The 7th International Conference of the Popular Education Network


Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th June 2016

Paterson’s Land
Moray House School of Education
University of Edinburgh
Holyrood Road

Web site at Popular Education Network 2016

The Seventh International Conference of the Popular Education Network (PEN) will take place at the University of Edinburgh from Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 June 2016. It seeks to build on the success of previous PEN conferences held in Edinburgh (2000), Barcelona (2002), Braga (2004), Maynooth (2007), Seville (2011) and Malta (2014).

The conference is an opportunity for university-based teachers and researchers, as well as others involved in higher education, who share a common interest in popular education – many of whom work in considerable isolation in their own institutions – to meet, exchange ideas, learn from each other and enjoy some much needed solidarity and conviviality.

The language of the conference will be English, but there will be opportunities for informal translation as appropriate. Non-English speakers are encouraged to attend and to participate fully.


The conference is not organised around any particular theme – although certain key concerns may well emerge. Past conferences, for example, have identified the following generative themes:

  • assessing the effects of globalisation and the internationalisation of higher education on our work
  • sustaining political commitment and criticality
  • developing alliances and strategic collaborations
  • radicalising research and making it ‘really useful’
  • contesting managerialism and the culture of performativity
  • respecting diversity without abandoning solidarity
  • working with progressive social and political movements
  • developing popular education curriculum and pedagogy
  • using digital spaces in creative and subversive ways
  • engaging dialectically with the politics of policy
  • developing more democratic and expressive ways of working.

Given the world we live in today, we would now add (in no particular order):

  • renewal of class analysis
  • climate change and global warming
  • nationalism and internationalism
  • anti-progressive and reactionary social and political movements
  • culture, ethnicity and religious identity
  • hollowing-out and corruption of the state
  • politics of austerity, dispossession and debt
  • war, migration and diaspora.

Contact: Jim Crowther (

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