September 4, 2019

Committing Ourselves to Social Justice: Doctoral Education for Complex Times

A series of web-seminars organized by the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) and co-sponsored by the Center for Studies  in Higher Education, Berkeley.

In times of rising nationalist governments, environmental crisis, hate speech and acts against marginalized communities, the intellectual drivers and engaged community of doctoral education, have a responsibility to question the norms and values that cause inequality and exclusion in society at the local, national, and global levels.

Doctoral education is the most advanced level of education that individuals can achieve and one of the spaces where different types of knowledge are discovered, passed on from one generation of scholars to the next, and re-interpreted in the process. These functions give doctoral education unique access to individuals and institutions that are in positions of authority in different nations, and consequently, an extra responsibility to work toward democracy, inclusion, diversity, and equity; in short, social justice.

Actors and institutions involved in doctoral education are called to reveal and question the pivotal forces underlying manifestations of injustices through the multiple processes of research, teaching, and interactions with different social communities.

With the goal to make visible the role that doctoral education plays in questioning systems of exclusion and inequality, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) is inviting scholars across the world to participate in the CIRGE life lecture and webinar Series “Committing Ourselves to Social Justice: Doctoral Education for Complex Times.” This series aims to provide doctoral students, instructors, departments and funders of doctoral education, a better understanding of the structures, practices, and pedagogies that would need to be addressed in different disciplines and organizations, to be more inclusive, embrace diversity and equity.

CIRGE acknowledges that the meaning of social justice is tied to specific political and cultural contexts. Rather than starting with a (single) definition of the term, the CIRGE series will begin with an open investigation of what “social justice” does and would look like for various academic disciplines and university communities across the world.

Some topics the series will speak to:

  • What are the institutional and disciplinary structures that need to be addressed in doctoral education to make visible its commitment to social justice?
  • What possibilities and limits exist in your institution to maintaining social justice?
  • What is known about issues of access, retention, and graduation rates in doctoral education across different populations and in different countries?
  • Whose knowledge counts in doctoral education? Who benefits from the knowledges discovered?

Interested in presented in the web-seminar series in the future:

Please contact Roxana Chiappa | (Lecturer at Rhodes University)