“Touching Bodies in School” Standing Working Group invites participants

A new ISCHE Standing Working Group called “Touching Bodies in School” invites historians to join a special meeting that will take place during the ISCHE conference in Istanbul (Jue 2015) for the purposes of designing a collective research agenda, which will include seminars, publications, and concrete projects. Diana Vidal (Brazil, USP), Ines Dussel (Mexico, Cinvestav) and Marcelo Caruso (Germany, Humboldt University) are the convenors of this working group whose general purpose is stated as follows:

In contemporary schools, it is almost impossible that bodies touch other bodies without being questioned or put under suspicion. School regulations, moral orders, and pedagogical discourses have established that teachers and students have to keep their distance. Also, students’ peer relationships are similarly scrutinized. It is not only old punishment practices that are forbidden; bodily expressions of kind and care are practically vanishing from the time-space of schooling. These changes are related to shifts in our understanding of violence; what passed as rituals of initiation in the past may now fall into the category of bullying, and what was perceived as caress and warmth may now be read as sexual harassment or assault. It seems that we have never talked so much about bodies in school. We have never given so much attention to teachers and students as individuals, subjects of desire, anger, sadness or happiness. There was never so much fear of touching each other, hurting each other, affecting each other. Or was there? How was the contact between bodies theorized and practiced in schools in the past? Which languages were used to talk about it? Which strategies and devices were designed to deal with this touching? When did ‘hurting’ become a pedagogical problem? When did rights and protection enter this space? What other transformations are we seeing today?

In order to discuss these questions from a historical perspective, we invite all researchers to a first meeting that will take place during 2015 ISCHE Conference in Istanbul. At the meeting, we would like to design a collective research agenda, which will include seminars, publications, and concrete projects. To those who want to attend the meeting, we kindly ask to send an email to dvidal@usp.br or idussel@gmail.com expressing their willingness to participate, so as to be included in the group’s mailing list.

Previous Call for Papers -- History of Oxford Colleges 15 November 2014 (Oxford, UK)
Next Call for Submissions - Special Issue of History of Education Review on Schools and the Management of Public Health

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