This call for papers invites scholars, practitioners and artists to share their work in the 9th Art and Education for Social Justice Symposium. Social justice is a broad objective that inspires an interdisciplinary approach and of interest is how art and design can support such initiatives. The goal of this symposium is to share the methodologies and results of practices that strive to have a direct public impact. The encounter will focus on the guiding question: How are art and design inspiring, affecting, and promoting social change?

Inspired by the work of critical theorists many art and design initiatives develop strategies for social reconstruction. Current practices suggest that art can support the development of oppositional knowledge by inciting imaginative re-envisionings of the past, present and future. The creative work of doing and making in communities can turn art practice into public praxis, suggesting transformative ways of being together in the world. This symposium invites critical analyses of such experiences, in an effort to trace connections from the imaginative power of wide awakeness (Greene, 2001) to current struggles around how to #staywoke.

With this aim, this symposium seeks proposals that respond to the following thematic areas:

  • The power of imagination: Strategies for re-envisioning, re-imagining, or re-conceptualizing our past, present and future.
  • Ethics / aesthetics: Projects that develop and contextualize art making as praxis.
  • Communities, coalitions and collaboration: Critical approaches to participatory projects.
  • The political now: Emergent practices of resistance, resilience and solidarity in the current political climate.

This symposium provides an opportunity to gain insight into a range of practices aligned with social justice, and aims to start a conversation across disciplinary areas. This symposium embraces a perspective informed broadly by the notion of cultural pedagogies and looks forward to contributions from both in and outside the field of education.


Submissions should be a maximum of 750 words (excluding references) and should include the following sections (indicated in bold in the submission):

  • Title
  • Author/s and institutional affiliation/s
  • An indication of the thematic area in which you situate your contribution.
  • An indication if this submission is for the master’s round table session (if applicable).
  • A summary of the research that clearly states the: research objectives, theoretical framework, methodology or mode of inquiry, results or conclusions.
  • References

Authors: The symposium welcomes submissions from scholars, graduate students*, practitioners and artists.

* Masters students are invited to submit papers detailing their experiences with art and design for social justice for inclusion in a special fast paced round-table style presentation session.


SUBMIT PROPOSAL Submissions should be sent through the Journal of Art for Life online portal. Please visit: and follow the guidelines to create an author account. When adding a submission, select the journal section option “Social Justice Symposium Submissions”. All submissions will be double blind peer reviewed.


Submission deadline: October 15th, 2017
Notification of acceptance: November 10th, 2017


Publication: A special issue of the Journal of Art for Life will publish a selection of paper presentations from the conference. A selection of authors will be invited to submit papers once their conference submission has been reviewed. (An invitation does not guarantee publication; the journal has an independent double blind peer review process.)

Presentation format: The symposium understands that many projects that respond to the call will involve artistic and/or collaborative methods. While we cannot accommodate workshops, we do encourage authors to think critically and creatively about the format of their presentations.