Critical Pedagogy and International Studies: Reconstructing Knowledge Through Dialogue with the Subaltern

Critical Pedagogy and International Studies: Reconstructing Knowledge Through Dialogue with the Subaltern
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  From the SelectedWorks of Rebecca Hovey  2004 C"i$ical Pedagg( and In$e"na$inal S$%die#:Recn#$"%c$ing Kn'ledge $h"%gh Dialg%e 'i$h $he S%bal$e"n Rebecca H&e(, World Learning   A&ailable a$:h)!://'"!"e##.cm/"ebecca_h&e(/3/  Critical Pedagogy and International Studies: Reconstructing Knowledge through Dialogue with the Subaltern Rebecca Hovey, School of lnternational Training Vermont, USA Abstract The emerying trend and pressure for higher education to internationalize the cun'iculum. meet the challenges of globalization and prcpare students for global citizenship is identit'ied as the 'global turn' in edncation. The notion of knowledge production in a global context raises epistemological questions regarding the comrnunity of knowing subjects and institutions rvho participate in and structrue such knorvleclge systelns. Critical pedagogy off'ers a theoretical i'r'amelvork in which rve can imagine students andteachers engaging in dialogue rvith knorving subjects of other cultures and locations with the aim of creating a global community of knowledge production. Challenges to such dialogue as articulated by subalteln studies are viewed as critical in considering the politics of knorvledge claims and imagining the possibility of democratic practices andcliscourse in global ancl international knowledge constlr.rction. Keywolds: critical pedagogl', epistentologt', global citizenshilt, iuternatiornl education, subqltern sttdies, US ltigher t:ducation. Over the past decade, educational policymakers have called ibr US higher edu- cation to internationalize the curriculum, to integrate international studies across the disciplines and to meet the challenges of globalization in the post-Cold War era. As part of ti,is shift, which I call hele the global turn in higher education, manycolleges and universities have also begun to re-afticulate the mission of liberal arts education to include global citizenship. In this article I colsider sorne of these challenges of internationalization f'rom a perspective of critical pedagogy. In palticular. I rvant to explore the notion of what it would mean to develop a sense of democratic citizenship within the community of global knowledge construction. In undertaking this global turn, I want to argue that critical pedagogy can contribute inportant theoretical insights tbr examining knowledge production and education through the integration of international studies across the curriculum. A piil'ticular challenge for Western academic knowledge in international studies are the epistemological and moral questions raised by the emerging fields of subaltern and postcolonial studies witliin the acadelny.i These clebates present the inter-disciplinary field of international studies with as serious a challenge to the canon and knowledge production as did the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s. In many ways the debates ove{ the inclusion of texts, and which texts, have matured into a mole serious exchange regarding the validity of testimony, naffative hnertutiorrul Relatlor.s Copylight O 2004 SAGE Publications(London. Thousand Oaks. CA and New Delhi). Vol 18(2):241-254 [DOI: l0.l 17710047 I I 7804042675] ,1,;1;i .*  lrurunnmorllt ns-riroNs I g(z) argum€nt versus rafional logic, and the more philosophical debates around the politic$ of differcnce , of recogrrition, of prcsence, of distribution and, more impor-tantly, of the discursive space in which these debates take ptace.z From a critical pedagogy perspective,I explorc the question of whether we ag educators, with our students, can sngage in dialogue with thc subaltem (because the subaltern may nor want to' or may not bc able to, .rpeak io or with us) ar an initial step toward the potential creation of derrccratic global communities of knowledge.The global turn in US higher education The t$'in moves withir the global ftrn in higher education, to call for inter-nationalization of tbe curriculum ald rhe artisrlation of global citizenship as pan of this mission, raise a ser of crirical questions for educators: how is ourknowledge of internagional subjects, issues and themes Eansformed by integrating an iniernational or global perspective across lhe disciplines? In this process, howis new knowledge sought, framed by queslions, constructed thmugh dialogue and teasoning, validated, legitimized and promoted? And, if we, as members of the academy, are lo sc€ ourselves as global citizcns, or €ven as rcsponsible citizens ina global interdependeot world, and tro educah $tudents as eitizens with globalresponsibilities, this has implications for dcmocratie engag€ment and pursuit of knowledge. The implications are profound for the professional practices and norms of profassionals, administrators, academics and shrtlents in international education and intemational strdics.3 Just over a dccade ago, Lambert's rcsearrh on the extcnt of international studies in US higher education surprised nrany in the area studies and inlernational srudies fields. Despite 30 years of federal, public and private foundation $upport, Lssrbert found thrt many us undergraduates and professional studcnts receivcd very little instruction on inlemational topics and were inadequately prcpared as eilher citizens or professionals for an increasingly globalized economy ond public arcna.a The Lambert snrdy was pivotal in reshaping much of the thinking iu trigirer education administration as ttre bipolar us-soviet hegemony collapsed and rnanyacademics and policymakers scramblcd to explain wby they were not beuer pne- pared or rble ro pedict tbe rapid changes tbat ansued in Eastcrn Eumpe and the former Sovict Uni,on. The rrsponse was a heighened awarrness of the greater r€ed for intsrnationalexchange and education, with support and funding frorn federal agencies, scholarly councils and foundations.s By 1g92,the American Council on Edrcation issued a Handbook on Internadonalization of tk undergraduate curriculum;6 a consortium wrs formed of the 50 leading 'Intcrnational Libcral Arts colleges' to pmddc support and recommerdations for the intemationalization of under-graduate teaching;? and many campusss saw posirive increases in some especls of internationalization, e-specially in ttrc numbers of both foreign students coming to the US and US college students $tudying abmad.s  Cnrncru- rron@cy AND INTERNATIoNAL sTUDtEs As cited in a 1995 repor of a working croup on a Research Agenda fcr the Internationalizarion of Higher &lucation" funded by the us gartment of Rlucafion: The simplistic view that the end of the cold war har reduced the need for the us ro have a knowledge of the rest of the rryorld . . . is clearly not logical. The priority to knowlcdge of other countries as friend or foe . . . does not r€sonate in a post-Cold \Yar world. In tlre vicw of rh Working Group, the post{oldwar sihration had madc global and/or international knowledge evsn more irrportant. The world today and into the 2lst cantury is much bigger, morecomplex, more stridently pluralistic and more dangerous.e The 2003 asscasment of the field, conducted by the Arnerican council onErlucation, hac found timited improvement since Lambert's 1989 study.lo Whilc faculty, student and public support for international cducation is high, the level of imtitutional cornmitment to progrf,ms is low. Forcign-language offerings andrequircments have increased over rhe past decade, but a significant gap still exist^s betwecn offerings and acrual participation in internationally oriented activitics or coumes. In 20o2 only ttrree percsnt of us college sudcnts study abroad, forcign- language enrollments amgrint to only eight percent of all course enmllrnents, and only twefifths (41 percent) of all college institurions requirie even otre course witlr internstional conlent. of ilrose ttrat do, just 19 percent require more than two courses with an international focus.ll The assessment of intemalionalizsfion efforts presented at the rerent 'Gtobalchallenges and us Higher Education conference' at Duke university suggests that there. is still little coherence and institutional cornmitment to the cffort, dcspltesome yery exemplary pracrices at a handful of model institutions.l2 Most leaders in the ficld agree that there necds to be continued leadership and financial suFport for this efrort. confercnce participants at a November 2001 conference on 'Globalizing Education at uberal Arts colleges: Best practices, Models for ttre Futur€', held just after the september I lth anacks, endorsed a set of prirriples for the field, including cxpcrientiol and interdisciplinary leanring, culrural and scholady exchange, public outreach, and the inclusion of a wider range of non- weskra languages and themes in tha undergraduate curriculum.ts Major obsta-cles, though, identificd by many international education administrator*, are found in engaging faculty in a conceptual transformation of thcir course designs and rqsearch intere*ts, as well as Fappling with difficult challenges to exisring bodies of disciplinary These obstacles, though, are built into the very structure of the educatisnal institutions. For cxample, in a survey of us colleges and universities, only five percent considered international work or research to bean element in tenure decisions.t5 Most af the literaturc on this global urrn in higher education ir coming out ofcfficial working groupst formal gmfessional associations, nations.l surveys and assessments of the institutional mappings of uS universities f,nd colleges. It is  INTERNAT|oNAL R,Et-ATroNs I 8(2) gsnerally aimed et busy university administrators who need rclevant daia to support algumcil$ in favor of inrcrnationalization, test€d ad rcliable recommend-arions for programming, and non+ontroversial rationales that can appcal to a wide audierrce - students, faculty, donors, trust€cs, alunnac, local corporate sponsors - neccssary in tlre end for succersful accepancc of intcrnationalization cfforts.Internarionsl knowledge and gtobal competencies are argued to be in the national inlcr€st, providing forcign affairs knowlcdge needed for long-terrr s€curity,enhancing our nalional human rcsoulse capabilities, ensuring global competitive- ncss of our businesses and serviccs in world hade , and ensuring US pre-eminencearnong international acadcrnic institutions. Bvcn the recoursc to global cirizenship and prcparation for rcsponsible, moral participation in world events is often couched, if not implicitly understood, in thee€ terms. Ovcr the past 40 years, benreen the initiation of area and international snrdies and this curr€nt global turn, the US has become the singular hegcmonic powe,r inworld economics, politics and culture. Yet although US acadcmics have produced a significant body of internationsl scholarship, US higher education on a whole is sti[ not effective in producing $tudent$ with adequate knowledge about the world outsidc is borders (or even within its borders - say, of American histony). The context for the push toward intcrnationalization of tle curriculum needs to be understood in its relation to both the rationale and federal support for area studies, the US education and national security concems about &e role of edu- cation in the 1990s post-Cold War era and the emergence of globaliaation in the late 20ttr century as an ideological, cconomic and symbolic representation of the era. The 1958 National Defense Act initiatcrl thc prolitbration of area sndies programs, courses, deparhnents and National Resource C,cnt€rs in the US with thc explicit aim of incrcasing our kaowledge of areas that might fall prone to pro-comtnutrist ideology and syrnpathy, if not outright alliancc. Whilc many scholars would arguc that acadcaric frecdom was retaincd dcspitc thc funding squce for area studies, and that this was sn avenue for many international scholars tobecome knowu within US innrnational surdies, the arer srudies funding andresearch agenda has been deeply contested and, until Scptember llth, even under review for partial dismantling. Debate over this csncsrn has inansified since the passage in Octobcr 2003 of the most rccent vorsior of the US Highcr Education Act (llouse Bill 3077)renewing tlrc Title VI arca studies funding. The 2003 renewal of rhis critical component of international studies in thc US includes a new 'Advisory Board' with investigarive powcrs to examine possible anti'Americanism anong Trtle Vl- funded intemational shdies and area shrdies c€trters. The chief advocat€s of this bill havc includ Stanley Kurtz, Daniel Pipes and Msrtin Kramer, who view USacademic Middle Eastern studies in particulu as reflecting 'dangerous' Middle Eastern perspcctives, targely identified with tbc work of Edward Said.l6 Thispolitical intervention in university funding reflects this new p'reoccupation that US highr education, and espccially international studies, should serve the aeeds of US national security. Michael McKinley, in this issue, poitrts to this characteristic
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