Call for Papers: New Student Movements: Teaching Toward, About, and From Within

For most progressive educators and for many students, these are dark and disturbing times, chock full of undemocratic policies, reactionary developments, and abuses of power. Teachers and students in schools and campuses across the U.S have seen increases in bigotry and racism, gun violence, student debt, and standardized over-testing at the same time that they have experienced climate catastrophe, and decreases in civil liberties and government protections. And yet, within this dreary and upsetting educational landscape, a growing light seems to shine in the form of an upsurge in organized student resistance.

Describing the groundswell of recent student movements as “the most forceful surge of youth activism since the 1960s,” the New York Times named 2018 “The New Year of the Student.” Attention has already been paid (including recently by Radical Teacher) to earlier influential student movements--from those of the 60s such as the Anti-Vietnam War Movement and Civil Rights, on through to the 80’s such as Anti-Apartheid as well as the 90s and AIDS activism. In this issue of our magazine, however, we seek to highlight and examine the emergence of new student movements that might offer hope and paths of resistance at this pivotal moment. We invite a consideration of student involvement in some of the more well-known movements such as Never Again, Black Lives Matter, Occupy, Me Too, Dreamers, and No Dakota Access Pipeline. We also encourage radical educators to share stories, essays, and strategies from many of the important albeit lesser known student movements and groups such as those working locally, and often behind the scenes, to strike debt, eradicate high stakes testing, provide sanctuary for immigrants, combat systemic, institutional and ideological oppression and protest a vast culture of racism, sexism and misogyny, sexual violence, rape culture, homophobia and transphobia.

Radical Teacher invites submissions about new student movements, how progressive educators are teaching about them or toward them; and how educators and students are operating within them. Potential topics include:

  • Recent examples of new student-led movements and activism, teach-ins, pedagogical demonstrations and experiments 
  • Teaching about current forms of organizing and activism; or classes that reflect and examine examples of current organizing
  • Discussions and case studies of successful or unsuccessful student-led actions and/or attempts to organize
  • Analytical discussions examining how any of these current student movements are responding to or shaped by capitalism. 
  • Contemporary examples of alternative university and secondary school programs and certifications that have been shaped by student resistance: self-organized schools, free schools, and open-source online examples
  • Student-movements against and for alternatives to student debt and the trauma of student loans
  • Movements against the regime of high stakes testing in PK-12 environments
  • The future of Gay/Queer-Straight Alliances, and queer/trans student-led movements
  • Critique and reflections on the “free speech” movement and the politics of voice
  • Climate justice and campus-wide or district level divestment from fossil fuels
  • Historical reflections on lessons learned from Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements and how they are impacting student movements today, as well as reflections troubling the movements of 1968.
  • Historical analysis of student movements before and beyond the 1960s, such as those of the 1940s and 1980s. 
  • Global and indigenous examples of student-led movements 
  • Critiques and examinations of the future of student-led activism; how best to support, cultivate, and develop new systems and possibilities
  • Reactions to/repression of activism within the neoliberal university and beyond
  • Discussion of movement building and direct action in the digital age:  What is the role of collective action in the building of broader student movements?  How does activism operate within the context of social media and digital culture?
  • Intersectional examinations of violence in schools and student responses to them.
  • Recent student movements regarding immigration policy and refugee crisis
  • Student involvement in justice for Palestine or the BDS movement 

Papers are due by December 1, 2019. Please review submission guidlines here.

Please direct inquires or questions to Editors Jackie Brady and Chris Kennedy: