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Conference Logo for Engaging Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a four-day conference, Engaging Anthropology, October 3-6, 2019 as part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. Our conference theme, Engaging Anthropology, is meant to highlight a history of engaging with the many challenges of the day. At this moment of escalating precarity and deepening inequalities, of resurgent nativisms, social dislocations, and ongoing colonialism—and with climate change threatening life as we know it—how can we approach anthropology and mobilize anthropological theory and methods to help us make sense of and respond to these conditions, as well as identify and work towards alternatives?

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From photovoice to computational modeling, ISSR has advanced methodology workshops to expand your research and persuasion toolkit this summer. Since 2012, ISSR has offered a varied program of advanced research methods training each summer, through hands-on workshops taught by specialists in their fields. These two- and three-day courses are designed and priced to be accessible for faculty, graduate students and research professionals seeking to expand their methodological skills.

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On February 21 2019, a full house packed the ISSR lab to explore research on how gender affects the conduct of research and professional life more broadly for social scientists. This article summarizes the discussion highlights, and shares valuable resources for those interested in the topic. This seminar was the second in our Social Science and Social Location series which focuses on the ‘positionality’ of researchers, asking how our social location informs the way in which we go about our scholarly lives, the questions we ask, the approaches we take to inquiry, and the way that we conduct our scholarship more broadly.

Panelists in seminar: Sonia Atalay, Linda Tropp, Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Kiran Asher

A full house packed the ISSR lab for the first event in ISSR’s seminar series on Social Science and Social Location. The central question of this panel was “How does where we stand affect what we see, and what we can know as scholars?” Responses came in the form of four thought-provoking expositions on the politics of creating social science that reflects non-traditional academic origins, asks questions that the mainstream is not asking, honors histories and standpoints that have traditionally been excluded from scientific discourses, and claims a vital and legitimate – if fiercely challenged – place in the scientific enterprise. 

How do longstanding theories of social interaction hold up when communication shifts from in-person to online interaction? And how can novel research methods, applied by collaborative teams of social scientists and computer scientists to new forms of online data, help us re-imagine the mechanisms driving social life?

ICPSR data fair: data: powered by you.

We are excited to announce the 2018 ICPSR Data Fair, "Data: Powered by You." This conference on October 1—5, 2018 is virtual, free and open to the public. We will explore topics such as data transparency, data activism, sharing data, and more. The Data Fair will feature over 20 webinars hosted by expert presenters and ICPSR's very own Official and Designated Representatives. 

On Friday, October 20, a crowded house of social scientists, computer scientists, and planners gathered in the new ISSR lab to discuss insights emerging from a National Science Foundation funded project on the social sciences and big data. Leading the dialogue were the project’s principal investigators, who have each been program directors at the National Science Foundation: Susan Sterett, Director of the School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Kelly Joyce, Director of the Science, Technology & Society Center and Professor of Sociology at Drexel University.

Workshops logo

ISSR announces its 2017 summer program in advanced research methods - ten short courses spanning a range of methodological frontiers. 

Course offerings have been curated by ISSR Research Methodologist Dr. Jessica Pearlman, and will be taught by specialists in their fields as part of ISSR's mission to promote excellence in social science research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and beyond. These short courses are designed to support the methods and training needs of students, academics, and professionals to enhance their education and research success.

Unbounding Ethnography image

The Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst requests presentation and poster proposals for the first interdisciplinary graduate student conference on ethnographic methodologies held on our campus.  The November 4-5 2016 conference is titled Unbounding Ethnography: Theory and Method Beyond the Disciplines, with Keynote address by Michael Burawoy, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. 

The “replication crisis” that is raising questions about the reliability of scientific research has been widely discussed in the fields of psychology and medicine, but has important ramifications for all scientists –social and natural. At a jam-packed April 8 seminar co-hosted by ISSR and the Computational Social Sciences Institute, ISSR Assistant Director Henry Renski (Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning) moderated a panel of five scholars from across the Colleges of Information and Computer SciencesNatural Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences, as they explored key issues, implications, and attempted remedies that this replication debate has raised. The lively discussion that ensued points to a hunger to respond to the epistemological, methodological and institutional questions that underlie the replication debate.

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