Call for papers and posters: Challenging the Reproduction of Inequality Through Higher Education: Critical Approaches in Romani Studies and Beyond

January 31, 2024

CALL FOR PAPERS AND POSTERS

 

Conference: Challenging the Reproduction of Inequality Through Higher Education: Critical Approaches in Romani Studies and Beyond

Celebrating 20 Years of Roma Access Programs at Central European University

Date: May 16-17, 2024

Deadline: February 29, 2024

Venue: Central European University, Vienna and online

 

The Romani Studies Program at Central European University, in cooperation with the Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning, and Higher Education Research; the Roma Program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University; and the Critical Romani Studies Department at Södertörn University are pleased to invite scholars to submit abstract proposals for the Challenging the Reproduction of Inequality Through Higher Education: Critical Approaches in Romani Studies and Beyond conference. The conference will be held on May 16-17, 2024 in a hybrid format, in Vienna (Austria) and online. The event celebrates the 20th anniversary of CEU’s Roma Graduate Preparation Program (RGPP, formerly Roma Access Program).

Neoliberal education systems reproduce and reinforce privileges and inequalities.  They present structural socio-economic differences as if they were differences in capabilities, achievement, and merit. Complex social reproductive and disciplinary systems mirror and (re)produce the biopolitics of racialized social relations along with the structural and epistemic inequalities of the larger social order.  In most European countries, Roma students are provided with segregated and/or low-quality education, which either prevents them from pursuing further studies or leads them to low-prestige and low-quality study options and career choices, if any, which perpetuates their exclusion from social, economic, and political participation. Moreover, the complex, historically situated intersected manifestation of epistemic and structural injustice hindering access to quality education from primary to higher education has inhibited participation in knowledge production, thwarting Roma from becoming epistemic agents/knowers and contributing to social knowledge.

Education could and should play a crucial role in dismantling structural inequality, marginalization, discrimination, and prejudice and in enabling Roma to fulfill their potential and participate equally in all areas of modern society. The Roma Graduate Preparation Program started in 2004, named Roma Access Program. Its name and structure have changed over the 20 years, but the main aims of the program have not: it provides Roma graduate students with intensive and high-quality academic and language skills development so that they can apply to places at masters’ programs at CEU or other prestigious universities in open competition with other applicants. More than 80% of RGPP graduates have been accepted to masters’ programs and more than 5% to PhD programs. Besides academia and research, many RGPP graduates work for supranational organizations, national governments, international Roma organizations, NGOs or have founded an NGO, and some have become MPs in their country. 

The conference aims to facilitate critical discussion on programs promoting the educational access of persons belonging to oppressed groups. The conference seeks to promote the participation of Romani scholars and professionals including those who took part in such programs earlier and aims to facilitate a knowledge exchange amongst various scholars and professionals from educational and social sciences.

Paper proposals

 We are especially keen to receive papers on the following topics:

  • The structural and epistemic conditions of Roma and/or other marginalized groups in higher education and their implications
  • The interpretations, implications and politics of ‘access to education’
  • The justifications of educational access programs for marginalized groups
  • The potentials and limitations of  programs promoting the educational access of persons belonging to oppressed groups
  • To what extent targeted Roma educational policies and initiatives have been successful in challenging mainstream neoliberal education systems
  • The analysis of educational reforms and initiatives contributing to Romani emancipation and educational measures and institutions undermining such efforts
  • Higher education teaching strategies and curricula that challenge the exclusion of Roma from knowledge production and/or promote the equality and inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups in the classroom

Proposals are welcome from researchers at all stages of their careers. Scholars of Romani origin - including the alumni of access and preparation programs - are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Please submit proposals including the author’s name, title, a 500-word-long abstract, and a 100-word long biography at https://forms.office.com/e/aY8neVdr9T 

Deadline of submission: February 29, 2024. All proposals are reviewed by the academic program committee. Successful applicants will be notified by March 15, 2024. 

The draft papers are to be submitted by April 30, 2024. We expect all scholars to submit high quality and original (not yet published) papers. 

The organizers can cover the costs of a limited number of Romani scholars who otherwise could not afford to participate and commit to submit an original (not yet published) draft paper. In case of co-authored papers, only one author may apply for funding. Junior scholars (MA graduates, junior PhD students) may submit 2000-3000-word-long papers (including critical reviews of books or cultural events, products), whereas senior scholars are expected to contribute 4000-7000-word-long papers. 

We recommend authors to present their draft paper at the conference. Selected papers might be published - after peer review – in the Critical Romani Studies journal. However, we are accepting submissions from scholars who cannot attend the conference but would like their papers to be considered for peer review and publication. 

Poster proposals

RGPP (or RAP) alumni are invited to submit proposals for posters of their previous research, research activities in progress, new ideas, and other research projects. The aim of the call for posters is to provide a collection of RGPP/RAP graduates’ contribution to knowledge production, hence applications from all academic fields are welcome. Authors of accepted abstracts are expected to design their posters and submit them electronically to the conference organizers. Posters will be displayed at the conference and published online. The organizers can cover the costs of a limited number of poster presenters who otherwise could not afford to participate.

Proposals are welcome from RGPP/RAP alumni at all stages of their careers in all academic fields. Please submit proposals including the author’s name, title, a 500-word-long abstract, and a 200-word long biography including how RGPP/RAP contributed to the author’s academic career and research activities.

Deadline of submission: February 29, 2024. All proposals are reviewed by the academic program committee. Successful applicants will be notified by March 15, 2024. Posters are to be submitted by April 22, 2024. 

Paper proposals are to be submitted at: https://forms.office.com/e/aY8neVdr9T 

Poster proposals are to be submitted at : https://forms.office.com/e/YeESsDapLr 

All inquiries should be directed to romaconference@ceu.edu 

About the organizers:

The Romani Studies Program at Central European University (RSP) aims to engage scholars, policy makers, and activists in interdisciplinary knowledge production and debate on Roma identity and movement; antigypsyism; social justice and policy making; gender politics; and structural inequality. RSP encompasses the Roma Graduate Preparation Program and the Advanced Certificate in Romani Studies. RSP offers courses for MA and PhD students of CEU and summer courses for graduate students and activist scholars from all over the world. RSP organizes annual academic conferences promoting critical approaches to Romani Studies and publishes Critical Romani Studies an international, interdisciplinary, double blind peer-reviewed open access journal. RSP supports internships and offers various fellowship primarily targeting Romani students and scholars.

The Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning, and Higher Education Research, named after the third president and rector of Central European University, Yehuda Elkana (1934-2012), is a collaborative academic unit, advancing applied research, teaching excellence, and professional development in higher education. It works with participants at all stages of involvement in higher education, from students preparing for degree programs, to doctoral students preparing for academic programs, to faculty and university administrators advancing their skills.

The Roma Program at the FXB Centre for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University aims to shift Romani studies away from the margins of academic interest and toward a central place in social and political theory and in multidisciplinary and multiregional studies. We seek to put Roma rights on academic and policy agendas in the United States and elsewhere by amplifying the voices of leading and emerging Romani scholars and leaders through research, events, and publications. A cornerstone of our program is the use of participatory action research and case study methodologies to give voice to the issues identified as problematic by Roma themselves, to strengthen the capacity of Roma communities, and to support leadership among Roma youth.

The Critical Romani Studies Department at Södertörn University has the governmental assignment to develop Romani Studies as a field of research and education, including a teacher education in Romani chib. Within research, the department has had a strong focus on human rights, including the right to education, antigypsyism as a particular phenomenon and in comparison with other forms of racism, Romani history, including both the history of persecution and liberation, as well as the Romani language. The department strive to integrate emancipatory and critical perspectives on power and racism in all research and teaching. The department has an institutional agreement with ERIAC, and uses their teaching materials in courses in Romani chib, and their Barvalipe Roma online university lectures in their courses in Critical Romani Studies.