SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Exploring and Expanding the Boundaries of Research Methods Conference


Date: 31 October 2008Time: 12:00 AM

Finishes: 1 November 2008Time: All Day

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Type of Event: Conference

A multi-disciplinary conference bringing research students together to focus on a range of traditional and creative research methods. 

Post-graduate courses on research methods in the social sciences and humanities typically include qualitative and quantitative methods such as participant observation, formal and informal interviewing techniques, surveying and sampling, and archival research. However, beyond the classroom or supervisory meetings, there is seemingly a lack of dialogue regarding research methods employed across the disciplines. In an effort to address this issue, research students from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the School of Oriental and African Studies are organizing a conference that will explore a variety of traditional, creative, and experimental research methods used to push and expand the boundaries of knowledge about the human condition.

This conference aims to bring together research students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, whose projects cover a range of thematic and geographic foci. However, the primary focus is on the methods used to research the topic, not merely the topic itself.

We are calling for papers that make a contribution to the body of knowledge on research methods. When submitting an abstract please note that papers should address how a particular set of research methods was used to explore the topic. Possible examples might include, but are not limited to:

  1. How displacement can be understood through research methods that include poetry, art, and/or storytelling
  2. How poverty can be understood through research methods that explore children’s perceptions of their experiences and lives
  3. How the transmission of knowledge can be understood through research methods including apprenticeship
  4. How contemporary social issues can be analyzed through social network models
  5. How urban spaces can be understood and studied through soundscapes

Papers addressing ethical concerns with regard to the use of particular research methods are also welcome.

This conference will provide an opportunity for students at all levels of research to network with others in a multi-disciplinary forum. Abstracts are welcome from research students of all disciplines and should not exceed 300 words; talks should be limited to 20 minutes.

Submissions should be sent electronically to before Monday 23 June, 2008.

It is expected that some of the papers will be considered for publication in a collected volume, and conference sessions will be aimed at providing participants with useful feedback on their papers.

Conference Organizers:
R.L. McKenzie
Mira Mohsini

Organiser: R.L. McKenzie & Mira Mohsini

Contact email:

Contact Fax: 020 7898 4699