Wednesday, September 17, 2008

International Conference on Popular Culture and Education in Asia

Go if you can. It will be major.

The First International Conference on Popular Culture and Education in Asia will be held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education 11-13 December 2008.

The conference will bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines to focus on the implications of intra-regional flows of popular culture in East and Southeast Asia for educational practices and youth development. We welcome papers that elucidate changing patterns in Asian popular culture as well as papers that explore implications and applications of youth engagement with popular culture inside and outside the classroom.

We welcome researchers and scholars from Sociology, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Anthropology, Language and Literacy, Music, Visual Studies, Asian Studies, Education and other disciplines that take popular culture seriously to join us in this event.

What are you doing?

A number of interesting articles/blogs about the social web and the details of daily life lately. Clive Thompson writes in the NY Times about the 'Brave new world of digital intimacy' and the ambient awareness provided by microblogging services like Twitter (what are you doing?) His articles describes the process where "each little update — each individual bit of social information — is insignificant on its own, even supremely mundane. But taken together, over time, the little snippets coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends’ and family members’ lives, like thousands of dots making a pointillist painting."

Joe Krauss of Google has also been blogging about the future of the social web, observing that it makes it "easy to share the small stuff -- to make it effortless and rebuild that feeling of connectedness that comes from knowing the details".

Interesting stuff.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Five pedagogies, a thousand possibilities

Ignorance is not a concept usually associated with the work of teachers (or at least with teachers that want to stay in work). But as the philosophy of Jacques Ranciere (see The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five lessons in intellectual emancipation) and Emmanuel Levinas has been increasingly taken up in critical pedagogy debates, ignorance and unknowing have become concepts of increasing theoretical interest. To my mind, unknowing, nonknowledge, or ignorance are essential concepts for theorising pedagogy in our current moment. That's why I've been enjoying Five pedagogies, a thousand possibilities by Michalinos Zembylas, which begins with an accessible and insightful meditation upon pedagogy and unknowing, before moving on to consider other themes such as silence, passion, desire, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It's well worth checking out...