CfP: Conservatism and Education–Special Issue of the Jahrbuch für Historische Bildungsforschung 26

Conservatism and Education
Special Issue of the Jahrbuch für Historische Bildungsforschung 26
Editors: Michael Geiss and Sabine Reh

Please email your abstract to the editors (Dr. Michael Geiss, mgeiss@ife.uzh.ch and Prof. Dr. Sabine Reh, sabine.reh@dipf.de) by 30 June 2019. The total length should be approx. 3,000 characters. Invitations to contribute will then be sent to the selected authors by late July. The deadline for papers will be the end of November 2019. The reviewing and revision process will be completed by May 2020. The volume will be published in September 2020.
We also invite you to submit educational historical contributions that are not related to
the focus.
The history of conservative thought appears complex. In a 2004 review of recent studies on the history of conservatism, Jens Hacke stated that “every historian of ideas who tries to fix the content of conservative thought has so far failed”. Even if, like Hacke, one emphasizes “home, family, tradition, and religion” as the institutions that conservative thinkers prefer to deal with, it still seems reasonable to focus more on the ambivalences of conservative thinking, and to rethink the simple dualism of conservative and progressive. In the context of a rising New Right, a sometimes tenacious left and – last but not least – renewed debates on the educational meaning of community and the common good, the difficulties in determining forms, elements and content of conservatism become quite obvious. This is confirmed not least by diagnoses such as those of Thomas Biebricher, who even speaks of a current “exhaustion” of conservatism.
Currently, enduring values are promoted by all political parties. Today’s affirmative use of the term “conservatism” in Europe and abroad should therefore be taken as a starting point for examining the phenomenon and its transformation through the course of history.
We do not assume that a political conservatism must always be accompanied by an educational one and vice versa. Rather, it is necessary to keep in mind the complicated and multi-layered interrelations between political positions, educational ambitions, social practices and self-understanding.
The question of what is worth preserving is at the core of education. After all, education guarantees the transmission of traditions, experiences, attitudes and habits over time and thus ensures the connection of the present with the past – even if the transmission can never, even structurally, be a repetition of the old, but is instead always directed towards the future. Public debates about education and schooling are also always debates about the future of society. In this way, both utopias and conservative interventions are usually accompanied by strong assumptions about the role of education. In research into education we find both progressive and conservative positions being taken in practical thinking and reflection, parenting guides or teacher training.
In the history of education, however, conservative movements and actions have long served to show how new, innovative or progressive approaches have finally prevailed. More recently, the “other school reformers” have also been taken into account. However, the simple distinction between conservative and progressive was hardly questioned here either. Thus, the variations of conservative options in educational contexts have to be discussed in historical research on education.
The special issue focuses on conservative thought and action in education since 1800. The competences needed for political participation were already partly dominating the electoral debates of the 19th century. In disputes over citizenship, political  participation and the extension of voting rights, educational arguments have also been put forward.
Elites old and new were challenged by educational and social reforms after 1800, from social democracy and the labour movement to the women’s campaigning organizations. Even after 1945, conservative schools of thought quickly established themselves in Germany and found strong support in the anti-technology, anti-mass and elitist sections of the educational establishment in the 1950s and early 1960s. Not least, the so-called “neoconservatism”20 that followed the modernizing trends of the 1960s proved to be an international phenomenon, and a reaction to the retreat from empire, increasing labour migration, the second women’s movement, and finally the environmental movement in its various forms, all resulting in new political and ideological constellations. Already in the 1920s, Karl Mannheim was arguing that conservatism had to be understood as a reaction to a perceived danger. He defined conservatism as a style of thinking, as relational and not tied to a certain ideology. It is a characteristic of conservatism that it is in the end not concerned about preserving the status quo, but fights for what is already disappearing. In the interwar period, the romantic concept of corporate statism underwent a peculiar revival in Europe under the conditions of a professionalized society based on the division of labour. The order of the professions not only became a political vanishing point for bourgeois or capitalist forces, it also found enthusiastic supporters among social democrats. The concept of European corporate statism was usually associated with ideas of natural acculturation and integrative vocational education and training.
With this in mind, the special issue will focus on conservative options in the context of increasingly democratic societies. We are particularly interested in contributions that relate conservative approaches in educational thought and action to the social, institutional, colonial and gender-status situations in the 19th and early 20th centuries as well as the decades after the end of the Second World War.
We want the contributions to deal with the difficulties of interpreting the relationship between conservatism and education as mentioned above. The focus is therefore on the relationship between a political conservatism and an educational conservatism in the narrower sense. What does conservatism actually mean in the context of education and upbringing at different times, and how can it be reconstructed? What continuities of political and educational thought and practice can be characterized  is conservative when their content and options have obviously changed over the last century and a half? Is it better to trace the phenomenon of conservatism by reconstructing social milieus and investigating networks than to proceed on the basis of ideas and concepts?
We look forward to receiving contributions
1. on the concept of conservatism in its historical development and its relation to education and educational historiography,
2. on the relationship between political conservatism and conservative thought and action in education,
3. on the relationship between conservative parties and specific educational policy options, and
4. on the continuity of educational milieus which could be described as conservative,
new formations and dissolutions of conservative networks in the educational establishment.

Geographically and historically, the perspective is not limited to Germany between the German empire (Kaiserreich) and the end of the Cold War. Rather, contributions that take into account European, transatlantic and (post-)colonial interdependencies or later German-German developments are especially welcome.

Please email your abstract to the editors by 30 June 2019. The total length should be approx. 3,000 characters. Invitations to contribute will then be sent to the selected authors by late July. The deadline for papers will be the end of November 2019. The reviewing and revision process will be completed by May 2020. The volume will be published in September 2020.
We also invite you to submit educational historical contributions that are not related to
the focus.

Editors:
Dr. Michael Geiss, University of Zurich, mgeiss@ife.uzh.ch
Prof. Dr. Sabine Reh, BBF | Research Library for the History of Education at DIPF,
sabine.reh@dipf.de
For treatises:
Dr. Joachim Scholz, BBF | Research Library for the History of Education at DIPF,
scholz@bbf.dipf.de

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