Dr. Karl Kitching presents final 'Anti-racisms as Acts of Learner-Citizenship' talk for 2016 in UCC today.

13 Dec 2016
The Politics of Compulsive Education, now available in paperback, from which Karl's talk is drawn.

Today marks the 4th in a national series of talks that Karl has given on anti-racisms in education.

Karl has presented some key arguments from his book The Politics of Compulsive Education: Racism and Learner-Citizenship in the past three months at University of Limerick, Institute of Education Dublin City University, and National University of Ireland Maynooth. Today's talk is in association with the Institute of Social Sciences in the 21st Century Migration and Integration and Children and Young People Clusters. These talks coincide with the paperback publication of the book, which is available to order by clicking here.

In this talk, Karl asserts that question of what it means to be a learner and a citizen has rapidly changed in Ireland, due to European and Irish responses to globalisation. He examines the ways in which racism is embedded in Irish postcolonial educational continuity and change. Karl highlights the narrowness of anti-racist and intercultural education discourse in Ireland, and its complicity with the wider Fortress Europe construction of categories of governable ‘good migrants’. Karl also draws upon on his recent ‘Communion’ study of childhood, socio-religious change and injustices to highlight the limitations of a rising liberal pluralist approach to changing Irish primary schools. He examines everyday ways that children and young people experience and respond to religious and racial discrimination or ‘microaggressions’. Ultimately, given the racialisation of citizenship in Ireland, he calls for a greater focus on learners’ acts of learner-citizenship. These acts confound reformist and assimilationist approaches to anti-racism, identity and belonging in education settings, make claims for belonging on more radical, open-ended terms, and raise the question of how to act.

Karl would like to express thanks to colleagues across the country for their warm engagement with this work. In particular, thanks to Dr. Aoife Neary and Dr. James Carr (University of Limerick), Dr. Audrey Bryan, Dr. Jones Irwin, Dr. Maeve O'Brien and Dr. Andrew O'Shea (Institute of Education DCU) and Professor Sharon Todd, Professor Aislinn O'Donnell and Mr. Seán Henry (NUI Maynooth) for their work in facilitating and organising these talks. Thanks of course to Dr. Caitríona Ní Laoire, deputy director of ISS21 UCC for organising today's talk. Further talks based on the book will take place in the new year.

School of Education

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