ISA Northeast 2021: Call For Proposals

Global Transformations and a Changing Discipline

The annual conference of the International Studies Association-Northeast (ISA-NE) will be held on November 4th – 6th, 2021, as a virtual event. ISA-NE invites paper and panel proposals on any topic substantively related to world politics. Topics might include, or draw upon, international relations theory, international law and organizations, foreign policy, globalization, human rights, international development, conflict and security, military/strategic studies, environmental studies, feminist and queer theory, gender studies, international political economy, international history, science and technology studies, aesthetic theory, the philosophy of science of the social sciences, colonial and postcolonial theory, and international political sociology, among others. ISA-NE expressly welcomes research from the full range of approaches to, and philosophies of international studies, including those using critical, normative, feminist, poststructuralist, postcolonial, decolonial and post-humanist lenses.

At this year’s conference, we especially encourage paper, panel, and roundtable proposals on subjects related to this year’s conference theme: “Global Transformations and a Changing Discipline.” We live in an era of unprecedented global transformations. The Covid-19 pandemic in a global environment already beset by epochal geological transformations characterised as the Anthropocene, and the rise of neo-fascist ideologies in the modern West, as well as the increasing banalisation of interventionist violence normalised in the language of non-war, a resurgent Russia, and the emergence of China as significant global power players, among others, demand that we take seriously the notion of global transformation and what it entails. Contemporaneous with these changes are disciplinary transformations in international studies which has over the past decades increasingly become multi-vocal and diverse in terms of concerns, the identity of scholars, the perspectives they advance, and the objects and sources of their study.

Despite these changes however, the structural condition of our discipline is such that our concepts and approaches have not always kept apace with the nature and speed of global processes. How do we make sense of these processes both in terms of scholarship—knowledge, theory, concept, research—and ‘real’ world politics in terms of power, violence, ecology, economy, disease, world order, and so forth, and their implications for global politics? How may we rethink our discipline and approaches, and what perspectives might help us capture these multifarious processes in their multiple iterations, and their implications for existence on this planet and the ways we understand global politics and global futures? What does this mean for, especially, those regions and voices considered peripheral to the functioning of the international at a time when critical perspectives in the discipline are increasingly embracing the wider ‘decolonial turn’ in the social and human disciplines?

Our intent is to stage a critical dialogue among scholars in ways that are able to draw connections between these global histories and processes and disciplinary transformations and ask the extent to which the ISA-Northeast can serve as an effective forum for rigorous debates that advance our understanding of these processes in their multiple iterations. Specifically, how can the diversity of locations/identity of scholars and the perspectives they advance in the discipline be leveraged to capture these multiple transformations, and what might these mean for the ways we understand and/or imagine world politics and global futures. As well, how do they challenge us to rethink our research agendas, ideological commitments, and disciplinary practices, and what might this mean for the ways we conceive global transformations in relation to politics, economy, ecology, society, and planetary relations?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:


  1. Rising powers, multipolarity, hegemonic transitions, and changing world orders.
  2. COVID-19, global pandemics, vaccine apartheid, and global transformations.
  3. Anti-colonial worldmaking and global transformation.
  4. Gendering Global Transformation.
  5. Gender and the sexual politics of global transformation.
  6. Decolonising global transformations and world politics.
  7. Decoloniality and actual existing imperialisms/anti-imperialisms.
  8. The Anthropocene, ecological transformations, and global climate crisis.
  9. Race, coloniality, and global transformation
  10. The militarisation of intervention, regime change, and banalisation of war.
  11. Epistemological confrontations and shifts in global power.
  12. Ontology, epistemology, and the crisis of global politics.
  13. Transformations of Global Political Economy.
  14. Contemporary landgrabs, extractivism, and agrarian change.


We encourage proposals from varied disciplinary/ interdisciplinary/ transdisciplinary perspectives. Seeking to showcase the work of advanced graduate students and junior as well as senior scholars, we welcome innovative ideas about the format, structure, and content of conference sessions. Papers delivered at ISA-NE are eligible for consideration for the Fred Hartmann Award (graduate students/ABDs) or the Lee Bennett Award (scholars who have completed their Ph.D. degrees). The conference program also includes a number of events of interest. Our provisional schedule features a keynote address by Siba N. Grovogui (Cornell University), and the annual meeting of the Northeast Scholar’s Circle. As well, the conference will also include the Interpretive Methods Workshop for graduate students, and the Pedagogy Workshop for junior faculty and graduate students.

Panel, roundtable, and individual paper proposals can be submitted via the ISA website beginning on Monday, June 14th, 2021. Although an ISA account is needed to access the system, you do not need to be a member of the International Studies Association to submit proposals or attend the conference. We will make every effort to accommodate as many submissions as possible, but logistical constraints will limit the size of this virtual event.

The deadline for the submission of paper, panel and roundtable proposals is Monday, August 2nd, 2021. Questions about potential submissions and participation should be sent by e-mail to the Program Chair, Zubairu Wai ( Scholars willing to serve as panel chairs/discussants should use the ISA registration form to signal their willingness and provide information on their areas of expertise or contact the Program Chair directly.

Program Chair

Zubairu Wai

University of Toronto Scarborough

Submissions Closed

Sorry, the submission period for ISA Northeast 2021 ended August 2nd. For more information, please contact the program chair. Even if you did not submit, anyone is welcome to register and attend the conference.

See My Submissions

One-Day Methodology Graduate Workshop

In addition to our general call for papers, ISA-NE will be sponsoring a Graduate Workshop on methodology during the annual conference. Deadline to apply is 6 August 2021.


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One-Day Pedagogy Workshop

In addition to our general call for papers, ISA-NE will be sponsoring a Pedagogy Workshop during the annual conference. Deadline to apply is 2 August 2021.


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