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Dynamics of Political Participation: Disciplinary knowledge through the prism of “area studies”

PhD student workshop

September 26, 2023 (10:00-17:00)

Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3 (Prague)

(with a possibility of online participation)

This workshop aims to bring together Ph.D. students (exceptionally also advanced Master’s students) around the theme of political participation understood broadly. It invites the participants to reflect on how their knowledge situated within “area studies” (including Central Europe, the Middle East, the Americas…) speaks to theories and concepts of the disciplines they mobilize. 

Organized one year after the international conference “Knowledge and Know-How Situated: Humanities and Social Sciences and the World” which took place in November 2022 in Paris, this doctoral students’ workshop pursues – from Prague – the reflection about “area studies”. The theme indeed has a different resonance in Prague than in Paris: our debates shall draw on the strong philological tradition of the Central European area studies while also departing from it in order to analyse the relationship between disciplinary knowledge and situated knowledge.

The workshop participants are invited to reflect on the dynamics of political participation through two non-exclusionary lenses:

1) Norms and transgressions – exploring the tensions between disciplinary knowledge and situated knowledge based on one’s fieldwork. How does “situated” fieldwork and/or archival work speak to the universalizing concepts informing the disciplines of history, sociology, political science, or gender studies? What tensions arise between the application of concepts into one’s “area” and the capacity of the latter to generate theoretical claims? To put it simply, what can “area studies” teach to the disciplines in order to advance our understanding of processes of political participation?

2) Positionality – Secondly, the workshop invites participants to critically assess their own positionality. Positionality is at the core of situated research. The participants should go beyond a static enumeration of identity markers (gender, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship, ethnicity, class…) and shall rather show how these operate during their data collection as well as during the dissemination of their research. To what extent can a thorough reflection on researcher’s positionality be at the forefront of decolonizing the approaches to political participation in non-Western contexts? Continuer la lecture de Dynamics of Political Participation: Disciplinary knowledge through the prism of “area studies”


The Summer Seminar on Nationalism, Religion and Violence in Europe (NRVSS 2018) organized by the Charles University in Prague and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, supported by the CEFRES–French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL), University of Birmingham, Humboldt University of Berlin and the Institute for the Study of Strategic Regions is ready to launch its sixth year!

31 March 2018: Deadline for those needing visas for the Czech Republic
30 April 2018: Final application deadline