Antifascist Education

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Tyson E. Lewis
contact email: 

Antifascist Education

Special Issue for the journal Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies


Dr. Tyson E. Lewis, PhD, University of North Texas

Silas Krabbe, PhD in progress, University of British Columbia 

The specter of fascism has returned with a vengeance in the form of multiple, interconnected, highly militant, overtly violent, extremist movements not only on the peripheries of the Western world but also in its centers. Upheavals caused by a series of global crises and the weakening influence of democratic institutions have created conditions conducive to the fomentation of fascist sentiments and startling connections between mainstream political parties and neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and populist fringe groups. These groups often claim their Aryan heritage is under attack by a cabal of powerful Jewish families they call ZOG, or Zionist Occupied Government, that secretly controls the culture industry, financial networks, and nation-state governments with the hidden agenda to eradicate the white race. They draw upon a host of symbols from Nazi propaganda, pagan rituals, and Judeo-Christian imagery while valorizing fascist leaders such as Hitler. And they actively pursue acts of homegrown terror. In the United States alone, these groups have engaged in murder, the planned kidnapping of government officials, and attempted sabotage of urban infrastructure all to “accelerate” an impending race war. Indeed, in 2020, the Department of Homeland Security in the United States ranked domestic violent extremist movements fueled by racism and nativism as the single most dangerous terrorist threat facing the country. In fact, more or less mainstream political figures such as Madeleine Albright have issued warnings against the rising tide of fascism, and Mark Milley, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated “This is a Reichstag moment,” fearing a coup by extremist groups to overturn the 2019 election results. Bearing this in mind, we cannot reduce the return of the discourse of fascism to leftist alarmism.

Beyond some historical treatments and a few publications that address antifascist education directly, antifascist education has yet to garner significant and sustained attention from educational theorists and philosophers. Whereas DEI, antiracist, LGBTQI, and even anticapitalist theory have acquired traction within fields of education, antifascist education seems to flounder. This volume will attempt to: 1) understand the current state of antifascism in education, 2) consider the distinctiveness of antifascism in education 3) offer trajectories for antifascist theorization and practice in education. 

 The aim of this volume is to provide educators with a more robust understanding, treatment, and approach to antifascist education. Through broad and sustained consideration of what is often a nebulous and disputed concept, this volume will attempt to bring clarity to the theoretical terrain of antifascist education and pedagogy such that continued anti-fascist praxis of education will be empowered. 

 Key questions the special issue will cover:

  1. Why has antifascist education and pedagogy not developed as a site of robust educational conversation, theorization, and praxis?
  1. What is it about the nebulous, difficult-to-define nature of fascism that makes the construction of an educational discourse of antifascism so challenging in comparison to other contested categories like race, democracy, and neoliberalism, which have successfully developed discourses within education?
  1. Where is fascism at play in education? Where ought antifascist energy be directed?
  1. What contemporary political trends and events provide insight into the current moment of burgeoning fascism globally? How do these contemporary events shape the antifascist educational response?
  1. What distinguishes antifascist education from democratic education more broadly? Which liberal assumptions require retention for antifascist education, which assumptions are non-essential?
  1. Is illiberalism merely fascism’s new name in politics? What would differ educationally in responses to illiberalism versus fascism?
  1. Do fascism and antifascism entail ontological and metaphysical assumptions or claims? If so, what are they, and how do they differ?
  1. Is antifascism a big-tent category within which DEI, antiracism, anti-imperialism, anticapitalism, LGBTQ+, indigenous, decolonialism, disability studies, and democratic education can work upon common ground and aims? If not, why not? What specifically does antifascist education offer that these discourses do not?
  1. What is fascism’s relation to modernity, late-modernity, and post-modernity? Does considering fascism in relation to these meta-categories change antifascist education? If so, how?
  1. Which political theories are antifascist, and which are not? What is the educational difference?
  1. Does fascism have an onto-epistemology? If so, what differs in an antifascist onto-epistemology?
  1. How might a discourse of antifascist educational theory and pedagogy be developed wherein contemporary uses of “fascist” as a political demonization and polarization tactic do not come to dominate the discursive arena?
  1. How does a vision of the good life, or a lack thereof, play into both the problem of fascism and the antifascist response?
  1. Where are the edges of ethics in relation to antifascist education?
  1. What might psychoanalysis, affect theory, psychology, and contemporary philosophy of mind offer antifascist education?
  1. How is affect connected to fascism and antifascism? Does affect theory aid in theorizing the distinction between fascism and antifascism?

We are also looking for contributions that draw inspiration for antifascist education theory and practice from a wide variety of sources including but not limited to: members of the Frankfurt School, Georges Bataille, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and antifascist educators/activist in post-war Germany, the United States, and beyond.

 We invite established and emerging scholars, researchers, educators and members of community organizations to contribute to this discussion through their paper submissions on the suggested themes or related discourses. 

 Please submit an abstract of up to 200 words, on your proposed paper for this special issue based on any of the above themes/topics by June 1, 2023. Drafts of accepted articles will subsequently be due by September 1, 2023.

In addition, indicate your institutional or organizational affiliation. Please send all submissions and inquiries to: