Conference Archive

PESA Conference 2017

Birth, Death and Rebirth: Does philosophy of education need a new Subject?
Crowne Plaza, Newcastle, Australia   1-5 Dec 2017

Welcome PESA 2017

The Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) warmly welcomes you to the website for the 47th Annual Conference of the society.

Conference Theme:
Birth, Death and Rebirth: Does philosophy of education need a new Subject?

The most significant life events can be the most educative. Joy, sorrow and hardship have transformative potential; but they can also be the undoing of the self. For the 2017 PESA conference, we invite you to explore these shaping forces in all their manifestations.

  • The educative potential of contemplating one's death in recognition of its transformative force.

  • The educative potential of being a witness to birthing, to death, the rituals of celebration, of mourning and the different ways these play out in indigenous, Eastern and Western cultures. There are also strong elements of symbolic death and rebirth in ritualized initiations and coming-of-age.

  • The educational repercussions of genocide and the violent histories of colonization.

  • Engagement with the post-humanism movement which brings into question the nature of life, death, materiality and the educative subject.

  • The potential roles of educational systems and educators in the face of mass species decline and the death of the biosphere.

  • The moral dilemmas associated with teaching about death or the suffering of others and the educational risks and benefits of greater conscientization, compassion fatigue or ethical desensitization.

  • Projections of educational futures looking towards the horizon of life and living in the increasingly digital world particularly the possibility of everlasting life through our digital footprint and the avatars we create, and delete.

  • Reflecting on the impending loss of disciplinary knowledge in philosophy of education, consider the implications for intergenerational learning, the future of the discipline, the life and death of theories, new interdisciplinarities in our work and our students’ work.

The conference is situated on the Country of the Pambalong clan of the Awabakal Nation. These peoples live/d on the site of the University of Newcastle, and in recognition of this established Wollotuka, our indigenous centre. Please see the Call for Papers from the PESA Indigenous Philosophy Group.

Indigenous Philosophies Symposium

The PESA 2017 Conference organisers along with the Indigenous Philosophy Group (IPG) invite you to participate in an Indigenous Philosophies Symposium. Indigenous scholars are invited to submit abstracts that consider the above conference themes from indigenous perspectives on philosophy and education. Watch this space for further information on the abstract submission process!
For further information on the Indigenous Philosophy Group - IPG please visit



PESA 2017 Conference Organisers

Dr Daniella J. Forster, School of Education, The University of Newcastle

Dr Rachel Buchanan, School of Education, The University of Newcastle

Dr Amy McPherson, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University

Dr Laura D'Olimpio, The School of Philosophy and Theology, The University of Notre Dame Australia