CFP: Standing Working Group: Observatory of the History of Education. Looking from Above and Below: Rethinking the Social in the History of Education

Lajos Somogyvári's picture
Call for Papers
January 15, 2020
Subject Fields: 
History Education, Humanities, Research and Methodology, Teaching and Learning, Social History / Studies

ISCHE 42 (19 - 22 August, 2020), Örebro, Sweden

Call for Papers: Standing Working Group Observatory for the History of Education

Looking from Above and Below: Rethinking the Social in the History of Education

Deadline: 15 January, 2020

The newly established Observatory for the History of Education continues the work of previous SWG Mapping the Disciplne History of Education; this has been shown an ongoing process and self-need to reflect ourselves as a research community, defining our goals, commitments and benefits to different societies and social groups.

Perhaps our greatest challenge is to expand our boundaries, in terms of internationalisation and interdisciplinary characteristics; at the same time, to find balance between local, regional and global levels, by building bridges to connect countries, areas and continents; researchers and the users of this knowledge. The role of particular organisations is worth to study deeper (their embeddednes, institutionalisation, histories etc.); and highlight/make transparent our discipline's possible positions in contemporary public discourses. In the Era of uncertainties, it is inevitable to participate and tell complex, multiple stories, related to the historical-political debates about past and memory. This commitment/involvement can be one of the main responsibilities of the History of Education, give its social value and usefulness.

That is why, we especially welcome the topic of the 42nd  ISCHE Conference in Örebro, "Looking from Above and Below: Rethinking the Social in the History of Education". It is a unique opportunity to a better understanding of our field's situation in different contexts, and social-political situations. Every colleague is invited to join and share presentation in the following aspects.

• Analysing the social in the discipline of History of Education (HoE)

The submissions may take a deeper look at appearences of social phenomena in the History of Education researches: themes, methodologies, connections with actors and institutions, their social implications, etc. Many interesting questions arise here: What concepts can be drawn about the discipline's common roles? How can we characterise the mutual effects between social, economic, political issues in past/present and the academic staff and institutions? The ideas of Above and Below can be interpret in very different levels, adding more and more meanings, based on geographical, political, social backgrounds: Can we detect specific discourses, narratives, using these key notions through various times and places? There are several imaginations to position researchers' working area, from the ivory tower to commitments in a political movement: How can we analyse and understand this spectre?

Institutionalisation: actors, organisations and policies

History of Education has got many national societies, departments at universities, institutions; courses in curricula; positions and formal/informal power of its practitioners. Which trends, developments can be seen in national, transnational or global dimensions, in connections with the human factors and institutions of History of Education? Where is it located? What are the similarities, differences in the histories of such societies, conferences and scientfic communication? How and why accept and welcome this field in the academic and university life? We should not forget the social impact, researchers as actors and agencies in policy-making and forming the public opinion.

• Researching and teaching

Majority of our researchers teach the discipline to future intellectuals and educators; which is another option to start rethinking the "social" during the ISCHE conference. What is the importance of such courses in teacher education and further? Expanding and opening boundaries leads to reflect Humanities and History of Education as a whole: Is there a real crisis or a new challenge in the fast changes of our world, when the design of Humanities is being reshaped? What methodologies, technologies are useful to make our results visible to other historians, our students, communities? The diversity of our universities, educational institutions need flexible approaches. What does the History of Education means in/for the 21st century?

• Diversity, hegemony, language and culture

We wish to continue the work of Mapping the Discipline History of Education SWG, aiming to collect and give critical historiography of studies in several cultural and linguistic areas.

How can we learn from each other? The hegemony of English in this international audience and situation of other languages are key questions. “Above” and “Below” can be understand center and periphery, dominance and resistance as well: How can we manage our multilingual and cultural issues to give a direction toward a continuous communication between East and West, South and North?

We encourage colleagues to send submissions, containing their research questions, methodologies, theories, argumentation and main findings. The SWG follows ISCHE guidelines during the review process, the papers might be presented in English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Please, send your abstract to Marisa Bittar (, Thérèse Hamel (, and Lajos Somogyvári (

Contact Info: 

Marisa Bittar, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil

Thérèse Hamel, Université Laval, Canada

Lajos Somogyvári, University of Pannonia, Hungary

Contact Email: