17 SES 04, Internationalization (Part 2)
Paper Session continued from 17 SES 03 B
This paper develops a histoire croisée (Werner & Zimmermann, 2006) of school hygiene across and beyond Europe in the context of open-air schools. That is, on an empirical level, it focuses on entanglements proper to the object of study (in casu school hygiene) while, on an epistemological level, it centres on the very act of meshing scales, categories and viewpoints. Specifically, it analyses circulations, developments and expressions of school hygiene in relation to open-air schools along paths that crossed (imagined) boundaries, while reflecting upon how several “possible viewpoints” from which the object of analysis can be considered may jointly be “generative of meaning” (Werner & Zimmermann, 2006, p. 32).
In the paper it is thereby assumed, from a “new cultural history" viewpoint (Cohen, 1999; Popkewitz, Franklin & Pereyra, 2001), that school health initiatives like open-air schools and the discourses and visual/material performances connected to them are descended from entangled re-/configurations of knowledge that cannot be traced back to a specific origin. As part of reform efforts in the field of preventive health education, open-air schools indeed have always been intertwined with, and indistinguishable from, other projects aimed at "designing childhoods" (Gutman & de Coninck-Smith, 2008) and safeguarding the health of the “race,” at the level of the individual, of certain demographic groups, and of emergent/aspiring "nation-states". Proclaimed by their advocates as “centres of school hygiene that constitute an indispensable factor in the fight against tuberculosis,” (Mola, 1935) they were viewed as a panacea, as model institutions in which the most advanced principles and methods of school hygiene were believed to be tested with a view to replacing in all modern nations the school of the bad old days with that of the future.
Starting from the observation that open-air schools did not become the standard in any country within or outside of Europe, the paper addresses the following questions: To what extent, if any – and if so, in what ways – have open-air schools helped to internationalize school hygiene and to what effects? How helpful is internationalization as a concept to assess the ways that open-air schools have helped school hygiene to travel and shape-shift across boundaries? And what interlinkages require particular attention in order to understand more fully the entangled border-crossing performances of school hygiene?
Concretely, then, the paper investigates entangled performances of school hygiene related to open-air schools in the context of international conferences and associated exhibitions, as “points of circulation” par excellence, and promoted "materialities" (Lawn & Grosvenor, 2005), or rather “materials” (Ingold, 2007) of education – in particular, mobile school equipment. Across these performances, and on the basis of archival material and published source material including minutes, reports, and journal articles, Ithe paper reflexively engages with what Martin Lawn has termed “awkward knowledge,” that is, indications of unwillingness on the part of the object of study “to stay within its borders”. Further inspired by Bruno Latour's actor-network framework (2005) and Timothy Ingold's (2007/20008) and Elizabeth Edwards's (2009) material-anthropologial work, it focuses explicitly on time-specific material ways in which knowledge and praxis circulated in this context, including via letters of correspondence.
- Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2007. - Sol Cohen, Challenging Orthodoxies: Toward a New Cultural History of Education. New York: Peter Lang, 1999. - Elizabeth Edwards, “Photography and the Material Performances of the Past.” History and Theory, 48, 4, 2009, pp. 130-150. - Marta Gutman and Ning de Coninck-Smith (Eds.), Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children. New Brunswick, NJ/London: Rutgers University Press, 2008. - Timothy Ingold, Lines, London/New York: Routledge, 2007. - Timothy Ingold, “Bindings against Boundaries: Entanglements of Life in an Open World.” Environment and Planning A, 40, 2008, pp. 1796-1810. - Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. - Martin Lawn & Ian Grosvenor (Eds.), Materialities of Schooling: Design-Technology-Objects-Routines. Oxford: Symposium Books, 2005. - Martin Lawn, “Awkward Knowledge: The Historian of Education and Cross-Border Circulations,” in Marcelo Caruso, Thomas Koinzer, Christine Mayer & Karin Priem (Eds.), Zirkulation und Transformation: Pädagogische Grenzüberschreitungen in historischer Perspektive. Cologne: Böhlau, 2014, pp. 15-27. - David N. Livingstone, Putting Science in Its Place: Geographies of Scientific Knowledge. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2003. - Américo Mola, “Sur l’utilité des Congrès Internationaux des Ecoles de Plein Air et la nécessité d’un Comité International,” Zeitschrift des Internationalen Komitees für Freiluftschulen/Bulletin du Comité International des Écoles de Plein Air/Bulletin of the International Committee on Open-Air Schools, 1, 1, 1935, p. 6. - Thomas S. Popkewitz, Barry M. Franklin & Miguel A. Pereyra, Cultural History and Education: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Schooling. New York/London: Routledge Falmer, 2001. - Michael Werner & Benedicte Zimmermann, “Beyond Comparison: Histoire Croisée and the Challenge of Reflexivity.” History and Theory, 45, 1, 2006, pp. 30-50.
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