Institute of Education


Negative capability: island prisons, education and hope

5:30 pm to 7:15 pm, 25 October 2017

Small building on island at night

Event Information

Open to



Room 828, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

To what extent, under adverse conditions, can education be a site of hope?

Drawing on narratives from those held on island prisons as punishment for their work in defending rights and equalities, the seminar considers ways in which the concept of negative capability has been understood in work on education.

In each of the settings, political prisoners forged a community around education projects, bridging divisions and inequalities associated with race, class, ethnicity, age and political orientation. The discussion attempts to nuance the concept of negative capability and to better understand education as a site of hope.

About the speaker

Elaine Unterhalter is Professor of Education and International Development at UCL Institute of Education. She has research interests in working on intersecting inequalities in education, the capability approach, and analyses of changing social policy and practice.

Event contact

Alison Brady, alison.brady.14@ucl.ac.uk

The event is free to attend and open to the public. Sessions are followed by a drink with further discussion in the Students' Union for those who wish to attend. All are welcome.

Related links


Room 828, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL