Sharing AERA Panel Video: “Toward What Justice?”

On April 16th, with my mind bent toward what trans theory and could be a generative politics for multi-interest and intersectional organizing and theorizing, I had the pleasure of taking place in the American Educational Research Association presidential plenary, “Toward What Justice?: Describing Diverse Dreams of Justice in Education.” I include the link to watch the video from the session below, as well as my own thoughts in the form of a Storify from the session. Thanks so much to those who tweeted me and who captured those key ideas I sought to share. Organized by the incredible and inspiring Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, this was a hugely productive session for me and I remain incredibly thankful to my co-panelists (Lisa Patel, Nirmala Erevelles, and Michael J. Dumas) and the co-organizers. The longer Symposium Overview can be found at the bottom of this email.

Session Summary:

This session brings together compelling scholars within diverse intellectual traditions in educational research to discuss corresponding and sometimes competing definitions of justice.  Each panelist will respond to a set of questions designed to reveal the salient points of convergence and difference between Indigenous studies, critical disabilities studies, critical race studies, immigration and border studies, and queer studies in education.  A noted critical discussant will synthesize perspectives, offer ideas for future inquiry, and prompt further discussion between the panelists.

Video: http://freeman-cloud.com/aera2015/ (Note: register on the left, and then the “Toward What Justice?” video is in the top right corner. Click watch, then watch again.)

Storify:

This session brings together compelling scholars within diverse intellectual traditions in educational research to discuss corresponding and sometimes competing definitions of justice. Each panelist will respond to a set of questions designed to reveal the salient points of convergence and difference between Indigenous studies, critical disabilities studies, critical race studies, immigration and border studies, and queer studies in education. A noted critical discussant will synthesize perspectives, offer ideas for future inquiry, and prompt further discussion between the panelists.

Symposium Overview:

Perhaps because it is a term not always treated with respect in the academy, “social justice” is used frequently but rarely defined.  Much is assumed about what is meant by social justice, but when considered from the perspectives of diverse communities and their concerns, social justice takes on varying and sometimes contradictory meanings.  Social justice for one group may mean greater integration and mobility within the dominant society whereas that definition for another group may be regarded as problematic.

In part, dreams for social justice are determined by perceptions of the roots of injustice.  If we perceive the root of injustice to be unequal civil or human rights, our project would be to demand and achieve equal civil and human rights.  If we perceive the roots of injustice to be colonization, our project is one of decolonization.  In many ways, these are the primary social justice projects of many groups in the United States, but these projects pull in opposing directions (Grande, 2004).

This session will explore the possibilities for contingent collaborations and important divergences which emerge when we consider deeply what justice wants.  Educational researchers working with communities within several distinct social justice traditions—including Indigenous studies, critical disabilities studies, critical race studies, immigration and border studies, and queer studies in education—will consider the imperatives and aims of justice in education.  Each speaker will attend to the roots of injustice, the contours of theory and knowing, and pathways to justice within their intellectual tradition and apply them to issues of justice in education.

Prior to the symposium, panelists will share papers and be encouraged to identify points of saliency and departure in ideas and aims.  Questions pertaining to the roles of the state, citizenship, representation, voice, sovereignty, recognition, reconciliation, and futurity will thread through each of the presentations, as panelists and the audience think together about what justice wants.

Chairs:
Eve Tuck, SUNY New Paltz
K. Wayne Yang, UC San Diego

Discussants:
Kris D. Gutiérrez, University of Coloradio Boulder

Participants:
Lisa Patel, Boston College
Nirmala Erevelles, The University of Alabama
Jen Jack Gieseking, Bowdoin College
Michael J. Dumas, NYU Steinhardt School