ISSR Summer Methodology Workshops | Exploring Action Research for the Publicly Engaged Scholar | Kent Glenzer and Elisa Martinez

Event date/time: 

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
University of Massachusetts, Amherst | 107 Bartlett Hall

We regret that this workshop has been cancelled. Please consider our other methodology offerings this summer, and contact Elisa Martinez to explore opportunities to connect with other action researchers. 

Description: University-based scholars are increasingly tuning in to opportunities to engage broader publics with their research and writing. Public engagement around scientific knowledge can strengthen our societies and our research. Important progress has been made in building academic researchers' interest and ability to communicate their findings to actors shaping public life in media, policy, practitioner and community arenas. Less recognized, however, are opportunities for meaningful public engagement in the process of conducting rigorous academic research. This kind of co-production of scientific knowledge is the hallmark of a growing body of work known as action research - and more specifically with participatory action research (PAR).

Action research is constantly evolving to address the contexts and questions being addressed, and while it has an active life beyond the academy, it is not commonly seen in academic departments and journals. In this two-day workshop, we will examine the political commitments, epistemological underpinnings and methodological range of action research today, and use readings, practical exercises and discussion to explore the opportunities and challenges it presents for the academic scholar. The workshop will balance hands-on practice with the design and techniques of action research with reflexive discussion and problem solving on what it would take to bring action research more fully into the toolkit of the publicly engaged scholar.

Instructors:  Kent Glenzer and Elisa Martinez

Kent Glenzer is an Anthropologist and Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He is also an Associate Editor of Action Researchan international, interdisciplinary, refereed journal dedicated to the development of the theory and practice of action research. He has 25 years of experience working with non-governmental organizations and public sector agencies focused on international development, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, where he lived for 13 years. His expertise as an academic, researcher and practitioner is in civil society, social movements and policy advocacy. He specializes in organizations, organizational development, organizational behavior and culture, institutional and organizational fields, and organizational evolution and learning processes. All of his work and thinking centralizes on the power dynamics, inequalities and identity politics that surround and constitute development processes, programs, policies and strategies.

Elisa Martinez is a Doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, exploring knowledge politics and power relations in the international development enterprise. Her work builds on a career in nonprofit leadership, most recently as coordinator of a five-year action research initiative to assess CARE International's impact on women's empowerment. A co-founder of WayFair consulting – which supports organizations in using participatory methods to address the complex drivers of social and environmental justice – she has over two decades of policy and practical experience in the pursuit of global social, political and economic change. She holds degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Questions? For more information about this or any of the ISSR Summer Methodology Workshops, please contact ISSR Methodologist Jessica Pearlman (

SORRY! Workshop Cancelled

Cancellation note: In cases where enrollment is 5 or less, we reserve the right to cancel the workshop.  In cases where the registrant cancels prior to the workshop, a full refund will be given with two weeks notice, and 50% refund will be given with one week notice.  We will not be able to refund in cases where registrant does not notify us of cancellation at least one week prior to the beginning date of the workshop.