Ron Moffatt Seminar
International Education, Peace, Justice and
the Development of Global Civil Society
December 2-5, 2012
hosted by the National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Dinner and Reception
Monday, December 3, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The seminar fee of $450 covers the cost of the seminar at Maynooth, the opening reception and banquet and the closing luncheon, as well as lunches on the Monday and Tuesday.
About Ron Moffatt
The Ron Moffatt Seminars on International Education were created by BCA Study Abroad to carry forward the work of the late Ron Moffatt, a former NAFSA President and Director of International Programs at San Diego State University, who was a key figure in trying to develop a stronger focus on peace and justice concerns within the international education community. In June 2007, BCA Study Abroad launched the first seminar, which Ron helped to organize, and which was held in the small village of Ballyvaughan in the west of Ireland. Ron’s spirit continues to inform the seminars which are a visible attempt to institutionalize his concerns within the international education community.
At a meeting in Washington not long before his death, Ron discussed the issues that informed his own passionate work as an international educator - peace, justice, and human rights. He then referred to Wangari Maathai, and said: “And for those of you who, like me, may sometimes wonder-how can we possibly do this, how can one person, or one community, or one organization, possibly make a difference with such huge issues on a global scale, allow me to remind you of the hummingbird that Wangari Maathai described in Montreal last May. Like the hummingbird putting out the wild fire with tiny drops of water, ‘We each must do what we can.’”
About the 2011 Conference
Theme of the 2012 Ron Moffatt Seminar:
The 2012 Ron Moffatt Seminar explored how globalization calls into question fundamental conceptual pillars supporting study abroad. Seminar participants focused on understanding the origins, developmental history, and the factors that may be undermining key foundational concepts in study abroad.
The seminar also focused on whether concepts such as the development of “cross-cultural competence” may be a mirage that helps to obscure the deeper form of our global political and economic structures. In addition, the seminar explored the question of whether study abroad genuinely contributes to a sense of “global citizenship,” or whether it simply reinforces the imagined community of the nation with significant consequences for peace, human rights, and social justice.
About Previous Seminars
Previous Ron Moffatt Seminars have been held since 2007 and have taken place in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, Vancouver, Canada and Denver, Colorado (prior to the annual FORUM on Education Abroad conference). In addition to providing substantive information for the participants on the nature of a global civil society and the role that international educators might play in its development, the seminars had a number of other goals as detailed below.
The seminars attempted to provide members of the international education community with a discourse that provided a more meaningful and inclusive context for the work that individuals and organizations within the field were engaged in. The seminars were also concerned to emphasize the importance of developing international education programs that had an emphasis on peace, conflict resolution, and justice as a way to enhance movement toward a global civil society. And finally, the seminars also tried to provide an enhanced intellectual foundation for the field of international education so that the divide in the academy might begin to be bridged between those who define themselves primarily as "international educators," and those members of the faculty at universities and colleges who have sometimes seen international education as lacking in academic substance.
In all three areas, the seminars have been successful: they contributed to a small but significant shift in the discourse informing international education, most notably in NAFSA’s clear statement in its Strategic Plan that "international education by its nature is fundamental to fostering, peace, security, and well-being;" the seminars also contributed to moderate and substantive progress as demonstrated by the development of a number of programs with a focus on peace issues, and more sessions on peace and justice concerns at international education meetings; and finally, although the gap between faculty members and international educators still requires significant attention, progress was also made in this regard as evidenced in the work of Mell Bolen and Patrick Drinan, The Academic Divide: The Faculty and International Education.