ISA-NE 2017 Methodology Workshop

Interpretive and Relational Research Methodologies: A One-Day Graduate Student Workshop

Applications must be received by Monday, 24 July 2017.

The field of International Studies has always been 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 thirteenth 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.

In the two morning sessions, four established scholars, whose work utilizes such approaches as science and technology studies, narrative, visual culture, and postcolonial and diaspora studies 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:

  • Matt Hoffman (University of Toronto-Scarborough)
  • L.H.M. Ling (The New School)
  • Brent Steele (University of Utah)
  • Fourth mentor (TBD)

The workshop will be held in conjunction with the International Studies Association-Northeast’s annual conference, which will take place from 3-4 November in Providence, RI. Although all attendees of the conference may come to the workshop sessions, only the graduate students officially participating in the workshop will have the opportunity 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 Jackson and Laura Sjoberg, by e-mail: Applications must be received by 24 July 2017.

Program Chairs

Stefanie R. Fishel
University of Alabama

Benjamin Meiches
University of Washington - Tacoma

Applications Closed

The deadline for applications for this workshop has closed.

Workshop takes place 4 November 2017, at the Northeast Regional Conference.