On Monday, 24 February, the BAICE Thematic Forum on Revisiting Insider-Outsider Perspectives in International and Comparative Education held its third event in the form of a day conference and book publication workshop at the University of Bristol, hosted by the Research Centre for International and Comparative Studies. This was a successful and well attended event in two parts, which followed the format of the Programme found below. Attendees included twenty four colleagues from the universities of Plymouth, Exeter, Roehampton, East Anglia, Sussex, the Open University and Bristol. Two additional colleagues joined us on Skype from Mauritius and Brazil, and a further three colleagues (from the Universities of Sussex and East London and Suan Dusit Rajabhat) sent us abstracts for proposed chapters.
The day started with an introduction to the past work of the Forum from Professor Michael Crossley, and a discussion of the developing theoretical thinking of the group from Dr Lore Arthur and Dr Elizabeth McNess, based on the paper recently published in Compare. Professor Anna Robinson-Pant then gave an excellent keynote entitled, Exploring the concept of outsider/insider in international and comparative research: essentialising culture or culturally essential? This challenged the group to think again about these terms and the usefulness with which they can be applied in the new research landscape. Anna used examples from her own research to illustrate the points she was making. The floor was then open for a lively and interesting discussion.
After lunch, a smaller group of twelve participants continued to work on ideas for the proposed book which is planned as the main output of the Forum. This was a very productive meeting for expanding our discussions on the theme and towards the development of ideas towards the publication.