A PDF copy of the IMM Bylaws is available here. The full text is provided below.
OF THE INTERPRETIVE METHODOLOGIES AND METHODS RELATED GROUP OF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION
Ratified June 30, 2020
Amended March 1, 2022
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Related Group Members
Members of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (hereafter IMM) Related Group (hereafter RG) of the American Political Science Association (hereafter APSA) shall consist of all those with an interest in topics related to interpretive methods and methodologies who indicate a desire to be members.
The IMM RG provides a forum for the discussion of methodologies and methods related to empirical interpretive research, as well as issues arising from their location within contemporary political science.
Interpretive methodologies and methods are informed by philosophical traditions such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, pragmatism, symbolic interaction, and critical theory. Notwithstanding their differences, these traditions presuppose that the meaningfulness and historical contingency of human life sets the social realm apart from the natural and physical worlds, when it comes to research. Although diverse in their modes of generating and analyzing data, research processes in the interpretive tradition are typically characterized by an empirical and normative prioritizing of the lived experience of people in research settings, including the documentary and visual tracings and heritage of these (what Clifford Geertz referred to as “experience-near” research), a focus on the meaning(s) of acts, events, interactions, language, and physical artifacts to multiple stakeholders, and a sensitivity to the historically contingent, often contested character of such meanings.
ARTICLE II: OFFICERS
Section 1. Executive Committee
a. Size and membership. The Executive Committee (EC) shall consist of no fewer than five (5) members. In composing the EC, the IMM shall prioritize inclusive and equitable representation of race, gender, class, ability, and sexual orientation; rank, subfield, and institutional positions; diverse international locations; and varied approaches to interpretive research.
b. Term of service. Each member serves one 3-year term. Terms should be staggered, to preserve continuity while also bringing in new members. Individuals shall not serve more than THREE terms consecutively WITH ONE EXCEPTION: a member may serve an additional consecutive year if it is necessary to complete a term as EC Chair. An individual who wishes to rejoin the EC could rotate back on after a break of one 3-year term.
c. Policy-setting. The EC is responsible for program planning for the RG and setting policies, as needed, including amending these by-laws. Members of the EC may be called upon to support the activities for which the Chair has lead responsibility.
f. Selecting new members. To recruit new members, outgoing members of the EC will identify potential candidates, making every effort to diversify the EC and IMM community as specified in Article II, Section 1(a). Vacancies shall also be announced to the entire IMM membership. Continuing Committee members are welcome to propose other candidates. Once a list of candidates is formed, the committee will decide (by majority vote if no consensus emerges) which candidates are suitable and in what order to approach them. The EC Chair (or their delegate) shall approach the candidates in the agreed upon order.
g. Timing of Rotation of EC Membership. The rotation of EC members shall take place at the time of the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. The EC Chair should initiate the recruitment process several months earlier in order to leave sufficient time to identify, discuss, and approach suitable candidates.
Section 2. Executive Committee Chair
a. Selection. The Executive Committee (EC) will choose a Chair from among its members no later than the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. EC members shall choose a chair from among themselves by a vote of the EC membership, requiring a simple majority quorum for voting and an affirmative vote by 2/3 of those voting.
b. Term of service. The term of the EC Chair is 2 years. There is no lifetime limit on the number of terms an individual may serve as EC Chair.
c. Responsibilities. The EC Chair provides continuity with respect to the purpose and workings of the RG and manages the operations of the EC. The EC Chair, either directly or by delegation to others, shall:
- liaise with APSA
- manage the selection of the Program Chair
- manage the selection of Award Committee members and chairs
- collaborate with the Program Chair on conference-related activities
- collaborate with the three Award Committees, collecting information from the Award Committee chairs about awardees and coordinating notification of the winners with the Award Committee chairs
- Maintain and keep updated the list of current service roles for the RG (Appendix 6).
Contact with Program Chair designate: After the EC suggests possible new Program Chairs and the order in which they should be contacted, the EC Chair contacts them, in sequence, with an invitation.
Announcing incoming Program Chair: After a new Program Chair agrees to serve, the EC Chair notifies the EC, lets APSA know, and posts an announcement to the IMM RG APSA Connect webpage.
Coordinating the new Call for Papers and its posting at APSA: The EC chair shall provide the incoming Program Chair with a copy of the previous year’s Call for Papers, if they desire. The incoming Program Chair submits the (revised) copy to APSA by the deadline. Both the EC Chair and Program Chair shall check the APSA RG page to make sure that the information has been updated, and if not, to contact the conference staff person for follow-up.
Designating and staffing the Award Committees: The EC chair or an EC member delegated by the EC chair contacts prospective Award Committee members to invite them to serve, including asking one in each one in each group to serve as chair.
Award Calls for Nomination: The EC chair posts the Calls for Nominations for each Award and contacts prospective presses. Later, they also prepare the certificates for each award winner or delegate that task to any Award Committee chair or to a member of the EC who can produce attractive certificates.
d. Removal of Chair. The chair may be removed by a signed petition of 2/3 of the full EC membership.
Section 3. Program Chair
a. Selection. The Program Chair is invited by the EC serving as the Nominating Committee.
b. Term of service. The Program Chair serves for one APSA “conference year,” that is, from the summer before the Annual Meeting to the following summer. There is intentional overlap each year for a “hand off” from one chair to the successor.
Before the APSA Annual Meeting
The Program Chair drafts the Call for Papers. For a sample Call for Papers, see Appendix 1.
The deadline for submissions shall be the same as for the APSA Annual Meeting.
The process for submission shall be the same as used for APSA Organized Sections.
The Program Chair shall announce the Call for Papers.
The Program Chair shall review submissions and compose the designated number of panels. The Program Chair should seek to leverage more panels by cosponsoring with other sections wherever feasible. Cosponsoring gives the RG more visibility on the program.
The Methods Café is also sponsored by IMM, with QMMR. Organized and run by a sub-committee of two scholars (who need not be members of the IMM EC), the Methods Café does not count against the panel allocation. The Program Chair should reach out to the the QMMR Program Chair to be reminded and asked to cosponsor it. The IMM RG Program Chair coordinates administrative aspects of this process.
The Program Chair shall put in the request for a business meeting time slot and, if the Group has available funds, for a reception.
The Program Chair shall check the APSA Annual Meeting online program for accuracy and work out corrections, as needed, with APSA conference staff.
The Program Chair shall announce the business meeting and panels via the I&M listserv [see Section IV(2)] and the APSA Connect page.
The RG may also sponsor Short Courses and/or Working Groups. The Program Chair, working with the organizers of those activities, might include notice of these along with the panels.
The Program Chair shall plan the business meeting: putting together the agenda [for a sample agenda see Appendix 2, as well as other posted at the APSA Connect webpage for the IMM RG]; posting the agenda on the APSA Connect page and to the I&M listserv; making copies of the agenda to hand out at the meeting; lining up someone to take notes/minutes.
The Program Chair is expected to take concrete steps to publicize IMM panels and encourage attendance at the panels.
At the annual meeting
The Program Chair hands out the agenda and presides at the business meeting.
The Program Chair makes sure someone takes notes (minutes).
After the annual meeting
The Program Chair posts the minutes on the APSA Connect page, along with the Award announcements.
Section 4. Award Committees and Chairs
For descriptions of awards and nomination procedures, see Article III.
Membership and term of service
Award Committees shall consist of three members, selected by the EC Chair or the EC Chair’s delegate in collaboration with the EC. The terms of service on Award Committees is one year.
The EC serves as the Award Committee for the Grain of Sand Award; the EC Chair serves as Chair of the Grain of Sand Award Committee.
Notifying award winners: The chair of each Award Committee should notify the relevant EC member (designated by the EC Chair to oversee the award) of the award winners and honorable mention recipients, if any. The Chair-designated EC member will then notify the winner, copying the EC Chair on the notifications, and send a separate group notification to the EC as a whole.
Preparing and presenting citations: Each Award Committee is charged with preparing a citation explaining the selection of the award winner; the Award Committee chair may take responsibility for drafting it. The Award Committee chair shall email the citation to the EC chair prior to the APSA meeting, who will post it to the APSA Connect page. The Award Committee chair should also be present at the Business Meeting at APSA to present the award, or arrange for another member of the Award Committee to do so. In the event that no Award Committee member can attend the meeting, the award will be presented by the EC chair or a designated representative.
Certificates: The EC Chair arranges (or delegates the production of) all three award certificates, ensuring some overall similarity across them each year.
ARTICLE III: AWARDS
Section 1. Hayward Alker Student Paper Award
Papers are to be submitted to the chair, who circulates them to the other two members. This is to facilitate record-keeping and make sure that all members have all the papers.
The academic year for this award is defined as September 15, YEAR 1 to September 14 YEAR 2, to accommodate papers presented at the large ECPR conference that has usually immediately followed APSA. This is for an award to be given in YEAR 3. So, for an award to be given at the 2011 meeting, papers presented in AY 2009-2010 [from September 15, 2009 to September 14, 2010] are eligible.
Deadline for submission: January 31 of the award year. The Award Committee may push back the deadline so long as it leaves itself sufficient time to select the winner on schedule.
The award committee’s decision should be made no later than May and the chair of the committee should notify the winner and honorable mentions (if any), to give people sufficient time to make plans to attend APSA to receive their award.
For a sample text of Call for Nominations, see Appendix 3. For a sample text of a recent citation of a winning paper, see Appendix 4.
Section 2. Charles Taylor Book Award
Books should be submitted directly to each committee member.
Chair will circulate a list of books received to the other 2 members, just after the deadline, to make sure that all members have received all the books.
The year of copyright, as printed on the copyright page of the book, is considered to be the year of publication, even when the book appears a month or so before the copyright year. [Publishers sometimes give a November or December book a copyright of the subsequent year. For the purpose of this award, it is the published copyright year that determines the year of eligibility]
Deadline for submission: January 31 of the award year. The Award Committee may push back the deadline so long as it leaves itself sufficient time to select the winner on schedule.
The decision should be made no later than May and the chair of the award committee should notify the winner and honorable mentions (if any), to give people sufficient time to make plans to attend APSA to receive their award.
For a sample text of a recent Call for Nominations, see Appendix 3. For a sample text of a recent award citation, see Appendix 4.
Section 3. Grain of Sand Award
The Grain of Sand award recipient is selected by the EC.
The EC Chair is responsible for receiving and circulating nominations and/or generating ideas for discussion within the Committee.
The EC Chair notifies the recipient—this should be done by May of the award year, to enable travel plans.
The EC Chair arranges (or delegates the production of) the award, which has been a fossil of some sort [trilobyte; seashell] with stand, and the plaque engraved with the RG’s name, the Award name and year, and the winner’s name.
The Award call each year should include the text of the poems for which it is named: William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” and Wisława Szymborska’s “View with a Grain of Sand.” These poems are contained in Appendix 5.
For a sample text of a recent Call for Nominations, see Appendix 3.
Section 4. Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence
The award shall be made every other year and presented at the APSA Annual Meeting, during the business meeting or reception of the IMM CG.
The nominated work should have been published during the two calendar years prior to the year of the APSA meeting at which the award would be presented (i.e., 2019-2020 for the 2021 award). In the case of a journal article, eligibility is determined by the date of initial publication (being the date of the journal issue in which the article appears, not the “online first” date). In the case of a book chapter, eligibility is based on the hardcover version of the book’s copyright date. If there is no hardcover version of the book, then eligibility is based on the softcover copyright date). The Award Committee is not obligated to make an award in any given round.
A statement should be submitted to the Award Committee chair along with the submitted work explaining how it fits the domain of the award. One copy of a nominated book should be posted to each member of the Award Committee; one copy of a book chapter or article should either be posted or emailed (in .pdf format) to each committee member.
For a sample text of a recent Call for Nominations, see Appendix 3. For a sample text of a recent citation of a winning work, see Appendix 4.
ARTICLE IV. MODES OF COMMUNICATION
Section 1. APSA-Connect
The general membership page at APSA-Connect is the group’s archive and resource page. It has business meeting agendas and minutes, Calls for Papers, and award announcements. It also has a space for syllabi and working papers.
The EC may elect to use email as a primary mode of communication.
Section 2. Interpretation and Methods listserv
The I&M listserv may serve as a main avenue for communication. Emails are archived.
ARTICLE V: IMPLEMENTATION AND AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS
Section 1. Implementation
These bylaws shall be made available on the RG website and through APSA Connect. The bylaws shall become effective upon approval of a simple majority of the Executive Committee as constituted at the time of ratification.
Section 2. Amendment
Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any current member of IMM. Amendments must be proposed and submitted to the EC in writing, and the EC chair shall circulate proposed amendments ideally for a minimum of 2 weeks amongst EC members. Amendments shall normally be Amendments shall normally be voted upon at an EC meeting to be held close in time to the annual business meeting. If an amendment is deemed urgent, at the prerogative of the Chair, the Chair may call a separate meeting with reasonable notice.
Passage of any amendment to the bylaws shall require a simple majority of EC members to be in attendance, and a 2/3 affirmative vote among those present. Any EC member can submit written feedback on proposed amendments, which shall be shared by the Chair amongst the EC in advance of a meeting on the proposed amendment. Electronic polling shall not be permitted for amendments to the bylaws.
APPENDIX 1: SAMPLE CALL FOR PAPERS
Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group
Call for Papers APSA 2013
2013 Program Chair: Fred Schaffer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; email@example.com
This Conference-related Group provides a forum for the discussion of methodologies and methods related to empirical interpretive research, as well as issues arising from their location within contemporary political science.
Interpretive methodologies and methods are informed by philosophical traditions such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, pragmatism, symbolic interaction, and critical theory. Notwithstanding their differences, these traditions presuppose that the meaningfulness and historical contingency of human life sets the social realm apart from nature. Although diverse in their modes of accessing and analyzing data, research processes in the interpretive tradition are typically characterized by an empirical and normative prioritizing of the lived experience of people in research settings, including the documentary and visual tracings and heritage of these (what Clifford Geertz referred to as “experience-near” research), a focus on the meaning(s) of acts, events, interactions, language, and physical artifacts to multiple stakeholders, and a sensitivity to the historically-contingent, often-contested character of such meanings.
We call for papers, panel, and roundtable proposals that explore interpretive methodological issues or that apply interpretive methods (e.g., political ethnography, ethnomethodology, discourse analysis) in ways that demonstrate their “comparative advantage” for empirical research across the subfields of political science. Proposals that reflect on how political science itself is situated in the webs of meaning and historical context that it studies will be especially welcome.
Deadline: the APSA deadline for all conference submissions [date in December 2012 TBA].
Submissions: via the APSA conference portal at www.apsanet.org [follow Conferences > Annual Meeting > Call for Proposals > Related Group Contact Information > Interpretive Methodologies and Methods].
Inquiries to the Program Chair.
Posted also to: IMM RG page at APSA Connect – http://community.apsanet.org/APSANET/Directory/CommunityDetails/?CommunityKey=2d63fe2c-d008-4f65-9e26-99781fb0b047
and the Interpretation and Methods listserv –
APPENDIX 2. SAMPLE BUSINESS MEETING AGENDA
Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group
Business Meeting 2013
Palmer House, Salon 6 Friday, August 30, 12.15-1.15
1. Report from this year’s program chair: Fred Schaffer, University of Massachusetts
[Note: This report includes such things as # of proposals submitted; # accepted; thanks to cosponsors…]
2. Report on Short Course ‘The Methods Studio—an Advanced Workshop in Interpretive Methods’: Lee Ann Fujii
3. Award presentations
Hayward Alker best paper award [presented by Renee Cramer, for the committee]
To Devorah Manekin, UCLA; for “Collecting sensitive data: On the challenges of studying violence in conflict”; presented at the 2011 APSA Annual Meeting (Seattle); nominated by Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University.
Award Committee: Rich Holtzman, Bryant College, chair; Brent Steele, University of Kansas, Renee Cramer, Drake University
Charles Taylor book award [presented by Anne Norton, committee chair]
To Sharon Sliwinski, University of Western Ontario, for Human Rights in Camera (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Honorable mentions to:
Daniel J. Levine, University of Alabama: Recovering International Relations: The Promise of Sustainable Critique (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Timothy Pachirat, New School: Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (Yale University Press, 2011)
Award Committee: Anne Norton, University of Pennsylvania, chair; Raymond Duvall, University of Minnesota, Vicky Hattam, New School
Grain of Sand award [presented by Dvora Yanow, committee chair]
To James C. Scott, Yale University
Award Committee: Patrick Jackson, American University; Cecelia Lynch, UC Irvine; Julie Novkov, SUNY Albany; Ido Oren, University of Florida; Timothy Pachirat, New School for Social Research; Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, University of Utah; Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University, chair
Jim will present some remarks.
4. Introducing next year’s program chair and the Call for Papers: Rich Holtzman, Bryant College [DY]
5. Members’ announcements
- forthcoming publications (books, articles) and publishing opportunities (CfPs, etc.):
– Patrick Jackson, new book series
– RSIM [Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods]: 2nd volume due this Fall—Cecelia Lynch, Interpreting International Politics; volumes on concepts [Fred Schaffer], narrative [Shaul Shenhav], ethnography [Tim Pachirat], and interviewing [Lee Ann Fujii] due out 2014; The Weber you thought you knew [Patrick Jackson], 2015 [Dvora/Peri]
– Interpretation and Methods, 2nd edition [ME Sharpe, OUT!] [Peri/Dvora]
Please let your publisher know about the Charles Taylor Book Award.
- Job searches coming up: who has one? Who wants one?
- Symposium on ‘IRB policy and political science field research’ – UU, March 2014 [Dvora/Peri]
- dues/donations: working on nonprofit status for bank account [Dvora]
- webpage: Tim Luke offered to help develop it; host VPI; in progress [Dvora]
6. Other business
FYI: Resources for interpretive researchers
Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (IMM) Conference-Related Group @ APSA
APSA Connect Page [APSA membership not required, but registration required]: http://community.apsanet.org/Communities1/ViewCommunities/GroupDetails/?CommunityKey=2d63fe2c-d008-4f65-9e26-99781fb0b047 OR via www.apsanet.org
Interpretation and Methods (I&M) listserve
Irregularly active; venue for posting questions, inviting discussion, exchanging information about workshops, conferences, publications, etc.
Interpretation and Method Section @ WPSA http://wpsa.research.pdx.edu
CfP deadline: September 16, 2014
2014 Program Chair: Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, California State University, Long Beach
Wednesday afternoon discussion group: 2014 co-organizers—Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, CSU Long Beach and Betsy Super, APSA
Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference
The 9th conference will take place July 3-5, 2014 in Wageningen [Netherlands]. http://www.ipa2014.nl/
Related journal: Critical Policy Studies http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1946-0171&linktype=1
National Science Foundation Workshop on Interpretive Methodologies in Political Science
Held September 1-2, 2009), the web page remains active for an undefined period of time, with bibliographic and other material. http://www.ipia.utah.edu/imps/
APPENDIX 3. SAMPLE CALLS FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS
The Hayward R. Alker Student Paper Award 2013
The Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group of the APSA invites nominations for the Hayward R. Alker award to recognize the conference paper by a Ph.D. student that best demonstrates the uses of interpretive methodologies and methods for the study of the political.
This award is named to honor the memory of Hayward R. Alker, John A. McCone Chair in International Security at the School of International Relations, University of Southern California, and former President of the International Studies Association, who passed away on August 24, 2007. From his humanistic critique of mainstream political science, to the role he played in the development and promotion of interdisciplinary, historically grounded, linguistically and hermeneutically-informed approaches to political science, Hayward Alker was a tireless champion of interpretive methodologies. His commitment to nurturing and encouraging graduate students and young scholars makes this award a doubly appropriate way to honor his contributions.
The award will be given to a paper studying any aspect of political life that either engages interpretive methodological issues or that reports the results of empirical research conducted using interpretive research methods. Usually, the award is intended to cover papers presented at a conference within the academic year preceding the academic year of the submission deadline and award. (For the purpose of this award, we will consider the academic year of eligibility as running from September 15 to September 14 of the year preceding the award year.) However, because no papers were considered for the 2012 award, the 2013 committee will review papers presented at meetings over the previous two academic years (i.e., for the award to be presented at APSA 2013, eligibility is September 15, 2010-September 14, 2012). Reflecting Hayward Alker’s eclectic approach to political studies, the conference can be affiliated with any of the US–based political science associations (e.g., APSA, WPSA, MPSA, or other regional or state meetings). It can also be another association, such as ECPR, IPSA or the International Studies Association and its regional meetings, as long as the paper was written by a student enrolled in a US graduate program.
The award will be announced and presented at the annual APSA conference during the business meeting or reception of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference-related Group (IMM RG). The award committee will, however, be under no obligation to make an award in a year in which submissions do not merit such recognition.
To be considered for 2013 the award, nominated papers must be received by January 31. Authors may nominate their own work; we also encourage chairs of panels as well as discussants to nominate outstanding papers from their conference sessions. One copy of the nominated paper should be emailed as a pdf or Word file to the chair of the award committee.
Members of the award committee for 20**-20** are:
For information on contributing to the funding of this award, please contact Dvora Yanow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Charles Taylor Book Award 2013
The Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group of the APSA calls for nominations for the Charles Taylor Book Award for the best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods.
This award is named in recognition of the contributions of Charles Taylor to the advancement of interpretive thinking in the political and social sciences. In his 1971 essay “Interpretation and the Sciences of Man,” Taylor powerfully critiqued the aspiration to model the study of politics on the natural sciences, and he cogently explained how “interpretation is essential to explanation” in the human sciences. This essay, along with Taylor’s “Philosophical Papers” and many other articles, book chapters, and volumes, have long been a source of inspiration for scholars seeking to develop and apply an interpretive approach to the study of politics.
The award will be given to a book exploring any aspect of political life that either engages interpretive methodological issues or that reports the results of empirical research conducted using interpretive research methods. We will consider books of two types. The book can engage these ideas philosophically, in keeping with much of Professor Taylor’s work and the sense of ‘methodology’ as an expression and/or application of philosophical concerns, such as with ontological and epistemological issues. The book can also present empirical research, as long as it explicitly considers the methodological issues and concerns that arose in the conduct of the research. The book can be either a single- or multi-authored book or an edited volume.
The award will be announced and presented at the annual APSA conference during the business meeting or reception of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference-related Group (IMM RG). It will normally be given to books published in a two calendar year period prior to the year of the APSA meeting at which the award is presented; the book’s copyright date will be treated as the year of publication. However, because no books were considered for a 2012 prize, eligibility for 2013 will be extended to a three-calendar year period (i.e., books copyrighted between 2010 and 2012 will be eligible for consideration for the award to be presented at the 2013 meeting). The award committee will, however, be under no obligation to make an award in a year in which submissions do not merit such recognition.
To be considered for the 2013 award, three copies of the nominated book must be received by January 31. Authors may nominate their own work; we will also accept nominations from readers and publishers. One copy of the nominated book should be sent to each member of the award committee.
Members of the award committee for 20**-20** are:
• ; and
Previous award winners:
2014: Paul Amar
2013: Sharon Sliwinski, University of Western Ontario, Human Rights in Camera (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
2012: No books considered.
2011: No award presented.
2010: Michael Loriaux, Northwestern University, for European Union and the Deconstruction of the Rhineland Frontier (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
For information on contributing to the funding of this award, please contact Dvora Yanow (email@example.com )
Grain of Sand Award
Call for Nominations 2013
The Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group of the APSA calls for nominations for the ‘Grain of Sand’ Award, which honors a political scientist whose contributions to interpretive studies of the political, and, indeed, to the discipline itself, its ideas and its persons, have been long-standing and merit special recognition.
Drawing combined inspiration from the opening lines of William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” and Wisława Szymborska’s “View with a Grain of Sand” (excerpted below), the Grain of Sand Award honors a scholar whose contributions demonstrate creative and sustained engagement with questions of enduring political importance from an interpretive perspective. Echoing Szymborska’s “We call it a grain of sand,” the award underscores the centrality of meaning making in both the constitution and study of the political; drawing on Blake’s “To see a world in a grain of sand,” the award honors the capacity of interpretive scholarship to embody and inspire imaginative theorizing, the intentional cultivation of new lines of sight through an expansion of literary and experiential resources, and the nourishing of a playfulness of mind so necessary to the vitality of social science.
The award will be announced and presented at the annual APSA conference during the business meeting or reception of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference-related Group (IMM RG). Each year’s award committee will be determined at that meeting or shortly thereafter and will work together with the IMM RG’s outgoing program chair(s). The award committee will, however, be under no obligation to make an award every year.
Nominations should include a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae and a minimum of two supporting letters summarizing the nominee’s contributions and explain the merit for this award. Please e-mail nomination materials (individually or as a unit) to the Chair of the IMM Group’s Executive Committee, Jane Doe, (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than March 1 of the award year.
Members of the award committee for 20**-20** are:
Previous award winners:
2014: Deborah Stone
2013: James Scott, Yale University
2012: No award given
2011: Anne Norton, University of Pennsylvania
2010: Raymond Duvall, University of Minnesota
2009: Lloyd Rudolph, Susanne Rudolph, emeriti, University of Chicago
For information on contributing to the funding of this award, please contact Dvora Yanow (email@example.com )
Routledge’s Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence
Call for Nominations 2021
Sponsored by Routledge and the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (IMM) Conference Group of the American Political Science Association
Deadline for nominations/submissions: February 1, 2021
Scope/Eligibility (see below for detail): books, journal articles, and chapter-length publications
The Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (IMM) Conference Group of the American Political Science Association announces the second round of the biannual “Routledge’s Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence.” The award, funded by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, is to be given to books, journal articles or book chapters, in recognition of the late Professor Fujii’s contributions to that area of inquiry.
Dr. Fujii, who died unexpectedly in March 2018, was Associate Professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Her main field of study was comparative politics, as an Africanist specializing in genocide studies and (post-)conflict settings. Recently, she had expanded her research agenda to include the historical conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the U.S. south. In the course of her research, she developed a methodological expertise in interviewing.
The award honors her creative contributions to the study of political violence, including methods for doing such research. In her 2009 book Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda, as well as in her posthumously forthcoming book Show Time: The Logic and Power of Violent Display and other writings, Dr. Fujii developed fresh ways to investigate, conceptualize, and explain political violence in places as diverse as Rwanda, Bosnia, and the United States.
Among her methodological contributions, three innovations stand out:
- her path-breaking relational approach to the production of lying and truth-telling in interviews (in “Shades of truth and lies: Interpreting testimonies of war and violence,” Journal of Peace Research 47 (2): 231–241, 2010, and in her 2018 Routledge book on relational interviewing);
- the contributions of what she called “meta-data” in assessing the veracity of interview narratives (in “Five stories of accidental ethnography: Turning unplanned moments in the field into data,” Qualitative Research 15 (4): 525–539, 2015); and
- her novel dramaturgical approach to analyzing political violence and its display (in “The puzzle of extra-lethal violence,” Perspectives on Politics 11 (2): 410-426, 2013, and the forthcoming book).
This award recognizes published works that most innovatively study political violence from an interpretive perspective, memorializing Dr. Fujii’s approach to political research, especially as articulated in her recently published Interviewing in Social Science Research: A Relational Approach (Routledge/T&F 2018), the fifth volume in the Routledge Series in Interpretive Methods, and her overall contributions to interpretive research methods.
Two elements in the award title deserve explication. First, the term “interpretive” has developed under the influence of several key works in the so-called interpretive turn in the social sciences. What grounds the diverse methods of empirical research included under this umbrella is the intention to place human meaning-making at the center of the social science research endeavor. Being attuned to meaning-making involves a recognition of, and sensitivity to, the ambiguities of human experience, an idea that lies at the heart of Lee Ann Fujii’s work. Researchers presuppose that meanings are negotiated and inter-subjectively constructed, and they often deliberately investigate efforts to promulgate or resist particular meanings, at the same time as they explore the variation of meanings across context. By studying the symbols, rituals, stories, and other artifacts through which actors make sense of their worlds, researchers seek to reveal the intricate, evolving connections between taken-for-granted understandings and human activities and practices. Moreover, an interpretive perspective maintains a sensitivity to the forms of the data. Interpretive researchers conceive of evidence broadly and do not elevate any one form or genre as superior to another.
Second, in line with Dr. Fujii’s own efforts both to expose more hidden and systemic types of harm (racial and gender discrimination, in particular), as well as to understand what drives people to kill, the nominated work may take any type of political violence, broadly construed,
as its concern. The violence might be direct and physical; it might be entrenched and structural, inflicting various forms of harm based on race, gender, class, economic, and other inequalities; it might be cultural and symbolic, serving to justify, normalize, or naturalize harm or injustice. This award understands political violence to include not only violence between states (the traditional understanding of war and its aftermath) and between factions within a state, such as in civil wars, but also the ongoing “wars” against terrorism, possibly also against drug abuse, and also, significantly, domestic and sexual violence. Research on inter-state and civil wars has shown how that violence can be, and often is, intertwined with sexual violence. The use of rape to terrorize a population, for example, was particularly strong in the Yugoslavian (Serbian- Croatian) wars, one of Professor Fujii’s areas of research. And then there is the sort of political violence committed by the guards at Abu Ghraib, a topic other political scientists have taken up.
Bringing both of these elements together, and in keeping with IMM’s focus and that of the Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods, in which her 2018 book was published, the award will recognize works that not only report on findings, but which engage the methodological entailments and/or methods challenges of studies of political violence, broadly construed. Consideration will be given to interviewing, as in Dr. Fujii’s research, but also to other methods.
The award committee will consider not only books and journal articles, but also chapter-length publications. In addition to considering chapters from edited books, eligibility will also extend to chapters from monographs that do not focus on political violence as a whole, but which include an outstanding and innovative methodological chapter (including, e.g., methodological appendices) whose arguments could be applied to the study of violence.
Eligibility years and submissions
The award is to be made every other year and presented at the annual American Political Science Association (APSA) conference during the business meeting or reception of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group. The nominated work should have been published during the two calendar years prior to the year of the APSA meeting at which the award would be presented (i.e., 2019-2020 for the 2021 award). In the case of a journal article, eligibility is determined by the date of initial publication (the date of the journal issue in which the article appears). In the case of a book chapter, eligibility is based on the hardcover version of the book’s copyright date. If there is no hardcover version of the book, then eligibility is based on the softcover copyright date). The Award Committee is not obligated to make an award in any given round.
People nominating works for the award—they may be self-nominated—should submit a statement along with the submitted work explaining how it fits the domain of the award. One copy of a nominated book should be posted to each member of the award committee; please email the committee chair to let her/him know that it is being submitted. One copy of a book chapter or article should either be posted or emailed (in .pdf format) to each committee member. If sent by mail, please notify the committee chair that it is en route.
Award Committee for the 2021 award
Cecelia Lynch, Chair Professor, Political Science University of California, Irvine 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697 firstname.lastname@example.org
Frederic Charles Schaffer
Professor of Political Science University of Massachusetts, Amherst Thompson Hall, 200 Hicks Way Amherst, MA 01003 USA email@example.com
Associate Professor of Political Science Butler University
4600 Sunset Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46208 USA Rlturne1@butler.edu
APPENDIX 4. SAMPLE AWARD CITATIONS
Hayward Alker Best Paper Award, 2011. Konstantin Kilibarda’s “Clearing Space: An Anatomy of Urban Renewal, Social Cleansing and Everyday Life in a Belgrade Mahala” is a theoretically sophisticated examination of politics in hard-to-see spaces. Training his lens on the Roma of the Gazela Bridge in Belgrade, Kilibarda lays bare the process by which a translocal embrace of neo-liberal economics marks the Roma for displacement to make way for better transport links. The paper is thoroughly researched: using textual and other evidence, Kilibarda produces a powerful analysis of the discourse of both transnational and local institutions—how they construct the Roma as “passive, defeatist” objects in need of the social improvement policies sponsored by these institutions. At the same time, he reconstructs the voice of the Roma themselves through texts like hip hop lyrics and press conference transcripts. Lucidly written, the paper showcases the best features of interpretive research—problematizing what otherwise might seem unproblematic, laying bare multiple layers of power relations and their disconcerting consequences, and showing that the outcome only “makes sense” when one considers some very intensely political practices of meaning-making.
For these reasons, we are honored to award Konstantin Kilibarda the 2011 Hayward R. Alker Student Paper Award.
Charles Taylor Book Award, 2010. The committee deemed European Union and the Deconstruction of the Rhineland Frontier, nominated by Nick Onuf,to be a first-rate scholarly work with a magisterial temporal, archival, and conceptual scope, breaking new ground as a work of interpretive analysis with a highly original thesis that illuminates the historical and discursive interplay among critical geography, identities, and the legitimacy of governing structures. We are confident that your book will be read and assigned for years to come, and are extremely pleased to award it the first Taylor Prize.
Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence, 2019.
Sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group and the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (IMM) Conference Group of the American Political Science Association
The Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference Group @ APSA is delighted to present the 2019 Lee Ann Fujii Award for published works that most innovatively study political violence from an interpretive perspective, to:
Jana Krause (University of Amsterdam), for her book
Resilient Communities: Non-Violence and Civilian Agency in Communal War (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
In this meticulously researched and theoretically sophisticated work, Professor Jana Krause explores key factors that contribute to the escalation of communal violence to the threshold of civil war and contrasts them with forces that succeed in preventing such escalation. Through detailed field research on religiously based communal violence in Indonesia and Nigeria, Professor Krause unpacks complex layers of ethnic, religious, partisan, economic, and political grievances among groups coexisting in rural and urban areas that have been besieged by riots, massacres, and organized conflict that persist over decades. In an exemplary interpretive design for comparative research, Krause analyzes “natural experiments” in both nations—examining adjacent communities that are subject to parallel social, economic, and political cleavages but are distinguished by the fact that one community succumbed to sustained communal violence, while the other did not.
Probing the factors that contribute to such markedly different outcomes is particularly difficult in conflict zones—”environments where for every violent incident often at least two distinct narratives exist.” During 17 months of field work over a five-year period, Professor Krause employed multiple qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, “accidental ethnography”) to probe the memories of community members whose lives had been systematically transformed through trauma. Conducting 125 interviews with 98 individuals (academics, journalists, government officials, religious leaders, NGO staff, former militia members, neighborhood organizers, survivors, and family members of combatants), she probed fragile memories and explored how these were woven into communal narratives that provided accounts of mass violence or its aversion. Through her detailed conversations, she sought to understand both how local communities made sense of violence and how they negotiated ongoing ethnic and religious animosities before, during, and after the cessation of violence. By comparing contradictory accounts and sifting evidence provided by multiple participants, she analyzed patterns of violence to distinguish whether such violence took place in the form of pogroms or two-sided battles; whether violence was perpetrated primarily by armed civilian supporters of political groups or organized communal militias; whether clashes took place in urban and/or in rural areas, and how these clashes interlinked; and whether and how the state was complicit in the organization of violence.
By listening carefully to her interlocutors and sifting through the fragmentary evidence they provided, Professor Krause identified powerful grounds for rejecting a host of received views about communal conflict, civilian agency, and zones of peace. Rather than blaming communal violence on colonialism, outside agitators, or political elites who mobilize ethnic and religious hatreds for their own purposes, Professor Krause carefully traces the political mobilization of “everyday violence networks” (thugs, vigilantes, gangs) and their alignment with political and religious actors at local, regional, national, and transnational levels. Through her interview evidence, she shows how social identities are polarized through rumors as well as direct and indirect experiences of violence and how that traumatization renders civilians more vulnerable to conflict narratives and more likely to support armed groups for self-protection and revenge.
Professor Krause also traces how young men, who suffer severe economic marginalization, are transformed from mobile gangs to militias deployed to protect their communities and to exact revenge for harms inflicted, resulting in massive militarization of local orders in the context of weak security forces and a retreat of the state. By contrast, non-escalation results from “three interlinking and path-dependent social processes”: depolarization of inter-group relations and rejection of narratives of religious conflict; community leaders and residents who construct and circulate an alternative, inclusive social identity (e.g., “the people of Wayame” or “the people of Dadin Kowa,” “Indonesians” or “Nigerians”) that trumps ethnic and religious identification; and intensive collective action to persuade potential fighters not to attack. She notes that this persuasion relies on much more than rhetoric. Local leaders may resort to violent means, such as repression, physical punishment, and expulsion of violence instigators to insulate the community from escalation of violence. Refuting the notion that communities that avoid communal violence are havens of tolerance or zones of peace, Professor Krause demonstrates how civilian agency is forged in the midst of fear, anxiety, and animosity as diverse groups come together to adapt to changing circumstances marked by internal and external threats, yet, devise concrete mechanisms to resist the politics of hate.
Kristen Monroe, Chair (Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine)
Mary Hawkesworth (Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University)
Timothy Longman (Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations, and Director, CURA: Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University)
APPENDIX 5. POEMS INSPIRING THE GRAIN OF SAND AWARD
(to be included with the Call for Nominations)
|View with a grain of sand — Wisława Szymborska |
We call it a grain of sand,
but it calls itself neither grain nor sand.
It does just fine without a name,
whether general, particular,
incorrect, or apt. Our glance, our touch mean nothing to it.
It doesn’t feel itself seen and touched.
And that it fell on the windowsill
is only our experience, not its.
The window has a wonderful view of a lake, but the view doesn’t view itself.
The lake’s floor exits floorlessly,
and its shore exists shorelessly.
Its water feels itself neither wet nor dry
and its waves to themselves are neither singular or plural.
They splash deaf to their own noise
on pebbles neither large nor small.
And all this beneath a sky by nature skyless
in which the sun sets without setting at all
and hides without hiding behind an unminding cloud.
A second passes.
A second second.
But they’re three seconds only for us.
Time has passed like a courier with urgent news.
But that’s just our simile.
The character is invented, his haste is make-believe,
his news inhuman.
[transl. Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh]
|Auguries of Innocence — William Blake |
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro’ the eye,
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.
APPENDIX 6. CURRENT LIST OF SERVICE ROLES
Last Updated: June 2, 2020
|APSA Methods Café organizers||Biko Koenig, Sarah Wiebe|
|Coordinator for Hayward Alker Award committees||Ido Oren|
|Coordinator for Charles Taylor Award committees||Joe Soss|
|2020 APSA Program Chair||Nick Smith|
|2020 Hayward Alker Award committee||Stacey Yadav (chair), Carolyn Holmes, Christian Sorace|
|2020 Charles Taylor Book Award committee||Robyn Marasco (chair), Matthew Longo, Erica Simmons|
|2020 Grain of Sand Award committee||Entire EC|
|2021 Lee Ann Fujii Award committee||Cecilia Lynch (chair), Fred Schaffer, Robin Turner|
|APSA Short Course coordinator||Rina Williams|
|Bylaws committee||Rina Williams, Nick Cheesman|
APPENDIX 7: Sample Description for IMM Short Course
Last updated: May 27, 2021
2021 APSA Short Course
The Methods Studio: Interpretive methods and civically engaged research
Rina Williams Rina.Williams@uc.edu
Crystal Whetstone firstname.lastname@example.org
The Methods Studio Short Course has two parts: a workshop and a “crit,” described below. The focus of this year’s workshop (Part I) is “Interpretive Methods and Civically Engaged Research.” Following that, the “crit” (Part II) will entail focused discussion of interpretive methods in works in progress.
Workshop: “Interpretive methods and civically engaged research: possibilities and potential”
Civically engaged research—an approach that at its core is grounded in a notion of the mutually beneficial co-production of knowledge with those outside the academy and is centrally concerned with power, politics, and governance—is gaining traction within the discipline of political science. For their part, interpretivists, through their research efforts and related methodological discussions, have heightened disciplinary attention to matters of reflexivity, contextuality, co-generation of data, and research ethics. What lies at the intersections of these approaches? What are the linkages and overlaps between civically engaged research and interpretive methods and methodologies?
Dr. Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, Co-Director of the newly established American Political Science Association Institute for Civically Engaged Research and Professor of Political Science at California State University Long Beach, will discuss the potential such intersections might provide, with a focus on aspects they share in common and could be built upon, as well as attention to distinctions that might complicate such possibilities. The talk will also utilize some key examples that will help us to consider ways in which such a combination might strengthen both approaches, as well as the research methods and relevance of the discipline more generally.
References and planned course readings
“Crit”: Exploring research projects
Three researchers, selected in advance by application, will present their work in progress, focusing on questions about the research methods they are using and/or the ways they have written their methods sections. For each researcher, an assigned respondent, who has read the work in advance, will lead off discussion to draw in comments and questions of others in attendance such that the discussion serves to educate all. The crit enables more prolonged engagement with each research project and emphasizes supportive critique with an eye toward publication and reviewers’ reactions.
Application to present research for discussion in the Crit [Part II]
Please use this application form and limit yourself to 2 pages, double spaced. Send it to the Interpretive Methods Short Course organizers [Rina.Williams@uc.edu and email@example.com] by June 1, 2021. Selected applicants will be notified by mid-June. Open to all subfields, all interpretive methods, all levels/ranks.
Institutional affiliation: _________________________
Email address: _____________________________________
Ph.D. student? at what stage (starting research, finished research, writing up)? _____________
Postdoc? Year Ph.D. granted __________
Faculty? rank ____________________
Independent researcher? Highest degree _______ Year received ________
1. Focus of the research project you wish to discuss at the Crit (1 sentence):
2. Summary of research focus/question (1 paragraph):
3. Types (“genres”) of data used in this research project:
4. Methods [to be] used (distinguish between methods for generating data and methods for analyzing them, where appropriate):
5. Methods questions [up to 3] concerning this research project which you would be bringing to the Crit:
6. Please list the names of 3 to 5 scholars from whom you might like to receive individualized feedback.
 Note: The poem texts are contained in Appendix 5. They should be included with the published Call for Nominations each year.