Methods?: A Workshop on Methodology, Field Research, and Theory”

Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Theory Workshop: Methods?

April 6, 2017, The Graduate Center

Room 5414, All Day

Hosted by SPTSA: Social and Political Theory Graduate Student Association

About the Workshop/Mini Conference

The Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Workshop/Mini Conference on Theory, sponsored by the Social and Political Theory Student Association (SPTSA), will bring together GC students from different disciplines and perspectives to explore what it means to “do” theory. Its objectives are threefold.

First, we seek to provide an opportunity for students to practice presenting and receiving feedback on works in progress in a supportively critical environment. Second, we hope to generate unexpected connections between people, concepts, orientations, and modes of theorizing. Third, we seek to build community across disciplines for GC students doing theoretical work. The workshop thus serves as a space in which we can practice taking apart the boundaries that constrain and discipline different theoretical endeavors.

Submissions and Panels

Submissions of a 300-word abstract for in-progress papers, presentations, or performances are due by February 24, 2017; notifications should be sent out in late February. Please use the Submission Form[] to send in your abstracts.

Each panel will have a graduate student discussant. We request that all participants read the projects of their co-panelists in order to facilitate discussion.


In academia today, interdisciplinarity is necessary and valuable to understand social and political phenomena. Many scholars in the social sciences and humanities engage in inspiring research that transcends the confines of their own fields by integrating the research tools traditionally used by other disciplines. The downside of this trend is that there is no “interdisciplinary how-to guide,” rendering trial-and-error the only option for younger researchers. The task becomes even more challenging for students whose research is not only interdisciplinary, but also intends to combine theoretical/textual analysis with different forms of field work in their area. Traditionally offered “methods” courses do not necessarily serve their interests as theory/textual analysis and field research are usually considered mutually exclusive. In our quest for productive hybridity we ask the following questions in SPTSA’s Fourth Annual Workshop/Mini Conference: Methods?: How do we do research when we don’t speak the language of numbers, variables, and causalities? What is a methodology? What is the deed that breeds, supports, tweaks, or refutes theory? How do we combine field research and theory?

View the whole call for papers here:[]

Email and/or if you any questions.

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