We are thrilled to announce that Professor Laura Czerniewicz and Dr Catherine Cronin will be joining GO-GN on Wednesday 23 February 2022 from 14.00-15.00GMT to talk on In the “after-times”: Despair, Criticality, Resistance and Hope. All are very welcome and you can join the session via Zoom.


In the “after-times”: Despair, Criticality, Resistance and Hope

The state of higher education is increasingly a cause for concern, fear, anger and despair. In addition to struggling to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving climate crisis, we see plainly that deepening inequalities, both local and global, are too often embedded rather than challenged within the HE sector. This is evident in continuing trends towards profit-making, rising student debt, datafication, surveillance and precarious employment (just a few examples). Our agency in this time lies in how we respond, both individually and collectively — as students, researchers, teachers, workers and citizens. 

These pressing questions led us, Laura and Catherine, to invite others in higher education to contribute to ‘Higher Education for Good: Teaching and Learning Futures’, a book of nuanced critical perspectives we plan to publish openly in 2023. Our rationale for this project reflects our ongoing thinking about higher education more broadly: acknowledging despair, engaging in resistance, imagining alternative futures, and fostering hope and courage. In this workshop, we will share our work and our thinking and invite the GO-GN community to engage in discussion and share ideas also, in a spirit of mutual care, respect and hope.

Laura Czerniewicz was the first director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), at the University of Cape Town, (2014 to 2020) having previously led UCT’s Centre for Educational Technology, OpenUCT Initiative and Multimedia Education Group . Her many roles in education over the years include academic, researcher, strategist, advocate, teacher, teacher-trainer and educational publisher. Threaded through all her work has been a focus on equity and digital inequality. These have permeated her research interests which focus on the changing nature of higher education in a post-digital society and new forms of teaching and learning provision. She plays a key strategic and scholarly role in the areas of blended /online learning as well as in open education institutionally, nationally and internationally.

Catherine Cronin is an open educator and open researcher focusing on critical and social justice approaches to digital and open education. She has held a range of roles in higher education, most recently with Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Catherine’s 2018 PhD explored the use of open educational practices (OEP) in higher education. She is an active member of the GO-GN and FemEdTech networks and numerous advisory and editorial boards. Involved in teaching, research and advocacy in higher education and in the community for over 30 years, Catherine is a regular contributor to conversations and collaborative projects in the area of open education, within Ireland and globally. A born New Yorker who has made her home in Ireland, you can find Catherine at @catherinecronin and catherinecronin.net.

All welcome! Join the session on 23 February at 14.00GMT via Zoom.


Photo credits: Laura Czerniewicz (own photo) and Catherine Cronin (by Chris Bull for ALT 2018 and licensed CC BY-NC-SA)