I am pleased to welcome you to Mexico City for the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society. At a time when many borders around the world are being used to reinforce exclusion, we are delighted that so many of you have been able to cross them to join us in this vibrant city for what we are sure will be an energetic South-North Dialogue on the future of education globally. Over the last few months, we have been working steadily on preparing the program that follows, which addresses the conference theme of “Re-Mapping Global Education: South-North Dialogue.”
As Program Chair, I have invited CIES 2018 participants to reflect on the divisions that are built into our academic field between developed and developing nations and to shift the starting point of research to the global South. This involves disrupting hierarchies of knowledge production and listening to the voices and actors that have historically been left out of international and comparative education research. We hope that engaging in discussion on the borders and divisions that produce power imbalances in our field will be the first step in taking action to re-map or even erase them.
For this program I have taken special care in planning both the Presidential Panels and the Featured Presidential Sessions, which include scholars who will address the call for papers to enable South-North dialogue and South-South collaboration.
In the spirit of South-South collaboration, one of the Featured Presidential Sessions brings together in conversation the decolonial theories of Latin America and the subaltern theories of South Asia. Our aim is to discuss the diversity of intellectual contributions from groups of people and regions that are not often heard in our academic discussions. To emphasize South-North dialogue, speakers from Latin America will discuss the ways in which universities in the region are working to include the knowledge producers that have traditionally been marginalized in education research, along with learning about programs designed to include the voices, cultures and languages of Indigenous peoples in the Americas.
In reflecting on the prospect of re-mapping global education, I also thought it was important to discuss how migration is changing societies and schools all over the world. As part of this broad theme, the Featured Presidential Sessions will put special emphasis on learning about the bilateral relations between Mexico and the United States and discuss issues related to undocumented students in U.S. cities and schools.
It is a great honor to welcome Otto Granados Roldán, Mexican Minister of Education, to deliver our distinguished George F. Kneller lecture, focusing on current developments in Mexican education reform. I am grateful for the support I have received to organize the program from the Mexican Ministry of Education, The Open Society Foundations, The Ford Foundation, and the many other organizations you will find as sponsors in this program book.
I would especially like to extend our appreciation to the members of the CIES 2018 “Comité Local” (the Local Committee). These are the higher education associations and institutions in Mexico that have supported and welcomed CIES to Mexico City throughout the planning of this conference. They have given us access to numerous contacts and friends in Mexico who have facilitated our planning and organization for this event.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you for being in attendance here to take part in our program. There are nearly 3,000 participants and presenters coming from 114 countries around the world. I hope you have time to experience Mexico City, and please enjoy the warm welcome you will receive from the people of Mexico.
May the South-North dialogue begin!
Teachers College, Columbia University