SoTL Without Borders: Engaged Practices for Social Change

The spirit of civic engagement is woven in the fabric of Atlanta. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an imposing presence, as are the Center for Civil and Human Rights, President Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Library and Museum, and the AIDS Quilt. At a time when we are witnessing a current of anti-intellectualism in the United States and around the world, more than ever we need to articulate the powerful role SoTL can play. If the lack of education is the problem, thoughtful conversations about SoTL are undoubtedly part of the solution.

The ISSOTL 2019 theme is inspired by Doctors without Borders, the international humanitarian collective. The metaphor of the border is a powerful catalyst for the kind of dialogues we envision. Usually thought of as a marginal position, the border is a liminal space, and it can open up possibilities. These are some of the borders we are interested in:

  • International borders, and the responsibility of SoTL to break them down and bring marginalized perspectives to the center
  • The border between the ivory tower and society and the role SoTL can play to combat the perception of this separation by documenting engaged pedagogies
  • Disciplinary borders, and the fruitful collaborations that can happen when we break out of our silos
  • The border between teachers and students, and how SoTL makes everybody partners
  • The artificial border between teaching and research, and how SoTL makes it permeable
  • The divide between qualitative and quantitative investigation, and the ways in which both contribute to enrich SoTL as a field
  • The border between university administration and faculty, and the different ways in which these groups value, promote, and reward SoTL
  • The page margins of published, organized, successful work and the ways those foreclose conversations about the richness to be found in messy, unpublished, or “unsuccessful” SoTL projects

We are also interested in other borders you have encountered in your work and the innovative ways you have found to navigate them. Please consider submitting to ISSOTL 2019!