Second Conference

Second International Conference on Education, Labor, and Emancipation

CONFELE Second Converence - Reinventing Critical Pedagogy

Reinventing Critical Pedagogy

Is critical pedagogy a force against the divide and conquer strategies of the dominant or is it a force infavor of them? Evidently, given that most critical pedagogists are rooted in Marxism, they see divide and conquer as a problem of a fragmented class consciousness. However, what they do not see is how white supremacy and patriarchy, together with capitalism, work to establish relative power and privilege between hierarchically arranged oppressor-oppressed relationships. For example, white working-class men have more power and privilege, on a structural level, than white working-class women. White working-class women have more power and privilege than Black women.

Obviously, working-class white women are more likely to be focused on sexism than working-class white men because they have to deal with its negative effects whereas working-class white men receive more relative privilege due to their gender. Of course, neither group receives the full benefits that wealthy white men receive, but that fact does little to protect working-class white women from the role that working-class white men play in their oppression. It is essential that working-class white men, in true Freirean fashion, learn how they oppress working-class white women and how to gain their trust so as to build a more cohesive anti-oppression force. Similarly, working-class whites need to learn how they benefit as white people and how to gain the trust of people of color.

A classical Marxist approach deemphasizes the importance of relative power and privilege and the structures that create it, such as white supremacy and patriarchy, opting instead for the alleged clarity of class consciousness. But, in the directio we are taking, radical agents must intervene in their relative race, gender, and class power so as to create an impenetrable counterhegemonic movement, bonded one to another in authentic and loving ways. In other words, we are saying that both Marxism and critical pedagogy has not adequately addressed the reasons why variously oppressed people have not been able to join together. Reinventing Critical Pedagogy will be an effort to focus on the relations between relatively oppressed groups as they are constructed through the realities of laborwithin larger oppressive totalities.

The Second International Conference builds upon the momentum established by the First International Conference, which was held at Florida International University in 2001. Peter Lang published a successful book, The Freirean Legacy: Educating for Social Justice, comprised of a collection of papers from the first conference. The book has been adopted by many universities across the US and has been sold across the US and Europe. Cesar Rossatto, one of the co-authors of this proposal, organized the first conference, co-edited The Freirean Legacy, and is currently organizing the second conference. Serving as a kind of template for Reinventing Critical Pedagogy, The Freirean Legacyincluded chapters by noted critical pedagogy scholars such as Ana Maria Freire, Michael Apple, Peter McLaren, Joe Kincheloe, and Shirley Steinberg. Since we know that Angela Valenzuela, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Peter McLaren, and Wayne Ross, as well as renowned scholars from Mexico and overseas, will be presenting, we firmly believe that Reinventing Critical Pedagogy will equal or surpass the success of The Freirean Legacy.

Conference Publications

Reinventing Critical Pedagogy: Widening the Circle of Anti-Oppression Education
Editors: Cesar Rossatto, Ricky Lee Allen, and Marc Pruyn

This edited book will be a collection of cutting-edge papers selected from the Second International Conference on Education, Labor, and Emancipation. The conference, which will take place October 1 & 2, 2004 in El Paso, Texas andCiudad Juarez, Mexico, seeks to take critical pedagogy in new directions for a new generation. Its goal is to build upon past accomplishments of examining capitalist relations and cultural hegemony in the classroom while moving beyond the historical diminution of white supremacy, globalization, and patriarchy. This includes efforts that reevaluate established discourses in the field or take on new areas of contestation. The primary focus will be on the internalization of capitaland labor on the Mexico-US border, though other issues and geographies will also be explored.