Unpacking the Geopolitics of Being

Unpacking the Geopolitics of Being: On Being and Knowing Otherwise (Vanessa Andreotti, Sarah Amsler, Riyad A. Shahjahan, and Sharon Stein as moderator) 

April 30, 2020

Given the urgent call for redefining what it is to be human and reconsidering a radical relationship between human and other-than-human beings on this planet, this plenary panel will interrogate the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of the educated subject from various ontological standpoints. This plenary will thus interrogate the overrepresentation of a certain Man as the universal locus of human ontology, thus stifling the reimagination of the context, purpose and content of education. The plenary will also gesture towards reimaginging our ontological connection with the rest of the world from Othered ontological standpoints (i.e. Indigenous, Buddhist, and so on) and engage in the complexities of striving towards being and knowing Otherwise in education. Issues that will be discussed include questions of datafication, futurity, affect, sustainability, and geopolitics of knowledge.

Sarah Amsler is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her work focuses on learning at the limits of the possible and with the ‘otherwise’, ontological politics in projects for systemic social change, pedagogies of possibility and hope, and problems of coloniality in educational practice.

Vanessa Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on analyses of historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of inequalities and how these mobilize global imaginaries that limit or enable different possibilities for (co)existence and change.

Riyad A. Shahjahan (panel organizer) is an Associate Professor of Higher, Adult and Life Long Education (HALE) at Michigan State University. His areas of research interests are in globalization of higher education policy, temporality and embodiment in higher education, cultural studies, and de/anti/postcolonial theory.

Sharon Stein (moderator) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her work draws on critical and decolonial perspectives to examine the role of higher education in society, particularly as this relates to issues of decolonization, internationalization, and climate change.