Category: Calls

Opening Up the University: Teaching and Learning with Refugees

What principles might guide education programmes for refugees? How can a collection of texts inspire individuals, groups or institutions to start programmes (or to do them better)? How can we bring the experience and expertise of teachers, organisers and scholars into targeted dialogue with policymakers? Opening Up The University seeks to answer these questions and more through a collection of contributions from activists, scholars and students who happen to also be refugees, pedagogues and university staff.


The Issue

The question of access to universities for people with refugee status is often made out to be a subject for experts in education or integration. This may be, in Europe, a dominant way of addressing the question of how refugees may access and then flourish in higher education. However, there are other approaches and perspectives. These might come from solidarity groups and other grassroots movements, from teachers who work with refugees and other marginalised groups on a regular basis, or from those refugee learners who experience successful and unsuccessful programmes and interventions. These groups and their perspectives are not in regular and sustained dialogue with each other: policy worlds, activist worlds, learner worlds and academic worlds are often vastly disparate.  

One result of the lack of sustained cross-cutting conversations that acknowledge each other’s frames of reference, is that the subject appears curiously circumscribed – refugee access to higher education is not usually thought in relation to pedagogic development, including reform of curricula and teaching, nor for example to university administrative and governance structures.  Indeed it’s unclear to many people why the ‘problem’ of refugee integration into higher education should bring up these questions at all.

Our Response

In this edited volume, we seek to put in conversation different actors involved in the question of access to higher education for people with refugee status or those engaged in rethinking the university in related ways. Our aim in doing so is to convey some of the key principles in regards to refugee education; explore what types of ethos work in such contexts; and examine how pedagogic practice can and should respond. Furthermore, we want to be self-reflexively critical about the process of setting up and running a refugee outreach programme; inspire other groups and individuals who are considering creating their own interventions; and finally speak to policy makers and university administrators on specific points relating to the access and success of refugees in higher education in Europe today.

The volume builds on a conference held in March at Central European University’s Budapest campus where such conversations led us to think about refugee education in relation to pedagogic innovation, solidarity, university governance and administration, and national policy development. Thinking about the access of people with refugee status in relation to these different frameworks led to critical questions about how the issue can or should be thought in relation to curricular development, teaching practices that incorporate care and compassion, and also to the manifold challenges to universities as ‘producers of elite knowledge’ when they seek to include people who are marginalised socially, economically and politically.

We believe that thinking the issue of refugee access to higher education should be a holistic process and should further be seen as an opportunity to challenge knowledge production and its purposes.  

Call for Contributions

We invite contributions that seek to address policy, solidarity, pedagogic and other issues relating to how refugees may access higher education and how they may flourish therein. Interventions could focus on policy or pedagogic innovation, on the role of knowledge and its purposes, the role of the university in public life, as well as other related issues and questions.

We are happy to receive contributions of varying styles, genres and lengths (with an upper limit of 20 pages). We encourage creative, non-standard and alternative approaches and are also very happy to receive academic (or non-academic) essays, policy briefs, curricular guides, and so on.

Possible ideas: first-hand accounts from refugee students who have experienced education outreach programmes; annotated syllabi; examples of solidarity practice with refugee students to enhance access to higher education; examples of education programs for people with refugee status located outside traditional universities; comparative explorations of alternative education with other groups of marginalised people; theorisations of how opening up access changes and challenges knowledge production; manifestos or principles for access and success. 

Please email  CookI@spp.ceu.edu by April 29th with:


a) Proposed title

b) A one paragraph summary including notes on genre/style and estimated word length

c) A short bio

Editorial team: Cristina S. Bangau, Celine Cantat, Ian M. Cook, Marius Jakstas & Prem Kumar Rajaram

Open Call UrbanA: Share Projects on Sustainable & Just Cities!

This is an open call to all city-makers to share projects that address issues of (un)sustainability and (in)justice in cities. Are you a policy-maker, activist, entrepreneur, intellectual, citizen or otherwise engaged individual interested in making cities better? Are you curious about what others are doing? Please share your knowledge & experience with us and we’ll share the results with you!

Do you know of projects that address urban (un)sustainability and/or (in)justice and would you like to share those projects with the world?

Take this 5-minute survey now!

(A selection of) projects proposed through this survey will become part of our UrbanA database that will share (a selection of) projects, existing and new approaches to tackle urban (un)sustainability & (in)justice.

Image credit CEU/Daniel Vegel

About the UrbanA Project
The connections, tensions and contradictions between inclusivity, social (in)equality and ecological sustainability are sources of endless fascination and debate, especially in the context of cities and rapid urbanisation. This includes issues of green gentrification, climate justice, energy democracy, social housing and many others. In our UrbanA project on Urban Arenas for Sustainable and Just Cities, we synthesize knowledge and experience generated in projects that tackle urban (un)sustainability and (in)justice. Over the coming three years, UrbanA will organise a series of four blended Arena Events (online and physical) where we bring together city-makers from across Europe who (aim to) design and transform cities into sustainable, inclusive and thriving urban environments and want to learn from existing and new approaches.

What’s next? Survey results and beyond
The UrbanA-database that we build shares (a selection of) the proposed projects, existing and new approaches to tackle urban (un)sustainability & (in)justice. It is a starting point for distilling and co-creating knowledge on drivers, barriers, governance scenarios and policy recommendations for just and sustainable cities. The database and subsequent insights will be presented, deliberated and adapted during UrbanA’s Arena events and made openly available on UrbanA website over the coming years (2019-2021). While the UrbanA database will focus on EU-funded projects, we also welcome your knowledge of other relevant projects.

Share your project and/or stay informed about UrbanA
Do you know of projects that address urban (un)sustainability and/or (in)justice and would you like to share those projects with the world? Please let us know by filling in this short survey. Here you can also indicate if you want to stay informed of UrbanA’s outcomes and future events. For more information on UrbanA, take a look at the website in development.

Save Academic Freedom in Hungary: Defend CEU

You may have seen the latest cheerful news from Hungary this week! In a breach of the freedom and autonomy of higher education institutions in Hungary and around the world, legislation has been proposed to the Hungarian Parliament that would make it impossible for Central European University to continue operations within the country.

Specifically, the legislation would prevent Hungarian universities from delivering programs or issuing degrees from non-European universities on behalf of CEU. This is critical as CEU functions under Hungarian law as both an American and a Hungarian institution, and existing legislation allows for university programs and degrees from OECD countries (including the U.S.) to function through joint entities.

This legislation is discriminatory and strikes at the heart of what CEU has been doing for over two decades, in full conformity with Hungarian law. A press release with further details on the proposed legislation and CEU’s official response is here.

These changes would endanger CEU’s continued operation in Budapest and would strike a blow against the academic freedom that enables all universities, including those in Hungary, to flourish.

Personally, I’ve been at the university since 2008 (MA, PhD, Postdoc) and the university has allowed me the time and space for engaged, critical research and reflection. Not only does it offer fully funded graduate education to nearly all its students, but it is the home of cutting edge truly original research across a range of disciplines.

There are currently a number of grassroot critically minded actions planned – from teach-ins to protests – but there are also things you can do from wherever you are:

  • Send a letter to your members of Parliament or representatives to communicate your support of CEU and academic freedom worldwide. It has been suggested that if one of your MEPs is from the same group in the European parliament as Hungary’s ruling FIDESZ party (European People’s Party), it might be especially useful (sample letter available here)
  • Sign the org petition now circulating on-line
  • Write to Support_for_CEU@ceu.edu to add your name or organization to a group letter

The City Uploaded: Urban Intersections of Film and New Media

This summer school looks great.  (I know it’s not strictly urban India, but definitely ‘urban’ and I’m sure filmmakers working in and on the region are interested).

Apply here!

Info
The city has long fascinated documentary filmmakers and social theorists alike. From city symphonies to dystopic visions, the cinematic representation of the urban stands for modernity and its discontents. Pushing the boundaries of filmmaking towards new media and collaborative ventures, this course aims to reclaim the creative impulse filmmakers found in the city and put it to work in participants’ projects. Urban space constitutes a privileged site for such experiments, not only due to its constant transformation, contestation and discovery, but also as a laboratory for aesthetic, collaborative and interdisciplinary explorations. Through its powerful social aesthetics film provides ideal tools to engage with the city, while the new media offer a space for new forms of documentary, storytelling and cross-media ventures to emerge. Together, they inspire innovative narrative forms that recreate the urban experience through open, collective modes of participation and interaction.

 


This course proposes an intensive, research-focused program for the creative development and experimentation with new forms of expression, engagement and collaboration in and of the city. For this it invites a number of selected projects and matches them with leading professionals in the field, who successfully combine film, multimedia practice and urban interventions in their own work. It offers theoretical and practical input and provides the space for urban researchers, filmmakers and multimedia artists to interact and collaborate towards accomplishing their own projects.

CfP Cities of the forking paths: intercommunal (dis)harmony and the rhythms of everyday life

CfP: Cities of the forking paths: intercommunal (dis)harmony and the rhythms of everyday life

SIEF2015, Zagreb, 21-25 June 2015

Global cities are variously represented as utopian multiethnic, interreligious celebrations of cosmopolitan difference, or conversely as dark hives of ethnic and class conflict. Against this split narrative, smaller cities that exhibit ethnic or religious tensions are often portrayed as lacking, provincial or backwards. In light of recent developments — including the supposed demise of multiculturalism in Europe’s cities, the rise of urban Hindu nationalism in India and a surge of violence in towns across the Middle East — we seek to complicate narratives of communal disharmony with a specific focus on those semi-peripheral smaller cities that are often overlooked by urban scholars.

Thinking through these ideas rhythmically (temporally and spatially) allows ethnographers and historians to explore the everyday realities of how community is performed and circulated in smaller cities. It is our contention that inhabitants of plural cities exhibit creative marginality in the face of contrived coexistence, that the heteronomous spaces and times of cities produce contradictory logics that undermine ethnonationalist state goals, and that the mundane cycles of everyday life can destabilise seemingly hegemonic projects.

We welcome contributions from a range of geographic settings, historical periods and methodological approaches that address the problem of alterity and its discontents in unsettled urban times and spaces.

Ian M. Cook (Central European University) & Daniel Monterescu (Central European University)

Deadline January 14th 2015

Propose a paper here:
http://nomadit.co.uk/sief/sief2015/panels.php5?PanelID=3507

Informal questions or queries to panel conveners:
Ian Cook cook_ian@ceu-budapest.edu
Daniel Monterescu monterescud@ceu.hu