Call for papers

Call for papers

The Peace Institute (Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, Ljubljana) and GLBT non-governmental organization Legebitra (Ljubljana) in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest) will hold an international seminar

Homophobia in schools in Eastern Europe

The seminar will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 5-7 May 2011.

In June 2009 the Lithuanian parliament discussed the bill on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information. Among others the bill anticipated a prohibition of talking about homosexuality in schools, mimicking the notorious Clause 28, adopted in 1988 in Great Britain. In 2009 the European Commission for Social Justice declared that the Croatian sex education programme TeenStar is discriminatory as it reproduces prejudices and stereotypes and teaches pupils that same-sex partnerships are deviant.

These are just two recent examples of discomfort caused by homosexuality when it is discussed in school settings. But how often do schools bring up the subject of homosexuality? Not often, claim the few research reports with this topic. Not often during classes, shows a Canadian study, stressing that Canadian secondary-school pupils use the insult “faggot” to attack and offend their schoolmates regularly or on a daily basis.

It seems that homosexuality is only sporadically discussed during classes, and even then not without reservation or discomfort, as any kind of debate on one or (even more likely) “the other” sexual identity is still interpreted as promotion rather than as a standard and expected part of the educational process. Therefore it is of key importance for teachers and others to identify their knowledge gaps and confront their discomfort which maintains a silence on certain subjects.

The main aim of the seminar is to address how homosexuality is dealt with in (primary and secondary) schools in Eastern Europe, what is the situation of GLBT pupils/students in these schools and how GLBT teachers are treated at their workplace in schools.

We would like to invite academics and activists to present their (sociological) research on any aspect of homophobia and homosexuality in schools in Eastern Europe.

The topics to be addressed in the papers and presented at the seminar are (but are not limited to):

– The position of GLBT pupils/students in schools in Eastern Europe
– How do GLBT pupils/students deal with potentially homophobic school environments?
– What do teachers and text books say about homosexuality?
– What are the educational goals and standards of the primary and secondary-school syllabuses?
– How do schools in Eastern Europe react to homophobic violence?
– What is the position of GLBT teachers in Eastern Europe?
– How the topic of homosexuality can be approached in these contexts, and what didactic materials, resources, and teaching aids exist to promote discussions about homosexuality at schools?

Deadline for abstracts: March 15, 2011 (max. 1.800 characters). Please, do not forget to send us your CV as well.
The abstracts and CVs should be sent to:

Acceptance decisions will be communicated to the submitters by March 25, 2011.

We are looking for the possibilities of funding accommodation and/or travel for participants within the East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program. We especially encourage participants from Central-Eastern Europe and the Balkans to apply.

The seminar will be organized as part of the EC Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.
The seminar language is ENGLISH.

Call for papers