Radical Nemesis: Re-envisioning Ivan Illich's Theories on Social Institutions.
A Symposium at Western New England College, April 1, 2011. Deadline for abstracts, December 1, 2010.
Grand theorist Ivan Illich wrote provocative texts in the 1970s and early 1980s examining major social institutions including, for example, DeSchooling Society (1971), Tools for Conviviality (1973), Medical Nemesis (1975), and Gender (1982). His work critiqued modern educational, medical, and transportation schemes, among others, and examined the evolution of concepts of class and gender.
Thirty years ago, in DeSchooling Society (1971), Ivan Illich set forth a radical framework for evaluating the significance, effectiveness, and legitimacy of one of this country’s major social institutions. While considered radical by some, he has also been criticized, including by feminist scholars, as deeply conservative and retrograde. See Gloria Bowles in Beyond the Backlash: A Feminist Critique of Ivan Illich's Theory of Gender, 3(1) Feminist Issues (Spring 1983).
We will revisit Illich’s works in a symposium at Western New England College School of Law on April 1, 2011. What application, if any, do Illich’s theories and ideas have for current social challenges and social justice struggles? What can they tell us, for example, about decarceration, educational equity, racial justice, and health care access and self-determination? Are Illich's ideas dated, or do they contain enduring insights for today's scholars and activists?
Papers applying, criticizing, or extending Illich's theories to any area of scholarship or social activism are invited.
The symposium will take place at Western New England College School of Law on April 1, 2011. The College is located in Massachusetts’s Pioneer Valley, close to Amherst and Northampton and convenient to Bradley International Airport.
Anyone interested in presenting a principal paper should submit an abstract to Erin Buzuvis (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 1, 2010.
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