Fifth Biennial PCS Conference

Fifth Biennial PCS Conference

Provoking Curriculum Studies

as an Aesthetics of Vulnerability

Hosted by the Faculty of Education

at the University of Alberta

and sponsored by

the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies

October 21 & 22, 2011

Registration Information:

For Academics and full-waged: Early Bird (Paid in full before August 31, 2011), $150.00; Regular Fee (After September 1, 2011), $175.00

For Students/Retired/Unwaged: Early Bird (Paid in full before August 31, 2011): $75.00; Regular Fee (AfterSeptember 1, 2011), $100.00

For information on how to register your payment please click on the following link: payment process information.

Conference Theme: The 5th Biennial Provoking Curriculum Studies Conference, has invited scholars from across Canada and abroad to provoke an “aesthetics of vulnerability” that relates to how we might learn to live ethically, if there is such a thing, as curriculum scholars in the 21st Century. In turn, at this conference we encourage presenters to provoke us to rethink the various ways in which engaging the aesthetics of vulnerability affords us possibilities for reconstructing the necessary conditions for social justice to take place both inside and outside the institutions of public schooling. Moreover, curriculum scholars, artists, and graduate students have been invited to help provoke how our apprehensions of otherness, of its respective material and semiotic performed aesthetics of vulnerability, might encourage us to rethink our firmly entrenched beliefs about our current curricular theorizing and pedagogical practices. Our hope at this conference, among other things, is that those in attendance will all help us to provoke particular aesthetics of vulnerability that respond to sudden addresses from elsewhere that we, as Butler (2004) suggests, cannot preempt as public educators. At this pedagogical gathering of curricular provocations, we ask will ourselves, among other questions, how might we all learn from one another alternative conceptualizations of what Britzman (1998) aptly calls the arts of getting by?

Keynote Presenters

The Secret Life of Vulnerability

We had taken our places at the table

For some words after the break, following

On various comings and goings.

And when—twice—the professor said, “hope,”

The celestial fireworks following the verb

Had us rocketing skywards too.  I had always suspected

The poet’s powerful leanings, but now I reckoned

How few exchanges we had actually come to know

Between pedagogy, providence, and rain.

(Judith Robertson, 2010)

In this presentation, writer, painter, and retired University of Ottawa Professor Judith P. Robertson calls upon poetry and painting to read curriculum into a geography of vulnerability—both as material/physical spaces and as metaphoric/mythic/psychic spaces. Vulnerability performs here as a regenerative aesthetic and leitmotif characterizing times of learning. Out of vulnerability may spring life’s resistance to force.  If vulnerability is such a potential space in curriculum, then what might it mean to appropriate this brave and fragile space to the pedagogical imagination?  Robertson’s poetic and visual address conjures an aesthetic response to this difficult question.  Her poems pass through psychic and geographic borders in curriculum, invoking the dangers and possibilities of temporality and spatiality in learning, and the always-already precarious designation of limits between self and other.  The poems revisit the chaos that can imprint times of learning, in which time’s singularity, time’s extravagance and miniaturization, and its oversized duration inform and agitate, presenting all learners,both students and teachers, with the tensions and imbalance—that is, the vulnerability—out of which joyful perception and exuberant imagination are made.

Judith Robertson is author of two books, Provocations: Sylvia Ashton-Warner and Excitability in Education and the NCTE best-seller Teaching for a Tolerant World, Essays and Resources (with the NCTE Committee on Teaching About Genocide and Intolerance).  She is the recipient of numerous honours, including the University of Ottawa distinguished Teacher of the Year award. Her work in education draws on psychoanalytic and spatiality theories to examine literary experience.  New publications include “Saltwater Chronicles: Reading Representational Spaces in Selected Book Clubs in St. John’s, Newfoundland”, “Poems in Newfoundland Time”, and “The Private Uses of Quiet Grandeur: A Study of the Literary Pilgrim.” An avid painter and poet, Judith now lives in Newfoundland and Longboat Key, Florida.

Provoking A Discipline of Wind and Pedagogies of Vulnerability:

An Indigenous Métissage

Through flute playing, lyrical writing, and visual arts, Vicki Kelly creates an indigenous métissage that performs the aesthetics of vulnerability as a way of provoking new understandings of curricula. She asks us to consider how such offerings of vulnerability create within us sensibilities to bear witness to profound encounters with the other. During her performance Vicki will invite us to enter pedagogies of vulnerability, affording us opportunities to learn and transform our experiences of wounding into gifts of grace and capacities for understanding the complexities of the human condition. She gathers threads of lived experience creating braids and/or knotted nexuses of lines of inquiry, as indigenous métissage, to perform the aesthetics of vulnerability that honour our learning spirits.

Vicki Kelly is an Métis scholar of Anishinabe and Scottish heritage. Her current research is situated within the fields of Indigenous Education, Arts Education, and Ecological Education. Her research projects focus on curricular strategies for revitalizing indigenous knowledges, pedagogies, language, and culture. She works primarily with métissage, narrative portraiture and arts-based research methodologies. As an artist she has studied dance, the visual arts, native flute and has worked as an art therapist in various therapeutic initiatives in Europe and North America. As an educator she has worked in K-12 educations as well as adult education with holistic and integrated approaches to life long learning. As a Métis scholar, educator, artist Vicki is committed to weaving various threads of her life into braided patterns of understanding.

Conference Proceedings:

(The conference schedule will be posted in the next few weeks.)

(A draft of the conference program will be available by September 15, 2011. In order for your presentation and name to be included in the conference program, presenters must pay the registration fee in full prior to September 15, 2011).