The Foundation supported:
Shaping Education in the (Post)Colonial World Actors, Paradigms, Entanglements 1880s-1980s
The Pierre du Bois Foundation supported the international conference “Shaping Education in the (Post)Colonial World” held at the University of Lausanne from September 14-16, 2017. The purpose of the conference was to examine the wide range of educational policies that have been elaborated upon by international and imperial actors in the (post)colonial world throughout the 20th century.
Education played a fundamental role in the process of nation-building throughout the twentieth century. The consequences of colonization and decolonization created educational practices that are vital to understanding the development of a 20th-century global education among nation states. The conference shed new light on the nuances of these processes by aiming at three dual-layered targets, “Issues and Paradigms, Project and Policies, and Impacts and Appropriations” examined throughout three days.
The conference began by examining the “Internationalizing (Post)Colonial Education.” The presentations looked at Australasia, the Portuguese Empire, Egypt, and Soviet Union origins of Workers Faculties; all of the presentations demonstrated the entanglement of education in developing states. The next session on “Elites and Modernization” examined and compared the roles that education plays in developing a society fit for ruling in addition to the role played by training in the march to modernization. Presentations looked at British and French colonialism in Indochina and Africa in addition to socialism in Tanzania. Damiano Matasci concluded the first part of the conference by outlining his SNF project and raising the question: Is it possible to examine UNESCO through a colonial lens?
The conference continued by examining perspectives of the role of “Education, Labor, and Colonial Development.” Presentations looked at what it meant to be a good farm worker, education in economic development, labor, and social education. The following session on the “Civilizing Mission” looked at a case in Indochina and post-World War II international efforts in African Education. A panel on “Circulations, Impacts, and Receptions” looked at aspects of the Phelps-Stokes commission, Colonial and Central Africa, and Health Education. This part of the conference finished with a look at “Post-Colonial Policies, Trajectories, and Issues” taking up the case of the Central African Republic, India, and Tunisia.
Another panel highlighting aspects of “Gender, Colonialism, and Education,” focused on Feminist emancipation, girls’ schools in Indonesia and League of Nations cinematography all shown through the lens of Gender. The conference concluded with a Keynote lecture by Peter Kallaway from the University of Cape Town, who raised important questions from the colloquium for future investigation, such as:
- How does adaptive education relate to the progressive and conservative debates on pedagogy in the 1920s and 1930s?”
- How did adaptive education strategies of incorporation into empire relate to British and French practices?* How can we understand the aspirations and dreams of education recipients and what exactly transpired in the classrooms?
- Finally, what do the institutions that developed around teaching teachers to elucidate about the colonization of knowledge?
The Pierre du Bois Foundation partially supported the symposium, which was a great success. The conference was a joint venture between the University of Lausanne and the University of Coimbra. Organizers of the Conference were Damiano Matasci of the University of Lausanne in addition to Miguel Bandeira Jeronimo and Hugo Goncalves Dores of the University of Coimbra.