When Students Protest: Politics and Young People

Call for contributions – ‘When Students Protest: Politics and Young People’

Professor Judith BESSANT: RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
Analicia MEJIA MESINAS: Assistant Professor, Azusa Pacific University, California, United States of America.
Dr Sarah PICKARD: Senior Lecturer and researcher, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, France.

Student action in 2018 is again featuring in the news from America this time focusing on anti-gun activism after another spate of killings of students on their campuses. This action is part of a broader pattern of student action occurring in other parts of the world, protesting e.g. student debt, authoritarian policies, sexual assault on campuses, or neo-liberal austerity policies, free speech, sexuality and gender equality.

We think it is timely to gather and publish research on this important aspect of contemporary political activity. We welcome contributions that document student political action in various forms from a diversity of perspectives, and we are particularly interested in insider-student-actor accounts with first-hand experience.

Student politics has a long and diverse history that has often changed our world. Our aim in this project is to document the various forms student political action takes by providing well researched accounts of it in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. This edited collection will inquire into the rich and diverse ways students have engaged in various forms of action in schools, colleges, universities, in youth groups and in their communities.

Given that politics is always a relational matter our primary aim is to highlight responses to student action and to consider what this means for politics. Understanding the political as agonistic and as relational practices implicating various resources (i.e. as ‘power,’ or in Bourdieu’s terms as various forms of ‘capital’) we want to focus on what students do and on how others react and respond to them. In these ways the intention of this book is to emphasise the relational nature of our social world the shared nature of our lives and futures, and the value especially of developing solidarities across generations to deliberate about the desirable options and the actions to be taken to promote change.

In short, we want to concentrate on the forms that student action takes and on the different reactions to student political action. We ask that contributions reflect on how we might best understand such responses. How for example have education administrators, police, governments, conventional media, parents, NGOs and others responded to student political action-? Have governments used old laws or changed law or policy to control or repress student activism. Has state violence figured in responses to student activism? And-or have governments relied on digital surveillance, detention or subtler cultural processes. And, how can we best analyse and interpret these responses.

We ask contributors to document:

· What actions were taken by students?
· What technologies were deployed, and what forms of political expressivity was involved?
· How did young actors believe they can change ‘things’?
· What does it mean when students think and act politically?
· What have young students achieved through activism?
· What responses do student activism provoke?

While our focus will be on contemporary student politics, we would also welcome historical and or comparative contributions that place contemporary student political action into a broader perspective.

Our aim is to challenge conventional narratives that students and young people generally are too intellectually, socially, and morally immature to engage in the ‘serious business’ of politics. It is to challenge recent claims mounted as generational stories that contemporary students or so called ‘Millennials’, are apolitical, apathetic and politically unengaged.

We invite expressions of interest in the form of a 300-500-word abstract by Monday 14 May 2018 Please also add 3-line biography statement and your institutional affiliation.

We then invite author/s to submit the first draft of chapters (6,000-6,500 words including references) by February 2019 at the latest.

Our provisional schedule is: Receive abstracts -chapter proposals by 14th May 2018
Selection and drafting of the book proposal. Submit a detailed proposal to the publisher 9th June 2018
Sign contract with Publisher 15th September 2018.
Deadline to receive first drafts of chapters 1st February 2019
Submit the final manuscript November 2019
Publication March-April 2020

If you have any queries, please contact us:

– Judith Bessant – judith.bessant@rmit.edu.au
– Analicia Mesinas – amejiamesinas@apu.edu
– Sarah Pickard – sarah.pickard@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr

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