Exploring the role of audio and visual technologies in the history of education

DATE: 22 & 23 April 2021

VENUE: KU Leuven, Belgium

This conference invites scholars from all theoretical backgrounds to address how the study of audio, visual and audiovisual media use in the classroom and the discourses surrounding them can contribute to our understanding of the history of education. The organizers welcome papers on a wide range of issues that offer insight into the introduction of these new technologies into the classroom, the construction of the multimodal classroom and the debates surrounding these media technologies. We encourage a focus on how educational actors experienced and responded to the increasing pressure to incorporate new media technologies into classroom routine and the promise of improved teaching efficiency that was attached to it. Moreover, by taking into account the entire network of pedagogues and reform-driven policymakers, media marketers and producers, school boards and teachers, the press, educational ideas and day-to-day classroom realities, the conference aims to shed light on the entangled nature of educational reform through the implementation of new media technology. These entanglements can be analyzed across different scales, ranging from the global – marked by empires, telecommunications, finance, international agencies – to the local, and on the power relations and ideologies at play, with consequences that can be explored at a variety of levels.



The organizers welcome topics that address the following themes (including transversal approaches), included under the conference’s general theme:

1.     The politics of technology: agency, normativity, citizenship, democracy, gender and empowerment

2.     Circulations and connections: local, (trans)national and global networks

3.     Relationships with pupils and the public opinion

4.     Countermovements: alternative education and pedagogies

5.     The materiality and sensoriality of media technologies

6.     Hierarchies and interdependencies between and within modes of communication (language, image, music, etc.)


Abstract proposals may contain up to 400 words (including possible references) and should be accompanied by 3 keywords. A short biography (max. 150 words) of the speaker is required. All abstracts should be written in English, the official language of the event.

Proposals should be prepared in a single Word file (size 12 Times New Roman font, text single-spaced) according to the following format:

1.      Title of the abstract

2.      Speaker(s) (full name(s), academic title, institution, address, email and a short biographical note of max.150 words). Please, indicate the corresponding organizer with the symbol *

3.      Abstract (max. 400 words, including possible references)

4.      3 keywords

Proposals must be sent no later than 15 November 2020 to the following address: pieter.verstraete@kuleuven.be