2020 Keynote Presentation
Adriana Diaz (University of Queensland – Australia)

Adriana Díaz is Lecturer in the Spanish and Latin American Studies Program at The University of Queensland’s School of Languages and Cultures. Adriana’s research activities are concerned with the development of (critical) intercultural language learning pedagogies across educational contexts. She is particularly interested in learning more about how insights from critical pedagogy and decolonial critique can help us un/re-learn the ways in which we engage with languages education. Her current research projects focus on examination of global imaginaries underpinning modern universities’ internationalisation processes and their impact on the provision of languages education. She is the author of Developing Critical Languaculture Pedagogies in Higher Education: Theory and Practice (2013, Multilingual Matters) and co-editor (with Maria Dasli) of The Critical Turn in Language and Intercultural Communication Pedagogy (2017, Routledge).

Diaz Abstract: The (In)visibility of Languages in Universities’ Internationalization Processes

The (In)visibility of Languages in Universities’ Internationalization Processes

Drawing on insights from critical pedagogy and decolonial theory, this presentation explores the mechanisms that have led to the invisibility of (world) languages education in western-model universities worldwide, particularly in predominantly Anglophone countries. Exploration of these mechanisms is articulated through visual mapping of the imaginaries represented in a corpus of pedagogical and policy-related genres of texts. The textual data set includes university mission statements, universities’ internationalization strategy plans and graduate profile descriptions as well as recently published scholarly research across a number of fields: applied linguistics, (intercultural) language teaching and (critical) internationalization studies.

Examination of these mechanisms aims to problematize and denaturalize the normativity of the epistemological assumptions behind current internationalization practices in higher education, and, in so doing, reconceptualize the place of languages in advancing future internationalization agendas that may help challenge hegemonic, epistemologically imbalanced, monolingualizing ideologies. Part of the problematization process involves acknowledging stakeholders’ (privileged) positionings and potential complicity in maintaining the status quo. The presentation concludes with a reflection on the ongoing struggle we face in the process of pluralizing linguistic and epistemological practices in (world) languages education.

2020 Plenary Presentations
Marianne Larsen (Western University – Canada)
Sharon Stein (University of British Columbia – Canada)

Marianne A. Larsen is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Education, Western University in London, Canada.  Her research is situated within the field of comparative and international education with a focus on global citizenship education. She has conducted research on the ways that international service-learning  experiences shape university students (and host communities) as global citizens. More recently, she has been researching how academics are urged to ‘go global’ by teaching and researching abroad.  Her 2016 book, Internationalization of Higher Education: An Analysis through Spatial, Network and Mobilities Theories brings together her interest in theorizing ‘outside of the box’ about diverse processes of higher education internationalization. Dr. Larsen is interested in pushing the boundaries about how we think about the effects of internationalization processes, challenging taken-for-granted assumptions about how we internationalize our educational institutions, and considering the value of shifting focus from global citizenship education to global learning for all.


Larsen Abstract: Internationalization of Higher Education – Moving Towards Global Learning for All

Internationalization of Higher Education – Moving Towards Global Learning for All

Dr. Larsen begins her presentation with an overview of the meaning of higher education internationalization and different ways that educational institutions have internationalized including the recruitment of international students, sending students overseas for short and long-term study, transnational academic mobility and the development of transnational programs and providers such as dual-degree programs and branch campuses.

The next part of the presentation will address different motivations associated with internationalization including economic, educational and socio-cultural rationales. Larsen argues that most internationalization policies have focused on the economic value of internationalizing universities and colleges largely with the aim to prepare students (and faculty) to compete in the global market-place.  Larsen will share her research on the pressures students and faculty face in being urged to study, teach and engage in research overseas, as well as the effects on those who are unable to travel abroad due to barriers they face.

Challenging the dominant economic discourse of internationalization, Larsen urges us to consider alternative, more socially just and inclusive ways of thinking about how we internationalize our campuses.  We know statistically that only a minimum of students engage in study abroad or international service learning. Thus, it is imperative for higher education institutions to consider ways in which we can provide opportunities for all students, staff and faculty to become global learners. Drawing upon the work of Landorf and Doscher (2018), Larsen argues that higher education institutions need to shift away from economic rationales of internationalization to global learning. This necessitates developing ‘internationalization at home’ strategies with a focus on curriculum to facilitate global learning, “the educational processes by which students are prepared for citizenship in a diverse and interconnected world” (Landorf & Doscher, 2018, p. 29). Global learning, Larsen asserts, is a way for universities and colleges to reclaim the socio-cultural and educational potentials of internationalization and a way to understand how complex problems transcend national borders and develop solutions to seemingly intractable problems the world faces today.

Sharon Stein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and serves as convener of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network (http://criticalinternationalization.net). Her scholarship brings critical perspectives to the role of higher education in society, especially as this relates to internationalization, decolonization, and environmental sustainability. Her work in the area of international education emphasizes the educational challenges of addressing the interrelated ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, and economic dimensions of global interdependence. By identifying the limits of dominant imaginaries of justice, responsibility, and change, she seeks to both gesture toward different possible futures, and work with and through the joys and challenges of collective transformation. Her scholarship can be found at https://ubc.academia.edu/SharonStein.

Stein Abstract: Internationalization and the Educational Challenges of Imagining Alternative Global Futures

Internationalization and the Educational Challenges of Imagining Alternative Global Futures

Internationalization is increasingly deemed central to preparing globally engaged students, producing relevant knowledge, and generating solutions for an ever more complex, uncertain, and interconnected world. However, critically oriented scholars and practitioners also identify the risk that dominant approaches to internationalization will reproduce enduring patterns of Eurocentric knowledge production, exploitative international relationships, and inequitable access to resources. In this talk, I consider three different theories of change in relation to critiques of internationalization in an effort to pluralize and deepen conversations about the role of education in imagining alternative global futures. In particular, I emphasize the possibilities opened up by a decolonial theory of change, which is rarely addressed in mainstream discussions. This theory of change posits that the primary educational challenges we face lie in the universalization of a modern/colonial imaginary that creates intellectual, affective and relational economies that invisibilize the violences that subsidize modern/colonial institutions, thus hiding their inherent unsustainability. This modern/colonial approach to education has left us unprepared and unwilling to address our complicity in systemic social and ecological harm, and to set our horizons of hope beyond what is intelligible and desirable within it. To illustrate these challenges and consider possibilities for facing them, I review some of the social cartographies, analyses, and experiments of the “Gesturing towards decolonial futures” research collective and the “In Earth’s CARE” network of social-ecological innovations that focus on transformative global justice.