Tuesday, January 29, 2019

JDS Annual Meeting Call for Poster Proposals 2019

Call for Poster Proposals
John Dewey Society Annual Meeting
April 5-6, 2019
Toronto, Ontario

To be considered, please submit the following to Dr. AG Rud, JDS President, Distinguished Professor, Washington State University, ag.rud@wsu.edu by March 1, 2019. In the subject line of your email state: JDS 2019 Poster Proposal.

1 Email message: List your name, position and institution if applicable, email address, and phone number.
2 Attachment: In an attached Word document submitted anonymously with no identifiers: Provide the title of your poster, its relation to the theme of the conference (see below), and its appeal to an audience of educators and philosophers at all levels, in no more than 300 words. References are not necessary and are not part of the word count. If there is more than one participant, specify how many will participate and their roles.

Proposals will be reviewed anonymously by a panel selected from JDS members. Notifications will be sent out no later than March 8, 2019. The poster session will be 11:30-1 pm on April 5, with the option to leave posters up for the rest of the meeting. The posters will be put up on tri-fold poster boards that will be on tables. Specifications will be sent to poster presenters.

John Dewey Society 2019 Theme
Dewey in/and China: Cultural Transformation & Progressive Education in International Settings Today

2019 marks the centennial of the start of John Dewey’s stay of two years and two months in China. He arrived in China at a time of cultural transformation and upheaval. There was the spread of a new vernacular called Paihua that signaled a ferment of thought. The New Culture movement and the May Fourth (1919) student uprising focused on Western science amidst a new found nationalism and populism.

Today, Dewey’s influence in China is broad and deep, though it underwent a number of shifts since that time. His early influence peaked in the decade following his visit, and he was later savagely criticized by the Communist regime shortly after his death in 1952. For many scholars, this criticism indicated the depth that Dewey’s influence still had on Chinese culture. At present there is a resurgence of Dewey in China, evidenced in part by the recent translation of the collected works of Dewey into Chinese, published in 2015, and the work of the Dewey Center at Fudan University (see the research note in the spring 2018 issue of Dewey Studies).

One of the main reasons that Dewey had such a profound influence on China was due to his pragmatism and its relation to Confucianism, which emphasizes thought for its usefulness in social situations and for living a good and proper life. Dewey’s philosophy fit with traditional Chinese culture, even though Confucianism was under attack as an old tradition during the New Culture movement at that time in China. 

However, the 20th century was a time when Chinese culture changed dramatically with the influence of Marxism and Communism. Dewey had warned against a wholesale acceptance of Marxism and Communism, and later was condemned for this way of thinking. Dewey did not call for the general rejection of Chinese culture or complete adaptation of Western culture, but for a new culture that would come about through a careful evaluation and reflection upon both cultures. He asks in his critical review of Bertrand Russell’s The Problem of China: "…what is to win in the present turmoil of change: the harsh and destructive impact of the West, or the internal recreation of Chinese culture inspired by intercourse with the West” (MW 15:218).

We call for papers that not only may take up an explicit study of Dewey in/and China, but that also deal with the themes of cultural transformation and progressive education more broadly in other worldwide contexts and in other countries, including North America. In considering Dewey together with Chinese and other cultures, we can ask a number of questions that are specific to Dewey in/and China but can be extended to other contexts elsewhere, such as: 
  • How has Chinese or other cultures been changed or transformed by Deweyan influence?
  • Was Dewey’s philosophy affected by his stay in China?
  • What are current manifestations of Deweyan philosophy in China, and other countries? How is it demonstrated in pedagogy, curriculum, and school planning and leadership?
This list is in no way exhaustive regarding Dewey in/and China, and Dewey’s influence more broadly in the world.

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