26 November 2013

Governing Through the Arts

The most recent published edition of European Education was the first part of a double issue on the topic of governmentality. Catarina Silva Martins has written a paper that looks at the way that current practice in arts education might actually be used to govern students. Catarina Silva Martins is an assistant professor in the faculty of fine arts at Oporto University in Portugal. She notes that "the way in which art education was incorporated into the schools was not totally independent from the emergence of new cultural practices that combined the government of all with the concerns of individuals' self-development." Catarina Silva Martins makes some interesting connections as she looks at the ingredients for "making the soul through art practices in school. We have reproduced the abstract of this paper below. If it piques your interest and you would like to read the entire paper or any other content from our journal, you can find out more about subscriptions at this page.
This paper aims to provide a platform for thinking about the presence of the arts in education at the present as a practice of governing. Through an analysis of the incorporation of the arts in the school curriculum we can see how this was a subject able to promote a political subjectivation of each child as citizen of the future. I focus on the arts in education as police technologies in the government of the child's soul. Police technologies give attention to the ways in which the child is fabricated as a moral, autonomous citizen.

05 November 2013

Religion, Governmentality, and Citizenship

Is religion a cultural practice, or can it be a technology used by government to control its citizen? This is the question explored by Ezequiel Gomez Caride in his paper "Governmentality and Religion in the Construction of the Argentinean Citizen" that was published in the first part of the European Education governmentality double issue. Gomez Caride is a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his research interests include issues of national identity, religion, and educational policy. In this paper, he argues that "it is not possible to understand citizenship historically without exploring its religious principles ... these religious elements became a part of republican notions of citizenship and ideas of the nation ..." The abstract of the paper is reproduced below. If you would like to read the entire paper or any other content from our journal, you can find out more about subscriptions here.
Numerous studies regarding citizens' identity and nation-building issues have relegated the analysis of religion, understood as a cultural practice, and its role in the governing of the citizen. However, this article states that religious narrative is still a crucial technology of government to conduct the conduct of citizens. Through the Foucauldian notion of governmentality, I draw together the roles of religious discourses in three historical educational events from Argentinean history. In contrast to the secularization theory that ignores the power of religion in shaping the modern republican citizen, this study demonstrates the extent to which Catholic narratives are still a central technology in governing the Argentinean republican citizen.