Call for papers – Special themed issue of Education as Change

Learning from, in, and with independent community and activist archives: The past in our present and future

There is growing interest in the informal and non-formal learning and knowledge practices of community organising, popular struggles and social movements. Although often neglected by dominant strands of adult education scholarship, some scholars suggest that many of the most critical ideas about social change are produced as people struggle collectively for a better world.

In many parts of the world, community and social movement activists have often employed creative and innovative tools and approaches, which include experimentation with and extension of pedagogical strategies and practices as they co-construct/construct, document, recover and preserve histories and ideas. On the other hand, where they exist, such histories and alternative archives are in danger of being lost, for example, as organisations dissolve  at times of political, social and economic transition, or as people try to uncover movement/organising history and ephemera during periods of repression, and among marginalised communities and groups when the maintenance and preservation of documents has sometimes carried great risk. Furthermore, these processes and practices of producing historical resources that are relevant for contemporary struggles can be sites of experimentation, intergenerational learning and exchange, debate, tension, and contestation of ideas and memories.

This special issue of Education as Change invites submissions which explore the diverse ways that communities, activists and social movements not only strive to document their struggles and experiences, but also how they critically engage with these histories,  educate from them, and how this informs today’s struggles for change.

Submissions might address:

Processes of creating independent community/activist archives;

Popular/community education approaches to working and engaging with historical material;

Arts/cultural practices related to engaging/preserving/educating from activist/community histories;

Challenges of work on activist/struggle archives in contexts of ‘transition’, repression, criminalisation and conflict;

Alternative activist  and community archive practices;

How activists actively participate in constructing critical histories;

Struggles over history within communities and social movements;

Impacts of community/activist histories on contemporary organising;

Democratising community/social movement histories;

Strategies to educate about excluded/marginalised histories.


Length of submissions: Articles should be between 6000 and 9000 words, including references.


Deadline for submission: 1 December 2017


Intended publication: May 2018


All submissions are subject to a peer review process. Please submit your paper through the OJS system on the journal website at

Submit the article in the section ‘Themed issue: Community and activist archives’.

Co-edited by:

Dr Aziz Choudry, Associate Professor/Canada Research Chair in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, and Visiting Professor, Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg.

Dr Salim Vally, Associate Professor/Director, Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg.