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CFP: Learning Across Liberation Theologies

October 16-17 + 23-24, 2020
6-8 PM EDT  (GMT-4)
Virtual and live streamed


The Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES) and its journal LÁPIZ welcome submissions for its 2020 symposium and special edition journal on the theme Learning Across Liberation Theologies, to explore the links between liberation theology, pedagogy, and activism.


LAPES symposia bring together diverse groups of people from across the Americas to cultivate communities of inquiry made up of scholars, activists, K-12 teachers, and university students. Symposia participants have aspired to decolonize, co-create, and expand knowledges and ways of being in the world by studying Latin American education philosophies and practices. Perhaps most significantly, LAPES symposia seek to bridge the theory-practice divide. 


Past symposia have explored definitions of Latin American philosophy of education, post-neoliberal educational theory and practice, decoloniality, and the pedagogy of social movements. This year we will collectively study liberation theology through the lens of education theory and practice.


Liberation Theology is a strain of Christian theology that criticizes domination and advocates an ethic where impoverished people are the central actors of theological reflection and social transformation. It emerges from the social, political, and ecclesiastical contexts of Latin America in the 1960s, and from the cross-fertilization of radical pedagogy, dependency theory, and socialist struggle across the region.


Liberation Theology soon spread to other geographic contexts of domination and to other religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. In the broadest sense, however, we situate liberation theology for its potential to activate the spiritual dimensions of social movements and to transform education practice, theory, and institutions.

Liberation Theology’s pedagogy is influenced by a variety of educational philosophies, but at its theoretical core is the belief that education can and should be an emancipatory practice. For the purposes of the LAPES symposium and special edition of LÁPIZ, we want to emphasize the collective pedagogical practices in which the teacher-learner binary are dissolved through educative experiences that uncover forces of domination and delineate emancipatory horizons.

At the symposium and in the pages of the journal, we will gather community members, front-line educators, movement organizers, and practitioners and scholars of Liberation Theology to address the following topics, among others: 


  • The historical roots of Liberation Theology in Caribbean, Latin American, and U.S. Christianity; its uptake in Black, Buddhist, Indigenous, Islamic, and Jewish contexts around the world; and the relationship of these plural liberation theologies to the social movements they have accompanied.

  • How Liberation Theology influences pedagogical practices, curricular development, and teacher training.     

  • The similarities and differences between 1) practices of spiritual sacrifice and revolutionary martyrdom; 2) organizational forms of religious congregations and political coalitions, and 3) vocational “service” work and “serve the people” programs popularized by such groups as the Black Panthers and Young Lords.

  • How Liberation Theology relates to ongoing activism in the United States and Latin America; for example, Never Again’s Jewish-led blockades of ICE detention centers, church sanctuaries for undocumented people, neighborhood mosque defense teams against Islamophobia, and Zapatismo’s centering of Mayan cosmologies to confront twenty-first-century (neo)colonialism.



Contribution Guidelines


The LAPES 2020 Symposium will consist of a mix of invited speakers and speakers chosen from a pool of submitted proposals. Accepted proposals will be invited to publish in LÁPIZ N˚6 or in another format on the LAPES website. Presenting at the LAPES 2020 Symposium, however, is not a condition for publication. We welcome proposals for presentations and publications in English, Spanish or Portuguese. We particularly encourage contributions from scholars, educators, practitioners, and activists working in the Global South.


We welcome four types of contributions:


1. Articles for Publication Only – Articles are intended solely for publication in the LÁPIZ Journal and not for presentation at the LAPES 2020 Symposium. Articles should be between 4,000 and 8,000  words, including footnotes, and should conform to LÁPIZ’s citation style. Full drafts of articles will be reviewed by the LAPES Editorial Collective and, if accepted, submitted to double-blind peer review. 


2. Articles for Presentation and Publication –  For the presentation, we recommend that speakers limit themselves to 30 minutes. Please keep in mind that LAPES presentation sessions provide ample time for discussion (up to 60 minutes), so the paper should be written with the knowledge that it is a starting point for conversation. 


If a proposal submitted in this category is accepted, authors will be required to prepare a draft manuscript of the article (between 4,000 and 8,000 words, including footnotes, in accord with LÁPIZ’s citation style) by the date of the symposium. This will facilitate publication for LÁPIZ N˚6. You will then have one more month to make any revisions you wish in light of the discussion at the symposium, before your final manuscript submission for peer review.


3. Workshop/Practical Presentation – Workshops/Practical Presentations can take on many forms, but are usually an opportunity for scholars, activists, educators, community leaders, and others to showcase concrete experiences with the subject matter at hand—in this case, Liberation Theology. The goal of a workshop/practical presentation is to give other symposium attendees a substantive introduction to your praxis: the way that you fuse theory and practice together in your classroom, your community, or on the streets. Should you accept an invitation to give a workshop or practical presentation, we expect that you will permit LAPES to record the session (audio and/or visual) and to share this recording publicly. 


4. Alternative Session – Alternative Sessions include (but are not limited to) roundtables, author-meets-critics sessions, formal interviews (e.g., with a scholar, activist, or educator), and panel conversations on the proposed topic. As with the workshop/practical presentation sessions described above, we expect that, if selected, you will permit LAPES to record the session (audio and/or visual) and to share this recording publicly.     

Proposal Guidelines


For Articles for Presentation and Publication, Workshops/Practical Presentation, and Alternative Sessions, please submit a proposal of 500-750 words to no later than TBD. Proposals should indicate clearly the goals, relevance to the theme, and significance of your paper presentation, workshop/practical presentation, or alternative session. 


No proposal is required for Articles for Publication Only, and manuscripts should be submitted to no later than TBD.


In the body of your email, please provide the following contact information:

  • Author/Presenter Name(s)          

  • Affiliation (academic institution, community group, religious organization, etc.)

  • Email address     

  • Phone number (including country code)

Sponsored by: The Rutgers Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.

The Symposium organizers also wish to thank: ​The Rutgers Program in Comparative Literature, DePaul University, and West Chester University.

There is no fee to participate in or attend the LAPES 2020 Symposium.

LÁPIZ is an open access journal

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