Working Groups

The small working groups are the heart of the conference.  Each group consists of no more than 12 people.  Each person will have an opportunity to share their “work-in-progress” with the group.

Here’s how the working groups function.  The working groups meet three times during the conference, for two hours each time.  Each person has a turn to share her/his work.  The shared work may be a small bit of data or a small bit of analysis (appropriately contextualized and framed). No more than 15 minutes will be allocated for presenting the work (the moderator will stop you at 15 minutes).  We encourage you to show video segments, other data, and/or data analysis and interpretations to share with the members of the working group.  What you share should be work-in-progress, incomplete, or otherwise welcoming of discussion and alternative perspectives.  After the first 15 minutes, the rest of the group gets to discuss the shared work for 15 minutes.  They can offer suggestions for analysis, alternative interpretations, probe the shared data or data analysis for additional insights, or otherwise engage in a collegial conversation about the shared research.  While  brief clarifying questions may be asked, during the second 15 minutes the presenter should mostly be listening.   All comments and discussion should be respectful of the risk that everyone is taking in sharing work-in-progress and should be supportive.

(Note: Although we do not prohibit the use of powerpoint presentations, we discourage the use of them.  The work-in-progress sessions are intended to be informal.  Although it is certainly acceptable to use notes, please do not read a prepared paper or read lengthy text from a powerpoint presentation; the working group sessions are intended to be conversations among scholars in support of each other).

The members of a working group stay together for the whole conference.  This way, each person in the working group gets to hear and talk about the research of each person in the group.  Because we want both the first person presenting in the group and the last person presenting in the group to have the intellectual power of the whole group, we ask that everyone at the conference commit to being at the whole conference.   It is often the case that the people who are in a working group become good colleagues and friends with the others in their working group.

How do we figure out the membership of each working group?  At best we can, we try to include both senior and less senior scholars, people from different universities, and people who may have similar topics.  It is not always possible to balance all of these dimensions, but we try.

IMPORTANT:  All participants should submit the title of their small working group presentation by April 15 to   (If your title doesn’t clearly explain what the topic of your research is, please add a sentence to help us out).