The 2nd Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2021)

Join us in Barcelona (and online) for BCE2021!

December 08–10, 2021 | University of Barcelona, Spain (and online)

Welcome to The 2nd Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2021), held in partnership with the University of Barcelona, Spain, and the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to attend an IAFOR conference before COVID appeared from over the horizon, you will remember the calibre of research presented, the thrill of listening to engaging keynotes, discussions with respected plenary speakers, and socialising with like-minded scholars from across the globe. The opportunity to not only meet with old friends from previous IAFOR conferences, but also to introduce new minds into your intellectual network.

So what about conferences under the “new normal” COVID restrictions in effect across the world? IAFOR saw very quickly that the online and hybrid conferences were the only way to keep the heart of the academic community beating, and adapted their activities to suit this rare situation with finesse. Of course, nothing can substitute the dynamism of in-person conferences, but the IAFOR online experience not only maintains the superb quality one expects of an IAFOR conference, it surpasses, by taking advantage of innovative and exciting and new formats that could only have been envisioned in the wake of a global crisis. How about a face-to-face conversation between two experts, writers, filmmakers, from countries thousands of miles apart? Experts who otherwise would have been unable to meet due to geographical or political adversities– a magnificent opportunity indeed.

There are more reasons than ever before to join BCE and BAMC in Barcelona. The era of the online and hybrid conference is strange and unfamiliar, but also revolutionary and liberating, opening doors and allowing its speakers’ words to be heard across the world.

The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2021) will be held alongside The Barcelona Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (BAMC2021), and many of the sessions will concentrate on areas at the intersection of education and the arts and humanities. In keeping with IAFOR’s commitment to interdisciplinary study, delegates at either conference are encouraged to attend sessions in other disciplines. Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other. We expect the resultant professional and personal collaborations to endure for many years, and we look forward to seeing you in Barcelona and online!

The BCE2021 Organising Committee

Isabel Alonso-Breto, University of Barcelona, Spain
Sue Ballyn, University of Barcelona, Spain
Montserrat Camps-Gaset, University of Barcelona, Spain
Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Donald E. Hall, University of Rochester, USA
Baden Offord, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
Cornelis Martin Renes, University of Barcelona, Spain

IAFOR Journal of Education (Scopus Indexed Journal)

This conference is associated with the Scopus and DOAJ listed IAFOR Journal of Education.

Key Information
  • Venue & Location: University of Barcelona, Spain (and online)
  • Dates: Wednesday, December 08, 2021 ​to Friday, December 10, 2021
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: July 31, 2021*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: October 08, 2021
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: November 10, 2021

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.


  • Isabel Alonso-Breto
    Isabel Alonso-Breto
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Montserrat Camps-Gaset
    Montserrat Camps-Gaset
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Joseph Haldane
    Joseph Haldane
    The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
  • Sara Martín
    Sara Martín
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Gloria Montero
    Gloria Montero
    Novelist, Playwright & Poet
  • Bill Phillips
    Bill Phillips
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • M. G. Sanchez
    M. G. Sanchez
    Writer, UK

Our Response to the Ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Present, Publish, Participate On-site or Online

Continued excellence in service, wherever you are

Our commitment to you; academics, scholars and educators around the world, is to continue to run conferences where and how possible, but in the full knowledge that in these unprecedented and changing times, we must engage as much as is possible online, allowing those who choose not to travel, or who cannot travel, opportunities to present, publish and participate online.


Given the uncertainties surrounding travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, and related and evolving government responses, we understand that potential delegates’ plans may be subject to change beyond their control, and indeed many people may not be able to travel to our conferences. We will be as flexible as we can our side to allow delegates to switch registration types between “on-site” and “online” depending on their circumstances, up until one month before the conference, so that you can be assured that whatever your situation, you can still present, publish and participate.

About IAFOR’s Education Conferences

IAFOR promotes and facilitates new multifaceted approaches to one of the core issues of our time, namely globalisation and its many forms of growth and expansion. Awareness of how it cuts across the world of education, and its subsequent impact on societies, institutions and individuals, is a driving force in educational policies and practices across the globe. IAFOR’s conferences on education have these issues at their core. The conferences present those taking part with three unique dimensions of experience, encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating heightened intercultural awareness and promoting international exchange. In short, IAFOR’s conferences on education are about change, transformation and social justice. As IAFOR’s previous conferences on education have shown, education has the power to transform and change whilst it is also continuously transformed and changed.

Globalised education systems are becoming increasingly socially, ethnically and culturally diverse. However, education is often defined through discourses embedded in Western paradigms as globalised education systems become increasingly determined by dominant knowledge economies. Policies, practices and ideologies of education help define and determine ways in which social justice is perceived and acted out. What counts as "education" and as "knowledge" can appear uncontestable but is in fact both contestable and partial. Discourses of learning and teaching regulate and normalise gendered and classed, racialised and ethnicised understandings of what learning is and who counts as a learner.

In many educational settings and contexts throughout the world, there remains an assumption that teachers are the possessors of knowledge which is to be imparted to students, and that this happens in neutral, impartial and objective ways. However, learning is about making meaning, and learners can experience the same teaching in very different ways. Students (as well as teachers) are part of complex social, cultural, political, ideological and personal circumstances, and current experiences of learning will depend in part on previous ones, as well as on age, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, varying abilities and more.

IAFOR has several annual conferences on education across the world, exploring common themes in different ways to develop a shared research agenda which develops interdisciplinary discussion, heightens intercultural awareness and promotes international exchange.

Call for Papers

The BCE Organising Committee welcomes papers from a wide variety of interdisciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and submissions are organised into the following streams:

  • Teaching & Learning
  • Educational Structures
  • Community & Society
  • Language & Culture
  • Psychology, Mind & Brain
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Special Themes and Areas of Focus

Upon abstract submission, authors will have the opportunity of identifying whether their paper addresses either the 2021-2022 IAFOR Special Theme and/or one of the ongoing IAFOR Special Areas of Focus (see below).

Special Themes and Areas of Focus

Authors have the optional opportunity of identifying whether their paper addresses either the 2021–2022 IAFOR Special Theme and/or one of the ongoing IAFOR Special Areas of Focus.

IAFOR 2021–2022 Special Theme: “Resilience”

Resilience is the ability to resist being affected, or to recover readily from setback and adversity, and the past year has been one of enormous turbulence and upheaval. Nobody has been left untouched by the impact of the global pandemic, and great change has been forced upon us all.

COVID-19 has underlined the extent to which we suffer together as one, but also how the experience of a global pandemic has been very different and unequal. This has had a woeful impact on the already marginalised and dispossessed, further evidencing that countries are not equal in their ability to provide for and protect their people. The pandemic has also created questionable narratives and false dichotomies in approaches to finding solutions to the myriad problems that COVID-19 has either caused or exacerbated.

Humans can be by turn extraordinarily delicate, and remarkably resilient and we are now living through and witnessing an extraordinary period of history. However, as with any period of great change, there is a window of opportunity that follows where one has the chance to enact and bring about change for the better. The pandemic has also allowed many of us the space to rethink our relationship with both ourselves and those immediately around us, but also with the wider world. This is a crisis both global and local, both shared and individual.

That time to rethink and reimagine is now as we attempt to regroup and rebuild. We need to build back, but do so in a way that is better, stronger and fairer. Forged by adversity, we have the opportunity to follow divergent paths towards a future that we help create, and where, to borrow Heaney, hope and history may rhyme.

IAFOR Special Areas of Focus

In line with its organisational mission, IAFOR encourages, facilitates and nurtures interdisciplinary research, with an emphasis on international and intercultural perspectives. Current areas of focus of the organisation include the following ongoing collaborative programmes and initiatives.

Innovation and Value

The Innovation and Value Initiative is housed at the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan. It was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in a special collaborative UN/IAFOR session at the Third Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum 2018) on June 6, 2018, and has included various conferences and seminars, including the October 2018 IAFOR Global Innovation & Value Summit (GIVS), organised in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. This theme invites reflections at the intersection of innovation and value as they relate to the conference areas of study. For more information about the Innovation and Value Initiative, click here.

The Silk Road

The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative is an ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative that uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges. The initiative is a collaborative endeavour which includes the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University (Japan), Belgrade University (Serbia) and The École Normale Supérieure (France). This theme encourages submissions on Silk Road Studies and international cooperation in general as they relate to the conference areas of study. For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.


“Inspiring Global Research Collaborations”

Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher dedicated to encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating intercultural awareness and promoting international exchange, principally through educational interaction and academic research. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research centre is in the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University. IAFOR runs research programs and events in Asia, Europe and North America in partnership with universities and think tanks, and has also worked on a number of multi-sector cooperative programs and events, including collaborations with the United Nations and the Government of Japan. Read more about IAFOR.

International | Intercultural | Interdisciplinary

Isabel Alonso-Breto
University of Barcelona, Spain


Dr Isabel Alonso-Breto obtained her PhD from the University of Barcelona in 2003, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer. A scholar in the area of Postcolonial Studies, she has worked on authors of Caribbean, Canadian, Indian and South-African origin, while her present research focusses on literature and life writing by Sri Lankan authors, mostly of the diaspora. A visiting scholar in recent years at the Universities of Toronto (Canada) and Marburg (Germany), Dr Alonso-Breto has been the guest editor of several issues of academic journals such as Coolabah and Indialogs, and is the general editor of the miscellaneous journal Blue Gum. Also interested in the social role of creative writing and translation, she has several pieces to her credit in this regard. Lately she has translated into Spanish the anthology Siembra solo Palabras, by Sri Lankan Tamil poet Cheran, published in 2019. Dr Alonso-Breto is a member of Ratnakara, a research group devoted to the study of the literatures and cultures of the Indian Ocean, and the Vice-Director of the Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies at the University of Barcelona.

Interview Session (2021) | Brexit, Borders and the Gibraltarian Voice: a Conversation With M.G.Sanchez

Previous BAMC Presentations

Discussion Panel (2020): “In Conversation with Gloria Montero”
Montserrat Camps-Gaset
University of Barcelona, Spain


Montserrat Camps-Gaset (Barcelona 1958) graduated in Classical Philology at the University of Barcelona in 1980. Her MA thesis on Maleficent Women in Archaic and Classical Greece won the Faculty prize. In 1985, she read her PhD thesis on Ancient Greek Festivals. In 1982, she also graduated in Theology in Barcelona. In 1989, she became Senior Lecturer at the Barcelona University. In 1992 and 1993, she went to the University of Leipzig thanks to a special development program of the DAAD for East Germany universities.

Apart from Catalan and Spanish, her native tongues, she speaks English, French and German fluently, has a good knowledge of Italian and Modern Greek and a basic level of Russian. Her main interests are Mythology, First Christianism, Early Byzantine authors, and Classical Tradition. Her interests include folklore, women studies and national identity.

She has translated many works from Greek, German and Modern Greek into Catalan. She is currently working on the Catalan edition of Plato’s Laws in four volumes, and on a Catalan version of the Corpus Hermeticum. She has also translated books for children and youngsters from English and German into Catalan and Spanish. In 2013, she taught a Seminar on Literary Translation at the University of Leipzig.

She has published a book in French on Ancient Greek Festivals, and papers on Ancient Greek Religion, Women Studies, Mythology and EarlyChristianism, as well as Classical Tradition in modern writers. In 1998, she published a book of poetry.

At Barcelona University, she has been Head of the Greek Department (2001-2004) and Dean of the Philological Faculty (2004-2008), and has participated on the University Board for many years. She is a member of several societies for Classical Studies and for Literature, such as the Catalan Pen Club.

Since 2008, she is a member of the CEAT’s Executive Committee. Thinking that academic activity must also include an engagement in communicating with a broader audience, she has undertaken the honour of codirecting the Centre as a new academic challenge for developing its capacity of producing and sharing knowledge.

Keynote Presentation (2021) | Rethinking Classical Reception: Can We Still Learn Something From Antiquity in a Postcolonial World?
Joseph Haldane
The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan


Joseph Haldane is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of IAFOR. He is responsible for devising strategy, setting policies, forging institutional partnerships, implementing projects, and overseeing the organisation’s business and academic operations, including research, publications and events.

Dr Haldane holds a PhD from the University of London in 19th-century French Studies, and has had full-time faculty positions at the University of Paris XII Paris-Est Créteil (France), Sciences Po Paris (France), and Nagoya University of Commerce and Business (Japan), as well as visiting positions at the French Press Institute in the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas (France), The School of Journalism at Sciences Po Paris (France), and the School of Journalism at Moscow State University (Russia).

Dr Haldane’s research and teaching is on history, politics, international affairs and international education, as well as governance and decision making. Since 2015 he has been a Guest Professor at The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, where he teaches on the postgraduate Global Governance Course, and is Co-Director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre, an interdisciplinary think tank situated within Osaka University.

A Member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for Global Governance, Dr Haldane is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade (Serbia), a Visiting Professor at the School of Business at Doshisha University (Japan), where he teaches Ethics and Governance on the MBA programme, and a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Education (USA), collaborating on the development of the Global PhD programme.

Dr Haldane has given invited lectures and presentations to universities and conferences around the world, including at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and advised universities, NGOs and governments on issues relating to international education policy, public-private partnerships, and multi-stakeholder forums. He was the project lead on the 2019 Kansai Resilience Forum, held by the Japanese Government through the Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Office in collaboration with IAFOR.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr Haldane served as Treasurer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Chubu Region) and he is currently a Trustee of the HOPE International Development Agency (Japan). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in 2012, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2015.

Keynote Presentation (2021): “In Conversation with Gloria Montero”
Sara Martín
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain


Sara Martín is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural Studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Dr Martín specialises in Gender Studies, particularly Masculinities Studies, which she applies to the study of popular fictions in English, with an emphasis on science fiction. Her most recent books are Masculinity and Patriarchal Villainy in British Fiction: From Hitler to Voldemort (2019) and Representations of Masculinity in Literature and Film: Focus on Men (2020).

Gloria Montero
Novelist, Playwright & Poet


Novelist, playwright and poet Gloria Montero grew up in a family of Spanish immigrants in Australia’s North Queensland. After studies in theatre and music, she began to work in radio and theatre, and then moved to Canada where she continued her career as an actress, singer, writer, broadcaster, scriptwriter and TV interviewer.

Co-founder of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Toronto (1972), she served as its Director until 1976. Following the success of her oral history The Immigrants (1973) she was invited to act as Consultant on Immigrant Women to the Multicultural Department of the Secretary of State, Government of Canada.

She organised the international conferences "Amnistia" (1970) and "Solidaridad" (1974) in Toronto to support and make known the democratic Spain that was developing in the last years of the Franco dictatorship, and in 1976 at Bethune College, York University, "Spain 1936-76: The Social and Cultural Aftermath of the Spanish Civil War".

With her husband, filmmaker David Fulton, she set up Montero-Fulton Productions to produce documentary films on social, cultural and ecological themes. Their film, Crisis in the Rain, on the effects of acid rain, won the Gold Camera Award American Film Festival 1982. Montero was consultant-interviewer on Dreams and Nightmares (A-O Productions, California) about Spain under Franco, a film that won international awards in Florence, Moscow, Leipzig and at the American Film Festival 1975.

Among her many radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are: The Music of Spain – a series of 18 hours which presented Spanish music within a social and historical framework; Segovia: the man and his music — a 2-hour special (Signature); Women and the Law (Ideas); Foreign Aid: Hand-out or Rip-Off (Ideas).

Since 1978 Montero has been living in Barcelona, where she has continued to write and publish novels such as The Villa Marini, All Those Wars and Punto de Fuga. Her poem Les Cambres was printed with a portfolio of prints by artist Kouji Ochiai (Contratalla 1983). A cycle of prose poems, Letters to Janez Somewhere in Ex-Yugoslavia, provided the basis for collaboration with painter Pere Salinas in a highly successful exhibition at Barcelona's Galería Eude (1995).

She won the 2003 NH Premio de Relato for Ménage à Trois, the first time the Prize was awarded for a short story in English.

Well known among her theatre work is the award-winning Frida K., which has toured Canada, played New York and Mexico and has been mounted in productions in Spain, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Latvia.

Photo by Pilar Aymerich.

Keynote Presentation (2021): “In Conversation with Gloria Montero”

Previous Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2020): KNOCK KNOCK... WHO'S THERE?
Discussion Panel (2020): “In Conversation with Gloria Montero”
Bill Phillips
University of Barcelona, Spain


Bill Phillips is a senior lecturer in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department at the University of Barcelona, Catalonia. He has published widely on poetry in English, ecocriticism, ecofeminism, science fiction and crime fiction. Together with other members of the Australian and Transnational Studies Centre, based at the University of Barcelona, his most recent research has been on postcolonial crime fiction and he is currently working on the Sean Duffy novels of Adrian McKinty, and the crime novels of Jacob Ross.

M. G. Sanchez
Writer, UK


M. G. Sanchez is a Gibraltarian writer based in the UK. He studied at the University of Leeds, where he obtained BA, MA and PhD degrees in English Literature. He is the author of fourteen books, among them novels, journals, memoirs, historical studies and collections of short stories. His writing focuses on Gibraltarian identity politics and on the geopolitical challenges facing the Rock and its inhabitants. He is also interested in borders, Brexit, masculinity, national stereotypes and colonial/post-colonial discourses of “otherness”. More information about his writing can be found at and

Interview Session (2021) | Brexit, Borders and the Gibraltarian Voice: a Conversation With M.G.Sanchez
A message from the IAFOR Board of Directors on the impact of COVID-19 on our activities.