Call for Papers and Themes

Spaces and places of education

The terms ‘space’ and ‘place’ convey a myriad of meanings and connotations that should not be understood as one-dimensional, isolated, static, or immutable, but rather as terms to be understood within the framework of social relations and situated historically. The conference seeks to engage with a “spatial turn” in education attentive to the existence of multiple spaces (transversal, intersected, aligned, paradoxical, antagonistic, imagined, and virtual, for example). No matter the theoretical framework, this perspective invites scholars to address how contextualized and multi-scaled analyses of physical, conceptual, or imagined spaces and/or places can contribute to the history of education. In this fashion, ISCHE 41 encourages scholars to analyse a wide range of issues (social, cultural, political, economic, technological, pedagogical, material and subjective) that explain the production and organization of the public space of education, while also considering how educational actors read, experience and respond to specific contexts.

The organizers encourage, in particular, a focus on the flow of persons, ideas, policies or narratives that have connected different spaces over time and generated a global sense of place in education. How have educational ideals been formed and reconfigured within institutions or in non-formal settings through these movements? How have networks contributed to these configurations?

Spaces of education are the product of social relations that can be analyzed across different scales from the global – marked by empires, flows, telecommunications, finance, international agencies, and the tentacles of national political-administrative powers – to the relations within cities, villages, families and places of work. How do multi-scaled approaches offer insight into the social and cultural cartographies of institutional settings, professional groups, or student experiences? How can spatially oriented histories of education contribute to a more situated and contextualized understanding of policies, knowledge, curricula, syllabi, methods, textbooks? To the analysis of professional training, development and educational practices? To the interpretation of student subjectivities and experiences of citizenship?

Finally, the conference seeks to generate conversations about the concept of place within educational history. Approaches might consider how educational sites become invested with meaning by individuals, groups, nations or empires. Places, such as schoolrooms, school buildings, museums, or international organizations, are also the object of tensions and negotiations over time, with consequences that can be explored at a variety of levels.


The organizers welcome topics that address the following themes (including transversal approaches), included under the conference’s general theme:

  1. Nations, Empires and the geopolitics of knowledge and education
  2. Circulations and connections: local, (trans)national and global cartographies
  3. Contrasting spaces: urban/rural; center/periphery; metropole/empire
  4. Material, textual, imagined and virtual spaces of education
  5. Educational places: memories, sensory and emotional experiences, interpretations
  6. Spaces of critique: alternative educations and pedagogies
  7. The politics of place: authority, citizenship, democracy, gender and empowerment