ISA 2020 Career Courses

2020 Courses

About the Program

ISA created its "Career Course" program to provide opportunities for conference participants to further develop their research and pedagogical skills in a variety of areas. The topics for these courses differ by year and are chosen by ISA's Professional Development Committee based upon submissions from ISA participants. The courses, which are a half-day long, are limited to 30-40 participants. Any person who has registered to attend the Annual Convention can participate in a Career Course for a nominal $25 fee.

Common Questions

Q. When do these take place?

The courses are each four hours long. All take place during the normal convention period, so you don't need to come early or stay late for the conference.


Q. What if I have a panel when a course meets?

Unfortunately Career Course times cannot be changed. Thus, please check your schedule prior to registration to ensure that you don't have a panel, or other commitment that conflicts with the course.


Q. How much does this cost?

Each course costs $25. Participants must also be registered for the Annual Convention. Please note that this fee is non-refundable.


Q. Can I sign up for more than one?

Sure, as long as there's room in your schedule and the course has not yet filled!


Q. What if I cannot enroll in a Career Course even though I want to?

Career Course registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in attending a course that is already at enrollment capacity, please contact Kristy Belton ( to be placed on the course's wait-list. You will then be notified should a space become available.



Teaching in a Global IR: Strategies for Inclusive Teaching, Assignment Design, and Assessment
Tuesday, March 24th; 8:00am - 12:00pm

Instructor: Catherine Shea Sanger

This Career Course complements the annual theme, sharing research and introducing practical strategies on how students’ diverse identities shape learning. Emanating from a Universal Design for Learning approach, participants will be introduced to a toolkit of inclusive pedagogy that supports student learning across diverse contexts. Particular attention will be given to designing assignments that are accessible to students of diverse backgrounds and prior educational experiences.

The course will combine structured reflection with practical skills-building.

- Participants will grow more self-aware through reflection on how their own identities and backgrounds shape their teaching and especially how they design assignments.
- Participants will identify the ways different grading structures and assignment types privilege and exclude students from different backgrounds and identities.
- Participants will gain concrete skills, learning how to use rubrics, the TILT framework, Wise Feedback, process-oriented assessment, specifications grading, and other techniques. No single method will be best for all students or contexts, so participants will learn about a range of assignment types that have different benefits and implications.
- Participants will become more confident and creative in designing assignments, grading, and providing feedback in ways that promote learning and success for all students.
- Participants will have the opportunity to engage with colleagues from ISA with shared interests and pedagogical commitments.

Strategic Thinking in Academic Careers: Critical Reflections on Publishing, Fundraising and Impact
Tuesday, March 24th; 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Instructor: Abel Polese

Now that academics are required to be teachers, managers, media catalyzers, analysts, fundraisers, and social media animals, how do we strike a good balance between what is expected and what we want to do?

Based on the series of trainings and a recently published book entitled "The SCOPUS Diaries and the (il)logics of Academic Survival", this course encourages reflection on career choices and the changing roles, tasks and responsibilities of a researcher in the XXI century. The course is organized around three main topics: publishing, fundraising, impact/dissemination that are approached in the following way:

Publication strategies: The global panorama of journals is not always immediately understandable to new researchers. This is made even more difficult by the fact that different evaluation criteria apply across countries, universities or even departments, so that the value of academic outlets changes depending on the context. This session is conceived to guide researchers through the universe of academic publishers and outlets and to suggest what needs to be kept in mind when choosing outlets in which to publish one's research findings.

Fundraising approaches: Research careers are increasingly based on the capacity of researchers to identify and apply for external research funding. However, funding is a word that can be interpreted differently depending on context. From a small conference grant to a multi-million project, funding is a word used for a variety of activities at different scales. The starting point of this session is to prompt a reflection on why someone depends on funding and for what goals. Several options (from traditional to alternative and innovative approaches) to fund research are discussed and put into context in order to allow participants to help them to identify individually tailored strategies.

Dissemination and impact strategies: Although often unacknowledged, a great deal of time and effort in academia is spent networking and in efforts to gain visibility. Publishing a paper is not the end of the story;, other scholars need to notice a paper, engage with it and eventually cite it. By the same token, being invited into projects, research groups or to contribute to new publications largely depends on the capacity of the scholar to build a solid network of both national and international researchers. This session is aimed at identifying possible approaches to build and sustain networks and collaborations that can enhance a scholar’s profile in the medium term.

Political Science and the Illiberalism of Liberalism: Critical Theory Challenges Economism, Behaviorism and Big Data
Tuesday, March 24th; 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Instructors: Sonja Amadae & Paulo Ravecca


This course situates political science within the contemporary crisis of liberalism. Its aim is to understand our role as knowledge producers in facilitating or challenging dominant power relations. This course also addresses the current so-called populist turn to authoritarianism and epistemic insecurity by looking at how liberals and liberalism have participated in creating the conditions that facilitated it. Besides the digital revolution, we will explore how liberalism in academia fosters relativism perhaps even nihilism and to what extent social scientists are also responsible for the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing forms of austerity that are still severely undermining democracies across the world.

Of all the academic fields, political science should be among the best positioned to address liberalism's crisis. This course provides an opportunity for participants to bring their pedagogies and research methods up to this challenge. It provides a crash course offered by two experts on the crisis of liberalism who research both orthodox complicity with power, and alternative forms of political expression. The curricula provides a mapping of mainstream theoretical paradigms onto contextualized practices. The final session introduces Gregory Pappas' next generation liberation pedagogy which incorporates actors' perspectives from Latin American social activism.

Asylum Representation and Advocacy for the Persecuted
Tuesday, March 24th; 8:00am - 12:00pm

Instructors: Henry (Chip) Carey

Students will learn about Refugee Law and have practice that they can apply to clinical situations as part of their academic careers. The class has two general goals: an overview knowledge of a) forced migration and refugee studies and b) international refugee and migration law. The second half of the class will provide non-lawyers with all the skills needed to prepare written expert declarations in affirmative and defensive asylum applications for clients in the United States especially who have well-founded fears of persecution or a probability of torture.

Register for a Course

Registration for our 2020 Career Courses is open through the main convention registration area.

Register Today!

(If you've already registered for Honolulu 2020, and you'd like to add a career course, you can do so here.)

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