Doctoral Seminar: 'Contexts'
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Doctoral Seminar: 'Contexts'

30 January 2014, 10:00-12:00

Please prepare for the seminar by listening to/reading two of the recommended readings and reflecting on them and the following questions in relation to your research. Of the two texts, try to choose one that is not something you might ordinarily engage with for your research.

Questions to consider

What are the contexts of your research – of the questions you study and the conditions in which you work? How do you know what ‘the context’ consists of; how do you decide what contextual factors are relevant for your work? How do you situate yourself as a knowledge-creator and educator in this time and space (or, for those working across borders, times and spaces)? How do the economic, cultural and political conditions of education and academic research shape your work, and to what extent can or should you intervene in them? What specific issues does your immediate context present for theory-work, methodological design, analysis and application? What are the specific demands of working in contexts of, e.g., schools, universities, ‘insider’ situations, neoliberal institutions, activist spaces and projects, or authoritarian states?

Texts (listen to/read Harvey and at least one other)

Ayers, B. (2011) ‘Whose schools? Our schools!’ Keynote performance, New York Collective of Radical Educators, conference, March 26, online at: http://vimeo.com/21552755.

Ball, S. (2003) ‘The teacher’s soul and the terrors of performativity’, Journal of Education Policy, 18 (2): 215–228 (available from Sarah Amsler).

Harvey, D. (2007) ‘A brief history of neoliberalism’, audio lecture, available online at:

Part 1: http://youtu.be/PkWWMOzNNrQ (10 minutes)
Part 2: http://youtu.be/EwboT2DhJC8 (10 minutes)
Part 3: http://youtu.be/TZg4esZFhOU (10 minutes)
Part 4: http://youtu.be/XhzkBRyhjlc (10 minutes)
Part 5: http://youtu.be/pN3Iz7XzUWM (10 minutes)

Min, W. (2004) ‘Chinese higher education: the legacy of the past and the context of the future’ in P. Altbach and T. Umakoshi (eds) Asian Universities: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 53–83.

NB – We do not currently have access to this in the library, but the chapter can be read in full online. There is also a PDF of the first chapter of the book, Altbach’s ‘The past and future of Asian universities: twenty-first century challenges’, which takes a broader perspective, online at: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/fileadmin/resources/education/ed2020_docs/Altbach___Umakoshi_-_Asian_Universities.pdf.

Read notes from this seminar here.

Read notes from the previous seminar here.

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