2019 Call for Proposals


The AESA annual meeting will be held October 30 – November 3, 2019
at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland.

AESA President-elect Silvia Bettez (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and the 2019 Program Committee are pleased to announce the theme for the 2019 Annual Meeting:

“¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!”:
Critical community building for social justice in divisive times

We are in a sociopolitical, historical moment rife with daily images and stories of institutional forms and, relatedly, individual acts of injustice and violence. Yes, there has always been injustice – locally, nationally, and globally – directed against various individuals and groups of people. Our current moment is an extension and outgrowth of historical oppression. Still, it feels that we are falling into a new, or remixed, “normal” of mass shootings, police brutality, racial profiling, public acceptance of misogyny, overt acts of white supremacy, religious persecution, anti-immigrant rhetoric, anti-LGBTQIA+ policies, etc. as violence gets played out in new ways and social media/news outlets play image loops that threaten to deteriorate community building amid countless denials and retractions of previously won human and civil rights.

The American Educational Studies Association (AESA) has, for 50 years, been a society of academics who examine normative and critical perspectives on education, both within formal education systems and outside of those; we typically conceive of education broadly, recognizing that such systems are impacted by the larger world we live in, and education can happen anywhere. In our efforts to think through the purpose of education and the praxis to best fulfill that for all people, we are called to consider how to promote social justice through our work. To maintain critical hope, it behooves us to remember the social movements and collective solidarity work that has been done in the past and continues to exist. “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!” (“The people united will never be defeated!”) is a song recorded in 1973, just 5 years after AESA began, composed for the popular unity government movement in Chile mobilized by working-class people. Since then, those words have been chanted in various national and global protests, pointing to the power of communal action and solidarity. The concept of “pueblo” can invoke community, history, ancestors, place, and investment in others. As educators we can continue solidarity work seizing opportunities for collective action through community building in the classroom and beyond.

This year’s conference theme builds upon previous themes centering risk, collaboration, love, remembering, and connections with/in differences. Participants are encouraged to consider the role of critical community building, coalition, solidarity, and “pueblo” work in efforts to promote social justice in educative spaces. Related questions include:

  • How might critical community building work be enacted in K-12 schools, higher education, among colleagues, with graduate students, and/or at AESA?
  • What does critical community building look like in inquiry?
  • How do we work through the (sometimes unintended) exclusionary practices in community building, coalition, and/or solidarity work?
  • What might mindfulness, compassion, and/or radical love offer to critical community building practices and/or social justice work?
  • Where does the role of the spiritual factor into social justice work and pedagogical practices?
  • How do we recognize and honor the various ways we might do community buildingmbased on context, place, space, and people that attends to issues of power, privilege, and oppression?
  • How do we work against reproducing colonialist logics, neoliberal ideologies, and supremist ideals in our community building and social justice work?
  • What are the tensions in solidarity work?

Proposals related to educational studies that are not specific to this theme are also welcome.

Submission Process and Timeline

For more information about AESA and the conference, please email AESA2019conference@gmail.com.

Pre-conference Unconference on Wednesday, October 30th

This year we will hold an unconference on Wednesday, October 30 th prior to the traditional conference opening reception. This will be a more loosely structured space for you, and all other participants, to exchange ideas, engage in critical dialogues, and build community. Opportunities for continued unconference events and dialogues related to the Wednesday unconference will be provided throughout the rest of the conference. More details about this will be posted on the AESA website in the future. All AESA members are encouraged to attend; please plan to arrive early on Wednesday to participate. Any suggestions for the Unconference Planning Committee can be directed to Silvia Bettez at AESA2019conference@gmail.com.

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Thank You to Our 2018-2019 Institutional Sponsors