Is this the real life, is it just fantasy?



Saturday, November 19, 2016: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM

Delighted that our session was accepted for 115th Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, coming up in November 2016.

Session Abstract

As a contested locus for articulating our collective values and for imagining our relationship with the State, schools serve as spaces for producing and mediating fantasies of the past; and fantasies of the future.  From historical, nationalistic representations that erase a racialized past to nostalgia-laden fantasies of childhood, schools draw on and deploy “the past” in particular ways.  These articulations of “the past” are inscribed into the politics of the present and structure the field of experience as we experience it.  These debates, moreover, provide a window to core dilemmas at the heart of a society’s efforts to define itself at any particular historical moment.

At the same time, schools suture these nostalgic articulations of the past with fantasies of the future.  Dystopian fantasies of climate change, strategies for managing imagined future risks through market-driven “choice,” utopian visions of civic engagement, racialized configurations of aspiration, and nationalistic diatribes about the future of the State are all enacted in educational settings.

Drawing on a variety of frameworks and instantiations, papers in this session will interrogate our tacit presuppositions about the ways that schools can act to mediate temporality as made evident in fantasies about ourselves or our collectivities.

10:15 AM-10:30 AM Student Futures, World Futures:  How Undergraduates Imagine Time in Global Development Studies
Richard Handler (University of Virgina)
10:30 AM-10:45 AM Harnessing Dystopia: Becoming Elite in a South Korean International School
Hyun Joo Sandy Oh (University of Toronto)
10:45 AM-11:00 AM The Industrialized Past, Unknown Climate Futures, and the Present Tragedy of the Education Commons
Joseph Henderson (University of Delaware)
11:00 AM-11:15 AM The Backwards Design of American Educational Interventions
Shenghe Ye (University of Chicago)
11:15 AM-11:30 AM Heavy History: Laïcité, Les Faits Religieux, and the Meaning of the Past for Future History Teachers in France
Laura Waddell (York University)
11:30 AM-11:45 AM The Histories We Tell. Immobilizing the Past to Mobilize the Present in a Chilean Public High School.
Rodrigo Mayorga (Columbia University, Teachers College)
11:45 AM-12:00 PM The Promise of Hope and Happiness through Education
Alex Posecznick (University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education)

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