Virtual Event | 22 - 26 November 2021
3rd Biennial SOTL in the South Conference
November 22 – 26, 2021
Beyond the Pandemic: Lessons for the future of SOTL in the global South
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised fundamental and urgent questions for the scholarship of teaching and learning. In part, this is due to the sudden – and often fraught – transition from traditional contact teaching to predominantly online instruction at institutions across the global South and North. The impact of new forms of curriculum delivery and assessment and the utilization of digital pedagogies requires further investigation, particularly in terms of its affordances and losses for teaching and learning.
However, questions should also be asked about the extent to which the struggles associated with life in lockdown and the transition to online teaching and learning are borne equally across our student bodies, institutions and across society more broadly. Has the pandemic laid bare the fault lines of inequality of access within and across the global South? Has the transition to online instruction helped or hindered the drive for a more socially just higher education institution?
And what of the future, after the pandemic? What is the future of the University? Or the drive for internationalization? For decolonization? What will the longer-term impact be on our institutions, our students, and ourselves as teachers and learners? Will there be a return to ‘normal’, and is that a good thing? And if not, what will the ‘new’ normal look like – and will it foster greater fairness, justice and equality, or push ever more citizens across the abyssal line? And what will teaching and learning ‘look’ like, in the near future?
While these questions are particularly urgent in the global South, they are also significant in the global North, where calls for racial justice and an end to discrimination have moved to the forefront of social debate, as symbolised by the Black Lives Matter movement. Will the global North continue to occupy a dominant position in the production of knowledge? Or are there, finally, opportunities to give equal value to all the knowledge systems of the world? And (how) will teaching and learning respond to the calls for racial justice?
The above should be considered against the backdrop of the need to be better prepared for the next pandemic – but also to address the pressing environmental challenges facing our planet. How will higher education – and SOTL, specifically – democratise knowledge creation and address these complex, intertwined environmental, health and social problems?
The aforementioned themes form a starting point for this conference, which is intended to provide academics with theoretically grounded and practical strategies to address current important pedagogical debates around social justice, online pedagogy, and SOTL more broadly. Both theoretically- and empirically-oriented contributions are welcome. Streams for participation may include (but are not limited to):
At the time of this conference, November 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic will have been ongoing for two years, since the first reported cases. It is hoped that, by that time, an end will be in sight, hence the theme of the conference seeks to look beyond the pandemic. Nonetheless, our concern is that it is, as yet, too early to plan a face-to-face conference with confidence. As such, the 3rd biennial SOTL in the South conference will be held online – though we look forward to meeting in person at our next conference, in 2023.
The conference will make use of state-of-the-art technologies to facilitate robust engagement amongst delegates. In addition, the conference programme will be designed to accommodate multiple time zones, meaning that sessions will be dispersed throughout the day, rather than taking place in one block each day. Moreover, all sessions will be recorded, and delegates unable to attend certain sessions will be able to view these at a later stage. Finally, efforts will be put in place to ensure that conference participation is ‘data-friendly’; this will be made possible by ensuring that the conference platform is fully online and makes use of locally-based servers across the global South.
Conference queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.