“Art in Times of Conflict: Curricular Explorations”

“Art in Times of Conflict: Curricular Explorations”

The Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS)

Bi-Annual Pre-Conference

Announcement and Call for Papers

Saturday May 26, 2012, 9-6pm

Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON

“Art in Times of Conflict: Curricular Explorations”

A recent dialogue in curriculum studies has centred on the relevance of aesthetics to our work. Theories of the aesthetic ask us to think about our relation to the world as made from the affective domain of human experience. We are prompted to think about the nature of creativity, the qualities that make objects artful, and the pedagogical dynamics of aesthetic encounter. Aesthetic objects, which we interpret broadly to include film, video, performance, literature, visual art, digital media and other cultural production, stage the conditions for us to encounter the social and emotional worlds of historical and contemporary conflicts.

CACS invites paper submissions that explore the significance of the aesthetic realm for teaching and learning about conflict. We hope to provoke discussions about conflict as a dynamic of war and social violence, but also as a structure of teaching and learning.  This may include, but is not limited to, dilemmas of teaching about racialized, sexed and classed lives; conceptions of the mind and culture; theories of creativity, historical representation, memory and ethics. We are interested as well in papers that explore debates within the field of aesthetics–for example, the meaning of aesthetic judgment or the crisis of representation–as opening questions about conflicts made from thinking about teaching and learning. Recognizing “the aesthetic” itself as an inter-disciplinary concept, we invite papers that work across a range of theoretical frameworks.

The conference will explore (but is not constrained by) the following questions:

  • What do theories of aesthetics offer our understanding of the dynamics of teaching and learning about/from conflict?
  • How do aesthetic objects orient us to the vicissitudes of conflict in teaching and learning?
  • How do artistic works bear witness to the difficult affects of conflict?
  • Is there a place for the sublime in conversations about conflict?
  • Why think of the aesthetic as an ethical question of and for curriculum theory?
  • What crises and possibilities of meaning are opened in aesthetic encounters with representations of difficult social histories, trauma and suffering?
  • How might such encounters hook into, return to and/or open faculties of thought, resistance and/or imagination?
  • What can it mean to “live creatively” in times of social and moral breakdown?

Event Highlights

Keynote Speaker:

Paula M. Salvio, Professor of Education at the University of New Hampshire and Julius Silberger Fellow at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

Dr. Salvio is author of Anne Sexton: Teacher of Weird Abundance (2007, SUNY Press), and, with Gail Boldt, Love’s Return: Psychoanalytic Essays on Childhood, Teaching and Learning (2006, Routledge). Widely recognized for her published work on psychoanalysis and education, autobiographical and aesthetic theory and historical memory, Dr. Salvio is currently working on a study of how societies work through trauma with a specific focus on the anti-Mafia movement in Palermo, Italy.

Film Presentation:

Nostalgia for the Light (2011) dir. Patricio Guzmán

Film Discussants:

Warren Crichlow, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, York University

Rinaldo Walcott, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology and Equity Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Invitation to Submit

Curriculum and other educational scholars and practitioners are invited to submit a proposal for the CACS pre-conference. Proposals should not exceed 500 words, and should clearly indicate the relationship to the pre-conference theme.

Single paper and panel proposals with a focused theme are welcome. Single paper presentations (whether sole author or co-authored) are limited to 20min including screening of visual materials (film clips, etc). Panel sessions (90min) will consist of no more than three 20 min papers. When submitting panel proposals, please indicate who will act as correspondent.

Please submit your proposal (Title, 500 word description) by e-mail to:

(artintimesofconflict@gmail.com) by Friday December 19, 2011.

In addition to your proposal, please include a cover page that details the following:

Name of Presenter(s):


Contact person and email:

We will advise you of acceptance of your proposal by Friday, January 20, 2010. If you have further questions about the pre-conference, please contact the conference organizing committee: artintimesofconflict@gmail.com

Conference Steering Committee Members:

Conference Chair: Sara Matthews (smatthews@wlu.ca)

Membership Chair, Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies

Department of Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

Conference Co-Chair: Lisa Farley (lfarley@edu.yorku.ca)

Faculty of Education, York University

Conference Co-Chair: RM Kennedy (rm_kennedy@edu.yorku.ca)

Department of Liberal Studies, Centennial College

Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of Education, York University