ISA-NE 2020 Methodology Workshop

“Interpretive and Relational Research Methodology Workshop”

A One-Day Graduate Student Workshop
Sponsored by the International Studies Association-Northeast Region
14 November, 2020 • an online/virtual gathering

The field of International Studies has always been multi-disciplinary if not interdisciplinary, with scholars drawing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques of data collection and data analysis as they seek to produce knowledge about global politics. Recent debates about epistemology and ontology have advanced the methodological openness of the field, albeit mainly at a meta-theoretical level. And while interest in techniques falling outside of well-established comparative and statistical modes of inference has been sparked, opportunities for scholars to discuss and flesh out the operational requirements of these alternative routes to knowledge remain relatively infrequent.

This sixteenth annual workshop aims to address this lacuna, bringing together faculty and graduate students in a pedagogical environment. The workshop will focus broadly on research approaches that differ in various ways from statistical and comparative methodologies: interpretive methodologies, which highlight the grounding of analysis in actors’ lived experiences and thus produce knowledge phenomenologically, hermeneutically, and narratively; holistic case studies and forms of process-tracing that do not reduce to the measurement of intervening variables; and relational methodologies, which concentrate on how social networks and intersubjective discursive processes concatenate to generate outcomes. These approaches span the fields of science and technology studies, narratology, visual culture, and postcolonial and diaspora studies, in addition to making inroads into disciplines such as sociology, political science, and anthropology.

In the two morning sessions, four established scholars will talk about precisely how they do their empirical work. These tutorial sessions will be followed by an extended afternoon session in which graduate student participants will have an opportunity to receive feedback from the established scholars and from their fellow workshop participants on their ongoing research projects.

This year's faculty participants include:

- Molly Cochran (Oxford Brookes University)
- Andrea Paras (University of Guelph)
- Jane Parpart (University of Masschusetts-Boston)
- Désirée Weber (The College of Wooster)

Given the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s workshop will be held online, one week after the online ISA-Northeast conference. Although any attendees of the conference may come to the morning sessions, the graduate students officially participating in the workshop will have the opportunity in the afternoon to receive detailed feedback and specialized instruction in the methodologies under discussion.

Graduate students interested in participating in the workshop should send their c.v. and a letter describing their current research project to Patrick Thaddeus Jackson and Laura Sjoberg, by e-mail: Applications must be received by 10 August 2020.

Apply to Participate

Applicants should send a C.V. and a letter describing their current research project to Patrick Jackson. The deadline for applications is August 10, 2020.

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