Professorin für Allgemeine Pädagogik und Soziale Arbeit, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
(October 2015 – August 2016)
Democracy, Education and Epistemic Change
The project seeks to investigate and outline the function of education in coming to terms with the legacies of colonialism and the Holocaust, as well as in envisaging democratic utopias in a postcolonial, post-fascist world. The precarity of democracy becomes obvious when the tension between the rhetoric of popular sovereignty, equality, freedom and liberty, and the ideology of totalitarianism, which threatens democracy from within, escalates into extreme forms of legitimized violence. Slavery, colonialism and the Holocaust, which were all justified by discourses of civilization and racial supremacy, are historical examples of such violence. Regrettably, current debates on de-democratization and post-democracy seldom engage with the role of education while dealing with historical violence and in charting new directions for democracy in a global age. In contrast, the project addresses the challenge of epistemic change and cognitive justice in processes of decolonization and democratization.