Call for papers

The Social and Political Life of Methods

5th Annual Conference for the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change and the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences
University of Helsinki Time: 22-23 October 2018 Venue: Metsätalo, Unioninkatu 40

Keynotes by

Assoc. Professor Jennifer Holt (Film and Media Studies, University of California):
“Cloud Policy: Researching a Regulatory Crisis”
Dr. Jennifer Pybus (Digital Humanities, King’s College):
“When I Hacked My Smartphone: A Techno-Cultural Method”
Professor Olli Pyyhtinen (Sociology, University of Tampere):
“Doing Theory with Pictures and Stories: How to Visualize and ‘Fiction’ Social Theory?”

Call for papers

The 5th annual conference for PhD students explores the role of methods and methodologies in research and how they represent and perform aspects of the explored phenomena. Special attention is given to what could be called “the social and political life of methods”, referring to the historical, cultural, social and political contexts of methods and methodological developments. The expansion of digital data has made these questions particularly timely, but they are not limited to any particular data type, and the goal of the conference is to cross-fertilize questions about methods across the digital and analogue, including various disciplines and thereby strengthen the debate about methodological choices.

We are interested in questions like: how do research tools and methods promote certain forms of knowledge at the expense of others? How do they convert empirical data? What are methods good at “seeing” and what do they conceal? When and how are method choices political? What happens to research when methods become fashionable or are abandoned?

We welcome analytical debates on the value of methods, concerning digital methods and beyond. We are interested in ways to bypass the quantitative and qualitative divide in research and encourage papers to combine and compare different kinds of methods to highlight and discuss aspects of research.

Please send your abstracts (max. 300 words) by August 15th with the following e-form:

Add four to five keywords to your abstract in order to facilitate the allocation of individual papers to different workshops. The deadline for final papers is October 9, 2018. The maximum length for final papers is 2000 words. Doctoral students who give a presentation of their paper will be awarded with 2 study credits. You can also attend the conference without a paper (it will be awarded with 1 credit). The study module codes are: SOST-936 or PYAM-940

Accepted presenters will be notified by August 31st.

On behalf of the organizing committee,
Tiina Käkelä, doctoral programme planner

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