DiscourseS OF INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION
9 – 11 April 2013 – University of Greenwich, UK
Advancing, deepening and sharing understanding between minds – that is, research, learning, and teaching – is a site of ongoing contestation both in theory and practice. Is learning a process of assimilation: coming together to share new insights and the practices they entail, do we leave behind what then appear the errors of our ways and the cultures that supported them, so that learning and unlearning go hand in hand? This is to see the learning community as nomadic, moving on, progressing. But what is lost along the way? Is learning than more a celebration of our selves and our cultures, as we are, as we can and will be, flowering in the richness of our various traditions? This is the understanding of a settled community, preserving its heritage, sectarian, ultimately stifled.
These discourses of inclusion and exclusion struggle together in the academy. What is at stake is the intellectual, social and political well-being of the community; and that community is global. Education as the civilising mission of the cultural imperialist (the discourse of power) is discredited; but research, learning, and teaching must be more than the exploration of ourselves behind the walls of our cultural divides (the discourse of resistance).
The global community is fractured everywhere by differences along the faults of wealth and poverty, race, religion, gender, sexuality, youth and age, each fragment constructed by a culture of its own, and always changing. DPR13 considers the role of research, learning, and teaching in the context of this cultural complexity: of myriad subcultures whose traditions and insights give the global community its richness and also its sources of conflict.
Exchanging words and papers about the discourses of inclusion and exclusion is a powerful academic practice at the heart of DPR in its ongoing project to challenge and interrogate the role of research, learning, and teaching in the social world. But images, music, performance, display, story-telling – these ways of sharing our understanding must have their space. We hope that DPR13 will include the contributions of the creative and performing arts so that the conference ‘shows and tells’ a freshly inclusive vision.