Meetings & Other Events
Meetings & Other Events

AERA 2021 650x235 Rotator_1

Call for Papers

This year’s AERA conference theme, “Accepting Educational Responsibility,” calls on education scholars, practitioners, and policy makers across education contexts to accept greater responsibility for social problems. From the inadequate preparation of teachers to work with culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse populations, to the lack of knowledge and action by professionals and leaders to work against injustice, educators in pk-12 schooling and higher education are asked to acknowledge our responsibility in the reproduction of social and educational inequities. This is despite schooling conditions that constrain caring and justice-driven teaching and curriculum. Moreover, education scholars are also asked to think about how to make our findings actionable to address sites of symbolic and material violence in a range of educational contexts, both in and out of school.

The Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies (CICCS) SIG builds on this year’s conference theme by considering collective and systemic questions of responsibility. We ask participants to think about what it looks like to shift the onus of responsibility from the individual to systems of oppression. For example, schooling structures, pedagogy, and curriculum are heavily governed by high-stakes accountability, standardization, and bureaucracy. Such models and practices of efficiency foster impersonal schooling and classroom experiences that make it difficult for educators to be accountable to historically marginalized students and communities. In this sense, educational responsibility is happening, however this responsibility may be to constituencies in power and bureaucratic processes, rather than to people (students, teachers, parents), communities, and social well-being. So, after acknowledging systemic oppression, what does it look like when educators and researchers do take on educational responsibility in ways that address injustice and social inequities? What does it look like when educators and researchers take on responsibility to the people, communities, and social well-being? We also ask: how can education systems be held accountable to support educators and researchers who work against the grain? Additionally, we posit these questions with cultural studies and curriculum studies critical frames in mind and ask submitting scholars to do the same in submissions that respond to them.

  • Related questions to address in our SIG presentations include:
  • What counts as educational responsibility? How is it defined and by whom?
  • What gets in the way of our efforts to be responsible to and with others?
  • If there’s a lack of accepting educational responsibility, who or what is lacking responsibility and why?
  • What does it look like to take on responsibility in a system that does not acknowledge these efforts?
  • For those who do take on responsibility in ethical, moral, and justice oriented ways, what does this look like? Who are these actors? Who are in turn supporting them in their work?
  • Is there misrecognition of responsibility? And when we ask individuals to take on responsibility, how are they being supported in their work? Is it fair to ask individuals to take on responsibility that goes against institutional logics?
  • How can curriculum theorizing and other interdisciplinary theories of care and ethics expand notions of education responsibility?
  • How can historically disenfranchised communities and families be acknowledged as already taking on educational responsibility and providing care?
  • How can students also show care for each other, their teachers, and be part of a community of care?
  • Within higher education, what does it mean when one group of faculty teaches about culturally relevant practices and social justice, while others do not have to worry about it?
  • Within higher education, what does it mean when one group of researchers do research that is responsible/accountable to the people and communities (rather than tier 1 journals)?
  • What if educational responsibility is unequally distributed along class, race, and gender lines?
  • In what ways can education scholars and leaders hold themselves accountable in working with people of color to co-construct pedagogies, curriculum, and solutions that are rooted in the knowledges and traditions of the local community?
  • How does access to resources; school funding at local, state, and federal levels; and other material inequities affect our understanding of individual responsibility?

Proposals that are not tailored to these specific questions are also welcomed. The CICCS SIG supports interdisciplinary research that draws from critical perspectives to pursue curriculum inquiry, cultural studies, and educational studies. CICCS sessions and papers often work within cultural studies (both broadly conceived and/or specific to the trajectory of study that originated from the University of Birmingham) and/or curriculum studies (both broadly conceived and/or work aligned with the Reconceptualization of the field).

Deadline for submission: July 22, 2020

Conference Schedule





Critical Pedagogies of Healing: Curriculum for Human Thriving in Times of Struggle

Fri, April 9, 10:40am to 12:10pm EDT (10:40am to 12:10pm EDT)

Chair: Robert Lewis Lake, Georgia Southern University

Discussant: Christopher Emdin, Teachers College, Columbia University

This session highlights critical pedagogies for healing as essential for living and learning in a global society predicated on ideologies of competition, dehumanization, and disposability of marginalized peoples. Authors attend to the body, materiality, and interrelationships with people and land to reconnect knower/known, individual/collective, people/world, and education/ activism. Panelists explore the healing potential of Black liberation theology in critical pedagogy, sexual health education as a matter of social justice, the importance of community for citizen-scholars’ collective wellness, people-nature-land relationships as sources of healing in cities, and “self-care” as resistance to institutional violence. Panelists celebrate diverse healing practices and relationships that unite wellness and critical pedagogy through explorations of health, education, social justice, and social change.

Paper Titles:

Healing as a Praxis of Freedom: Exploring Black Liberation Theology to Inform Critical Praxis – Jamila Lyiscott, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Disembodied Responsibility: Corporeality in Public Schooling – Carolyne Ali-Khan & John Wesley White, University of North Florida

Stumbling Upon Wellness: Hurricanes, Pickup Trucks, and Hijabs-Is Curriculum Implicated? – Shirley R. Steinberg, University of Calgary

Engagements with Place: Reconciling our Relationships with Nature in Contemporary North American Landscapes – Jennifer Dawn Adams, University of Calgary

Sustaining Self-Care to Resist Neoliberal Urgency and Dehumanization in Schools and Society – Tricia M. Kress & Jennifer Somma-Coughlin, Molloy College

De-signing Science Education in the Anthropocene

Fri, April 9, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT)

Chairs: Maria Ferris Greene Wallace, University of Southern Mississippi; Sara E. Tolbert, Te Whare Wānaga o Waitaha University of Canterbury

Discussant: Kathryn Lewkowicz Kirchgasler

As it is becoming more obvious that science education is ill-equipped to respond to the inequalities and differential effects of the Anthropocene, this symposia asks how might science education be reimagined accordingly? Drawing from transdisciplinary perspectives, the problematic inheritances of science education are worked against to interrupt the ways in which a science education-as-usual works to reproduce the same practices, knowledges, and relationships which purposefully ignore complicities in the endangerment of biodiversity and the further marginalization of communities of colour. Rather there is a move beyond: towards a collective and creative transforming of the norms and practices of responsiveness to the uneven ways in which human and other-than-human communities are impacted within the geologic times many call the Anthropocene.

Paper titles:

Curriculum Beyond Apocalypse – Matthew Weinstein, University of Washington-Tacoma

The Science of Data, Data Science: Perversions and Possibilities in the Anthropocene through a Spatial Justice Lens – Travis Weiland, University of Houston

A Radical Science Education: The Entangled Histories of Sociobiology, Post-Genomics, and Science Fiction – Chessa Adsit-Morris, University of California – Santa Cruz 

Interrogating Sovereignty: Settler Colonialism, Antiblackness, and Language Across Educational Research

Sat, April 10, 10:40am to 12:10pm EDT (10:40am to 12:10pm EDT)

Chair: Theresa Burruel Stone, Sonoma State University

Discussant: Ligia L. López López, The University of Melbourne

This symposium engages with the idea of “Accepting Educational Responsibility'' through a theoretical engagement with sovereignty. Our papers attend to the ways settler colonialism and anti-blackness delimit the rights and duties of citizenship and the power differentially bestowed through sovereignty. Converging from diverse geopolitical locations, we tackle questions about sovereignty and the ways this ideological construct is employed in divergent social, geographical, and political spaces. Each paper focuses on the intersections of sovereignty, language, and education by providing an inter- and intranational look at how educational projects in diverse locales work in concert to reproduce settler colonialism and anti-blackness. Collectively, this session unsettles educational research by forwarding questions that imagine abolitionist, decolonial, anti-oppressive pathways of thought in education research.

Paper titles:

Processing English Education: Liberal Teacher Education Spaces and the Reproduction of White Settler Sovereignty – Dinorah Sanchez Loza, The Ohio State University; Theresa Burruel Stone, Sonoma State University

Sovereign Speech and the Psychic Space of the Classroom: Black Bodies, White Space – Joyce Maxwell, Teachers College, Columbia University

Interrogating Education Sovereignty, Language, and Epistemicide in Initial Teacher Education – Andrea Lira, Teachers College, Columbia University

Education at the Borders: Rights, Refugees, and Responsibilities

Sat, April 10, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT)

Chair: Hannah Spector, Penn State University-Harrisburg

Discussant: Jo-Anne Margaret Dillabough, University of Cambridge

This symposium features a panel of curriculum theorists and educational philosophers addressing the educational significance of Hannah Arendt’s notion of political thinking. Drawing on Arendt’s writings and constructs addressing “dark times” in the previous century, the panel engages events related to human rights, refugees, and ethical responsibilities at the Mexico-U.S. border. Each paper models a form of political thinking in its apprehension and examinations of fascism, children’s detention, and curricular objects that has direct global impacts and implications for school-based education and public pedagogy. The panelists offer political thinking as part of a teacher’s special duty to teach their students to think about the dangers of thoughtlessness and to carefully consider what it has meant and means to be human.

Paper titles:

The Rights and Personhood of Other People’s Children – Aparna Rita Mishra Tarc, York University

The University, Teacher Education, and Bearing Witness at the Border when Political Institutions Fall – Mario Di Paolantonio, York University

The Juridical Hypocrisy of Human Rights and Genocide Education Laws – Hannah Spector, Penn State University-Harrisburg

Not Political: Violence and Education in Hannah Arendt – Samuel Rocha, The University of British Columbia

When Will Kids Matter? Examining School Policing and Increased Educational Divestment in Youth Across Contexts

Sun, April 11, 2:30 to 4:00pm EDT (2:30 to 4:00pm EDT)

Chair/Discussant: Christopher B. Crowley, Wayne State University

This panel examines how policies, practices, and privatization communicate to youth that their truth and lives do not matter. Panelists utilize critical frameworks to identify how school policing and zero tolerance policies function to push students out of school and may contribute to suicide ideation. Through narrative methodologies, panelists draw from three sets of findings to examine the micro and macro impact these policies had on youth and families in Southeastern Michigan. Findings indicate that heightened security was prompted by policies such as a decline in state/federal funding, mass public school closings, media and the school choice movement. An interactive dialogue between panelists, discussant and session participants will explore implications for policy reform, teacher education, and school leadership.

Paper titles:

Resituating “Zero Tolerance”: The Urban School-to-Prison and Suburban School-to-Suicide Pipelines – Sandra M. Gonzales, Wayne State University

“Kids Can’t be Kids Anymore”: Grasping at School Belonging Amid a Climate of School Policing – Christina P. Denicolo, Wayne State University

Who is Pushing for Policing? Examining Public Perceptions of School Safety – Stella Moceri Seilo & Hayat Ferzouz, Wayne State University

Liberatory Pedagogies in Freedom Schools

Mon, April 12, 11:10am to 12:40pm EDT (11:10am to 12:40pm EDT)

Chair: Nancy Ares, University of Rochester

This Working Group will bring together Freedom School scholars from across the United States. A purpose of Freedom Schools has been to affirm staff and students as people of color with rich histories of accomplishment, activism, and resilience. This Working Group includes researchers in culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies; arts, education, and urban planning; and social foundations of education. All of us are committed to learning about liberatory pedagogies, communities reclaiming the education of their children, and our collective responsibility for disrupting inequities in schooling. We will convene to identify complementary commitments, where our work overlaps, and the unique dimensions of our efforts that, together, enrich our common understandings of the powerful models of liberatory education that Freedom Schools represent.

Paper titles:

Freedom Schools as Settings for Youth Development - Nancy Ares, University of Rochester

Freedom Schools as a Critical Creative Space – Amy Shimshon-Santo, Claremont Graduate University

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools as a Healing Educational Practice – Kristal Clemons, Florida A&M University

Freedom Schools as a Resolve for Summer Learning Loss – Lakia M. Scott, Baylor University




More Than/Other Than Human Educations: Mentors, Hormone Monsters, Elves, Androids, Gods, and Us

Thu, April 8, 3:00 to 4:00pm EDT (3:00 to 4:00pm EDT)

Chairs: Daniel Friedrich, Teachers College, Columbia University; Jordan Corson, Stockton University

Discussant: Jenna Kamrass Morvay, Quinnipiac University

This roundtable interrogates figures in pop culture in order to explore the production of particular subjectivities and knowledges. The papers pose questions about the educability of those on the outside of humanity; the curriculum that emerges by wondering about the pedagogical potentialities of entities that are more than/other than human; and how our imaginings of structures, institutions, and configurations beyond what seems possible may inform the work and thinking we are currently engaged in. Papers include both empirical qualitative studies and conceptual essays and take on a range of ideas in curriculum studies and critical theories. Specifically, with posthumanist and liberatory frameworks, these papers look at the curricular potential born of study with certain entities in worlds of pop culture.

Paper Titles:

Of Gods and Educable Subjects - Daniel Friedrich, Teachers College, Columbia University; Jordan Corson, Stockton University

Hormone Monsters are Raging: An Analysis of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Childhood in Big Mouth – Oluwaseun Animashaun, Teachers College, Columbia University

The Grass is Moving but There is no Wind: Common Worlding with Elf/Child Relations – Angela Molloy Murphy, The University of Melbourne

The Best at What They Do: Examining Pedagogic Models and Approaches in Superhero Comics – Michael B. Dando, St. Cloud University

Androids and Empathy: An Exploration of Postcolonial Themes and Responses through Video Games – Irene Danielle Cha

Critically Examining Social Justice–Oriented Curriculum for Teacher Preparation and Development

Fri, April 9, 12:20 to 1:20pm EDT (12:20 to 1:20pm EDT)

Chair: Mark Helmsing, Georgia Mason University

Paper Titles:

Accepting Educational Responsibility; Critical Teacher Professional Development – Jeannette Alarcon, The University of Houston; Sara C. Heredia, University of North Carolina-Greensboro

A Reconceptualization of Teacher Education Curriculum Around Culturally Responsive Practices – Crystasany Renee Turner, Leanne M. Evans, Donna Pasternak, Kristine Marver Lize, Tania Mertzman Habeck, & Kelly R. Allen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

“Yeah, There is Something to Get”: Contradictions in Using Progressive Pedagogies to Teach Social Justice – Joanne Tien, Stanford University

Social Justice-Oriented Content Experts: Examine English Language Arts Teachers’ Critical Content Knowledges – Jeanne Dyches, Iowa State University; Ashley Summer Boyd, Washington State University-Pullman; Jessica Michelle Adams, Iowa State University

Collectivist Curricular Approaches to Construct Communal Ways of Knowing and Belonging

Thu, April 8, 12:00 to 1:00pm EDT (12:00 to 1:00pm EDT)

Chair: Sarah Avery, University of Washington-Seattle

Paper Titles:

In the wake of our Womanist Foremothers: Resistance as Signif(y)er Among Womanist Scholars in Education – David Louis Humphrey, University of Michigan

Thinning Space: A Conceptual Framework Inspired by the Virtual World of Gaming – Bianca Licata & Catherine Yanan Cheng Stahl, Teachers College, Colombia University

Un/masking Mascar(a/illa)s: Dreadful Engagements With Media, Identity, and (Sous/Sur)veillance – Rebecca C. Christ, Florida International University; Bretton A. Varga, California State University-Chico; Timothy Monreal, California State University-Bakersfield

This Moment Is the Curriculum: Equity, Inclusion, Curriculum Mapping for Study Abroad Programs, and COVID-19 – Esther Oganda Ohio, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Jamila Scott, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Keisha L. Green, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Susan Wilcox, SEW Consulting

Future Teachers Reimagining the Possibilities of Curriculum and Pedagogy

Fri, April 9, 9:30 to 10:30am EDT (9:30 to 10:30am EDT)

Chair: Lance E. Mason, Indiana University-Kokomo

Paper Titles:

Lesson Design for the End of the World: Exploring Curricular Tensions in Teaching Climate Crisis – Elaine Alvey, University of Georgia-Athens

The Dreamwork of Childhood Memory: The Futures Teachers Make from the Schooling Past – Lisa Farley, York University; Debbie Sonu, City University of New York (CUNY); Julie C. Garlen, Carleton University; Sandra Chang-Kredl, Concordia

(Un)mapping Identities: Counter-Cartographies as a Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and (Curricular) World Ma(r)king – Bretton A. Varga, California State University-Chico; Muna Saleh, Concordia University of Edmonton

Justice-Oriented Teaching and Transformative Curriculum in Education

Sun, April 11, 9:30 to 10:30am EDT (9:30 to 10:30am EDT)

 Chair: Elaine Alvey, University of Georgia-Athens

Paper Titles:

Transformative Education against Oppression: An Emergent Framework of Social Emotional Learning for Social Emotional Justice – Emma Minke McMain & Zoe Higheagle Strong, Washington State University-Pullman

“We Need a Swimming Pool, Too”: Child-led Critical Civic Education in South Korea – Yeonghwi Ryu, Teachers College, Columbia University

Justice-Oriented Teaching, Pedagogical Pivoting, and Avoiding the Label – Brian D. Schultz, Miami University; Stephanie Pearson, Kramer Elementary School, Talawanda Schools


Curriculum Across Spaces and Methodologies

Sat, April 10, 9:30 to 10:30am EDT (9:30 to 10:30am EDT)

Paper Titles:

“Analytical Memos” for a Capricious Methodology: Contrapuntal Images in Viral Times – Marina Basu, Arizona State University-Tempe

A Narrative Study of Cultural Identity Construction of African Refugee College Students in the Midwest – Samuel Dermas Habtemariam, University of Kansas

Ataturk, Baby! The Cynicism of Teacher Self-Annihilation – Peter Nelson & Scott Jarvie, Michigan State University

Governing the Child and the Soul of a Teacher through HIV/AIDS Education – Cecilia Kyalo, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Production of “International” Music Students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program – Anita Gonzalez Ben, University of Toronto

Critical Engagement in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Award (DRAFT)


Every year, the Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies SIG (CICCS) will recognize a scholar who has made significant contributions to the fields of curriculum and cultural studies in education. Nominees for this award must have maintained a sustained research agenda that has shaped the fields of curriculum and cultural studies. 

Required Nomination Materials: 

  • Nomination letter which details the scholarly significance and impact of the nominee’s work on the fields (no more than 3 pages);
  • Curriculum Vitae of the nominee;
  • Three samples of empirical or theoretical scholarly work that exemplify the nominee’s impact on the field. (8-10,000 word article or book chapter in length).

Criteria for Review:

  • The scholar is within a range of 10-15 years from receiving a terminal degree in the field;
  • The nominee demonstrates scholarly significance and reach in and across the fields of curriculum and cultural studies;
  • Achieves critical engagement in praxis oriented towards social justice, decolonial, and/or other equity-centered approaches; 
  • Has been consistently active in service to the field; 
  • Reflects contemporary and ongoing understandings of criticality, broadly defined, to address questions of power and positionality.

Recipients will be asked to give a brief, 20-minute talk at the annual business meeting upon receiving the award that will engage the SIG by defining what “critical engagement” means in their work, their careers, and the field.

Previous CFPs