Inhabiting the Open

In its engagement with community life, especially through educational spaces, cultural studies plays a special role in instilling a determination for struggle for freedom and a strong sense of creativity, both of which are much needed in times of increasing global complexity. For many of us who work with young people in educational settings, we have learned that one of the keys to unlock their critical imagination for a liveable future – one underscored by freedom and creativity – is about “being open.” Yet how many times have we encountered the saying “to be open”? Especially in an education environment, we craft our visions around the need to train our students to be open-minded individuals who are, ideally, cross-culturally exposed, multiply linguistically competent, and globally actionable. In modern education, to meet the challenges of this increasingly complex world, we liberal thinkers form our curricula around “the open,” through theoretical variants like comparative culturalism and moral variants like diversity training. Yet once we try to pin down “the open” within established categories and conventions of thought, no experience could be more elusive. What is the open? Based on my cultural research on minorities, I shall share my thinking on how not to “exhabit” the social and cultural horizon so as to be poised to reclaim the future.

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Posted by IAFOR