12th Dealing with Difference Institute
September 14 - 17, 2005
University Union, Western Illinois University
The 2005 Dealing with Difference Institute, scheduled to begin Wednesday evening, September 14, and end at Saturday noon, September 17, will feature several internationally and nationally known scholars and educators. Among these are political consultant and author, Benjamin R. Barber, cultural critic and educator Henry A. Giroux, and educator Donaldo Macedo. Both will make keynote presentations during the institute. Dr. Giroux will speak on "The Prophetic Thought and Radical Pedagogy of Paulo Freire" on Thursday, September 15, while Dr. Barber is scheduled to present "The Challenge of Diversity in a World of Malevolent Interdependence" on Friday, September 16. These two presentations will be in the Grand Ballroom of the University Union on the Western Illinois University campus in Macomb at 8:00 pm. Dr. Donaldo Macedo, will make a presentation on the challenges educators face in educating for critical citizenry in the 21st century, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 17.
The Institute will open on Wednesday evening, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., with a performance of "Cuèntame Coyote" by the national touring group, Teatro Milagro. The performance, co-sponsored and organized by Casa Latina, WIU's Latino/a cultural center, brings to life folktales of the indigenous peoples of the Southwest through music and drama.
In addition to this performance and the featured presentations, the institute will offer opportunities to participate in a number of concurrent sessions, including workshops, presentations, and panels on the intersections of multicultural and international studies, curriculum transformation, teaching in multicultural classrooms, the impact of school cultures on students' identities, and the pedagogy of Paulo Freire.
Keynote Speaker Background information:
Henry A. Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies at McMaster University, has stated that his "work has always been informed by the notion that it is imperative to make hope practical and despair unconvincing." His writing suggests that he is particularly concerned about doing this for students by providing "educators with the categories and forms of analyses that will help them to become more critical in their pedagogies and more visionary in their purposes." Identifying schools as "immensely important," he argues "that we need to make them into models of critical learning, civic courage, and active citizenship."
As well respected by scholars in cultural studies as he is by those in education and other fields, Giroux has written extensively in several areas. Among his most recent books are The Terror of Neoliberalism: The New Authoritarianism and the Attack on Democracy, Take Back Higher Education: Race, Youth, and the Crisis of Democracy in the Post Civil Rights Era (with Susan Searles Giroux), The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear, Breaking in to the Movies: Film and the Culture of Politics, Theory and Resistance in Education, and Stealing Innocence: Corporate Culture's War on Children. Giroux has also written Living Dangerously: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Culture, Education Under Siege (with Stanley Aronowitz), Fugitive Cultures: Race, Violence, and Youth, and Pedagogy and the Politics of Hope: Theory, Culture, and Schooling. Second editions of Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education and Schooling and the Struggle for Public Life are scheduled for publication this year.
Basketball scholarships provided Giroux, who was born of working class parents in Providence, Rhode Island, with his initial opportunities to attend college, but in Fugitive Cultures, he indicates that, after leaving the team, he worked his way to a degree in secondary education. After teaching high school social studies several years, he attended Carnegie-Mellon University, emerging in 1977 with a doctorate. He taught at Boston University and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he also directed the Center for Education and Cultural Studies, before accepting the Waterbury Chair of Education at Penn State University. In 2004 he assumed his current position at McMaster University.
Influenced by the philosophy and practice of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, Giroux is recognized as one of the world's leading intellectuals and one of its most important and innovative contributors to the field of critical pedagogy. In an interview with Mike Alexander Pozo for Axis of Logic, he reiterates his conviction that educators have a responsibility to "take risks and make a real difference in the moral lives and political sensibilities of their students." "Democracy cannot function," he says, "without educated citizens capable of being autonomous, making knowledgeable judgments, and bringing what they learn to bear on understanding and shaping civic culture." Giroux sees critical pedagogy as offering educators resources that can help them understand how pedagogy works "in shaping power, identities, social relations, and inequality in the classroom [and how it] operates outside of the schools in the production of knowledge, values, subject positions, and social experiences." These ideas will inform Dr. Giroux's talk during the Dealing with Difference Institute.
Benjamin R. Barber has combined a career as a distinguished scholar and political theorist with a life of practical commitment to democratic civic practices and the arts that has given him widespread experience as an educational and political consultant, television and theater writer, fundraiser, administrator, and public speaker. As a scholar with a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, he has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, Princeton University, the City University of New York, Rutgers University, and the University of Maryland; he has won Guggenheim, Fulbright, and American Council of Learned Society fellowships, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Grinnell College, and received the Palmes Academiques (Chevalier) from the French Government and the Berlin Prize of the American Academy of Berlin.
In academic administration, Barber is a principal and director of the New York office of the Democracy Collaborative, an international consortium of leading academic centers, civil society organizations, distinguished scholars, and seasoned practitioners committed to developing innovative approaches to strengthening the understanding and practice of democracy worldwide.
As a political advisor and civic consultant, Barber has acted as a counselor to dozens of organizations and agencies concerned with citizenship, civil society, community service, education, and democracy. He has drafted papers and lectured for the U.S. Information Agency and the National Endowment for the Humanities and counseled the Corporation for National and Community Service. He speaks frequently in North America and Europe where many of his books and articles have appeared in translation. He serves on the editorial boards of many journals both in the U.S.A. and abroad and was the editor-in-chief for ten years of the prominent international journal Political Theory. He is also Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer of Bodies Electric, L.L.C, a democratic technology company that develops and markets "Unchat," the deliberative software that provides democratic solutions for a wired world.
Among Barber's many published books are the classic Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age and the Princeton University Press editions of his philosophical essays, The Conquest of Politics and American Essays. Jihad Versus McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy was initially published in 1995 and reissued in a post-9/11 edition in 2001. Other publications include Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism and Democracy in an Age of Interdependence and A Place for Us: Civilizing Society and Domesticating the Marketplace. In addition, he has contributed to a number of documentary film series, including the PBS series, The Struggle for Democracy and The American Promise, and he has written a novel, plays, and song lyrics.
Dr. Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, culture, and education in the U.S.A. and abroad. In his presentation for the Dealing with Difference Institute he will discuss global interdependence and the need, given our increasing interaction across cultures "to forge a safe and sustainable global environment for all," and to "foster democratic policies and institutions expressing and protecting our human commonality," while also nurturing "our equally worthy lives," so that people around the world may live in dignity, whatever their religious, ethnic, or cultural identities.
Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Dr. Donaldo Macedo, will make a presentation on the challenges educators face in educating for critical citizenry in the 21st century, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 17, the final day of the Dealing with Difference Institute. Dr. Macedo directs the Applied Linguistics Master of Arts Program at UM-B and has written extensively on linguistics, critical literacy, and bilingual and multicultural education.
Professor Macedo has co-authored several publications with Paulo Freire and has translated several more. Among the books he co-wrote with Freire are Literacy: Reading the Word and the World, Ideology Matters, and Critical Education in the Information Age (of which Henry Giroux and Paul Willis are also co-authors). Other works he has written are: Literacies of Power: What Americans Are Allowed to Know, Dancing with Bigotry (with L. Bartolome), Chomsky on Miseducation (with N. Chomsky), The Hegemony of English (with B. Dendrinos and P. Gounai), and Howard Zinn on Democratic Education (with H. Zinn).
In his writing, Dr. Macedo has expressed his concern that the pedagogy of Paulo Freire will be simply adopted by educators as a methodology rather than as a stepping stone to recreating and reinventing his ideas (Mentoring the Mentor: A Critical Dialogue with Paulo Freire). Like Freire, he insists that “empowerment does not come from the educator to the educand but is linked to dialogue that is informed by reflection and political action.”
A community activist as well as a respected scholar, Professor Macedo has been honored with the University of Massachusetts President’s Public Service Award for his continuous service to his community, which has included grassroots project development, one-on-one mentoring, and the raising of over $6 million in scholarships that have been awarded to 70 graduate students in Applied Linguistics every year since 1982.
In 2004, Dr. Macedo joined the ranks of a distinguished cohort of scholars that includes Albert Einstein, John Dewey, Margaret Mead, and Jean Piaget when he was made a member of the prestigious Laureate Chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. His work in critical pedagogy and the literacy of power has made him a pivotal figure in these areas of research and education.
In “Beyond ‘Charitable Racism’: Reinterpreting Cultural Diversity,” his presentation at the Dealing with Difference Institute, Dr. Macedo will address ethnic cleansing, culture wars, human suffering, immigration, and intensified xenophobia. He will explain why it is vital that we gain a nuanced understanding of how ideology underlies all social, cultural, and political discourse and racist actions. In addressing the challenge of educating for critical citizenry, he will draw examples from mass media, popular culture, and politics.
Featured presentations will be conducted by Mary Dilg, an English teacher at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago; Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, an associate professor of sociology and Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Amanda Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Catherine Hurt Middlecamp, a Distinguished Faculty Associate and director of the Chemistry Learning Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mary Dilg, the author of Race and Culture in the Classroom: Teaching and Learning Through Multicultural Education and Thriving in the Multicultural Classroom: Principles and Practices for Effective Teaching, will conduct a session on "Understanding Dynamics in the Multicultural Classroom: Working Successfully with Multicultural Groups." She will examine factors that complicate the coming together of students from multiple cultures and explore responses that work for both students and teachers.
Nilda Flores-Gonzalez will focus on how students construct identities in relation to school, how the school and its practices shape these identities, and how these identities influence educational outcomes, i.e. whether the students graduate or drop out. Her book, School Kids, Street Kids: Identity Development in Latino Students, will provide the basis for her session.
Amanda Lewis in her session, "Race in the Schoolyard: Thinking throught the Role of Race in Educational Expericnces and Outcomes," will draw from her in-depth ethnographic study of the reproduction of racial meaning and racial inequality in schools. She uncovers the subtle ways in which teachers can unwittingly perpetuate racist attitudes when working with students.
Catherine Hurt Middlecamp will lead workshops that focuses on curriculum transformation, most specifically in the hard sciences. She will address the question, "What do race and ethnicity have to do with teaching thermodynamics?" in a workshop titled: "The Intellectual Challenge of Diversity," which will be offered in both morning and afternoon sessions on Friday, September 16. This workshop will explore a model of teaching "through" issues that affect people, especially people of color, "to" underlying scientific concepts. Middlecamp's recent publications include "Race and Ethnicity in the Teaching of Chemistry" and "Teaching the Majority: Science, Mathematics and Engineering that Attracts Women."
Additional concurrent workshops, panels, and discussions will focus on the intersections of international and multicultural study, the pedagogical principles of Paulo Freire, curriculum transformation, and the dynamics of intercultural interactions in the classroom and across campus
DWDI Planning Committee members include: J.Q. Adams, Western Illinois University; Richard Hazley; Frances Murphy, Eastern Illinois University; Joyce Reed, Lincoln College; William O. Miller, Principia College; and Janice R. Welsch, Western Illinois University.
Contact Dr. Janice Welsch by email or phone 309/298-1103, with any questions about the Institute.