On Education, September 4, 2012

WIDEN: On Education
(A Back-to-School Special)

4:00–6:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Grad Room, 66 Harbord St., Toronto
RSVP on Facebook

All welcome. No advance registration required.


Heidegger Goes to School: Drawing Education on Philosophy
Doron Yosef-Hassidim (Educational Administration, OISE)

The relevance of philosophy within an endeavour that deals with the human being, as education, is obvious. Philosophy already put forward questions such as “what is man?”, “what are man’s goals?”, “what is a good life?”, and “what is the nature of knowledge?”. As such, philosophy and education are similar in their efforts to assist people to direct their lives. Education, as a human endeavour, should take philosophy’s insights and incorporate them into schooling and practices. After all, basic educational questions are philosophical ones. Specifically, I will draw in my presentation on existentialism and will focus on Heidegger’s phenomenology as described in few of his texts, including Being and Time. By examining several of Heidegger’s ideas, I will offer and discuss new concepts of education and new horizons for education.

Learning Democracy: Education and the Mondragon Worker Cooperatives
Tom Malleson (Political Science)

Mondragon is the world’s most famous example of successful worker cooperatives, employing tens of thousands of people and competing internationally. It is a powerful example of the feasibility of workplace democracy as an alternative to corporate capitalism. Mondragon’s success is usually traced to a combination of structural practices and cultural practices. In this paper I focus on the latter—the democratic culture that has been created and sustained through educational efforts. I aim to show the importance for education in fostering viable workplace democracy. We will also discuss some of the ramifications of the Mondragon experience for the Canadian context.

“The Dead Stay in Our Heads Because We Love Them”: Queer Lessons on Loss and Reparation from Monsieur Lazhar
David K. Seitz (Geography)

Queer people living precarious lives are now instructed that “it gets better” by everyone from sex columnist Dan Savage to Kermit the Frog to the Conservative Party of Canada. Such important and well-intentioned efforts have surely saved lives, and have also been critiqued by feminist, antiracist and trans activists for the blithe and exclusive assumption that everyone’s life does indeed get better. Building on recent currents in psychoanalytic and queer theory, this essay raises a related question: for people scrambling for narrative strategies to cope with intimate histories of systematic violence and loss, does the sunny, unyielding progress of “it gets better” adequately describe how healing processes transpire? Arguing for a non-linear conceptualization of psychic reparation, I turn to the Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar (2011) for an alternative mode of narrating how we live—and love—in the midst of devastating and politically conditioned losses.

Directions: To get to Grad Room, enter through the coffee shop on the northeast corner of Spadina and Harbord, and then go down the stairs at the back. An elevator to the room is accessible through the main entrance of Graduate House residence (60 Harbord St.). Additional time may be needed to use the elevator; please contact Grad Room at 416-946-7666 or gradroom@utoronto.ca for information.

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