge emerge which
        lead to the co-construction of spaces of inclusion. On the other, new
        vulnerabilities and forms of exclusion arise through processes of
        datafication, dataveillance, blackboxing, commensuration, gender
        discrimination, etc.

        This track aims at performing a shared space for reflection about
        education and/as its making in vulnerable societies. We thus welcome
        contributions which deploy empirical cases, theories, methods and
        sensitivities for doing work in and on the world(s) where education is
        governed, practised, assembled (Law & Singleton, 2013).

        Possible topics of interest include the following:

        · what does the ‘platformisation’ of education do today?

        · how do standardisation and standards in school and university
        generate vulnerability?

        · how (where?) do education policies morph when they move (Staunæs
        et al., 2018)?

        · what methods, techniques and practices to engage with and
        contrast vulnerabilities in education?

        · how can spaces, objects, texts, etc., of education and learning
        produce or/and reduce vulnerabilities?

        Deadline for submission: 9 February 2020

        Details for submissions:

        Conference website:

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