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Socialist educational Cooperation with the Global South

Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Ingrid Miethe (Universität Gießen); Dr. Jane Schuch (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
11.05.2018 - 12.05.2018
Miethe (Uni Gießen)/Schuch (HU)

Call for Papers
Socialist educational Cooperation with the Global South
11th - 12th May 2018,
Venue: Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Miethe, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen,
Dr. Jane Schuch, Institute of Education Studies, Humboldt-University (Berlin/Germany):

During the struggles for independence in the global south, education became an important motor for emancipation. The postcolonial countries put the development of a democratic and de-racialized educational system on the agenda of problems urgently to be solved. In the course of these developments, a large part of the African countries, the countries of Southern and Northern Asia, of the Near and Middle East Countries and Latin America, sought contact with and support by established socialist countries, such as the Soviet Union and the GDR. Cuba initially sought the support of the Soviet Union and the GDR but consequently became one of the main supporting countries itself, mostly for African and Latin American countries.
Societal processes of transformation are always related to a transfiguration of educational systems, tentatively the practices of education, child rearing and educational ideals, which aim at forming people into adequate citizens for the new social system. This is equally applicable for socialist states and the countries of the “Global South.” Furthermore, socialist concepts of equality and equity within the educational system regarding class, race and gender met with great approval in the Global South, even though they were located as european concepts and intended as (pan-)African concepts. This collaboration and the closer incorporation into the socialist faction, which the collaboration often brought with it, were not always intended. Rather, they emerged in times of the Cold War and the continued rivalry of systems. Partly they were also due to the necessity of basic polar decisions. As a result of these voluntary or necessary collaborations, this global educational space experienced a circulation of concepts for teacher training, teaching materials, curricula and methods of instruction. However, these educational drafts and ideals were transformed and reinterpreted. Also, a large number of educational consultants were on site, offering their knowledge and trying to adapt it to local conditions.
Little is known about these connections, networks and exchange relationships and their reciprocal efficacies. This is partly due to the fact that the history of international collaboration between the so-called Eastern Block states has been mostly discussed in the context of “bipolar bloc-confrontation” or, as in the case of the GDR, of “german-german competition of systems” (Aust 2013, pg. 24, also Eckert 2007, pg. 7), so rather from a western perspective. On the other hand a large part of the historiography of global decolonization-processes is yet to be done. Only in recent times has this subject matter been taken up, mostly by the science of history, and discussed under the aspect of interlocking or global history. In this context, also the notion of a socialist globalization was discussed, though a theoretical foundation remains to be developed.
Despite this slow change of perspectives and a slowly developing research on this subject matter, the role of education and the development of educational systems within the context of these multiple exchange relationships remains a peripheral topic. It is only occasionally taken up and by far not covered regarding the complexity and importance of this topic. This is where the planned conference sets in.

We are looking for contributions that deal with topics such as
- case studies on educational collaboration of single socialist countries in and with the Global South
- educational concepts and their modification in the context of educational collaboration
- educational work/educational concepts of liberation movements and their international influences
- theoretical concepts for capturing educational collaboration of socialist countries, transformation and circulation of bodies of knowledge
- socialist theory of education and its modification in countries of the Global South

The deadline for abstract submissions (up to c. 500 words) is September 30, 2017.
Authors will receive email notification of provisional acceptance of their abstracts by November 1, 2017.


Jane Dr. Schuch

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaften, Hist. Bildungsforschung


Socialist educational Cooperation with the Global South, 11.05.2018 – 12.05.2018 Gießen, in: H-Soz-Kult, 05.07.2017, <>.
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