[iDC] Ranciere/Illich

Frank Pasquale frank.pasquale at gmail.com
Sun Jul 11 03:34:27 UTC 2010

1. I thought the following essay on Jacques Rancière by Nina Power may be of
interest to group members:


"Is education merely the transplanting of gobbets of information onto the
blank slate of a student's mind (we could call this the Lockean approach),
or are we drawing out forms of rational and creative capacity possessed
(equally?) by students *qua* rational beings? Jacques Rancière contributes
much to this debate, particularly in his work on the unusual educator Joseph
Jacotot in *The Ignorant Schoolmaster*. This paper attempts to analyse the
possibility of what could be called the "utopian rationalism" of Jacotot
(and of Rancière himself), within the context of the modern university.
Rancière's work will be read alongside that of Pierre Bourdieu and Ivan
Illich as other crucial figures in the understanding of the way in which
educational achievement relates to certain assumptions about what teaching

2. Also, I wanted to pass on this conference announcement:

*Radical Nemesis: Re-envisioning Ivan Illich's Theories on Social
Institutions*.  A symposium at Western New England College, April 1, 2011.

Grand theorist Ivan Illich wrote provocative texts in the 1970s and early
1980s examining major social institutions including, for example, *DeSchooling
Society* (1971), *Tools for Conviviality* (1973), *Medical Nemesis* (1975),
and *Gender* (1982).  His work critiqued modern educational, medical, and
transportation schemes, among others, and examined the evolution of concepts
of class and gender.

Thirty years ago, in *DeSchooling Society *(1971), Ivan Illich set forth a
radical framework for evaluating the significance, effectiveness, and
legitimacy of one of this country’s major social institutions.  While
considered radical by some, he has also been criticized, including by
feminist scholars, as deeply conservative and retrograde.  *See* Gloria
Bowles in *Beyond the Backlash: A Feminist Critique of Ivan Illich's Theory
of Gender*, 3(1) Feminist Issues (Spring 1983).

We will revisit Illich’s works in a symposium at Western New England College
School of Law on April 1, 2011.  What application, if any, do Illich’s
theories and ideas have for current social challenges and social justice
struggles?  What can they tell us, for example, about decarceration,
educational equity, racial justice, and health care access and
self-determination?  Are Illich's ideas dated, or do they contain enduring
insights for today's scholars and activists?

Papers applying, criticizing, or extending Illich's theories to any area of
scholarship or social activism are invited.

The symposium will take place at Western New England College School of Law
on April 1, 2011.  The College is located in Massachusetts’s Pioneer Valley,
close to Amherst and Northampton and convenient to Bradley International

Anyone interested in presenting a principal paper should submit an abstract
to Erin Buzuvis
(ebuzuvis at law.wnec.edu<https://mail.shu.edu/owa/redir.aspx?C=7a8e69d495274d3fb9204214d85d068d&URL=mailto%3aebuzuvis%40law.wnec.edu>)
by December 1, 2010.  For more information, see our website:
all best,
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