For the first time in its 33-year history, Canada’s Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference is being hosted at Brock University.
The location isn’t the only new aspect of this year’s conference, affectionately known as “The Qualitatives.” The conference’s theme, Visual Research Methods and Visual Ethnographies, is also a first.
“This is the first major Canadian research conference that merges qualitative methodologies, visual research methods and visual ethnographies while also continuing the Qualitatives’ long-standing tradition of showcasing excellent Canadian and international research from emergent and established researchers,” notes Andrea Doucet, a Professor in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies who holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Gender, Work and Care, and one of the conference’s organizers.
“Qualitative researchers and ethnographers usually use interviews, participant observation, and narrative approaches that rely on told and written stories,” Doucet explains. “Visual researchers complement these approaches by thinking about how the visual can enhance knowledge making and its outcomes—for example, in documentary films, photographic exhibits and digital storytelling.”
The innovative conference theme has resonated with researchers from around the world. Brock will welcome nearly 150 presenters from across Canada and the US, as well as international visitors from India, Australia, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Ecuador, Russia, South Africa, Spain and Japan.
Some fifteen presenters from Brock’s transdisciplinary hub, the Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI), will participate in the conference, including featured speakers David Butz (Geography) and Nancy Cook (Sociology), who will give a talk on their decades of research in Pakistan. Additional featured speaker sessions will run daily. Kirsten Emiko McAllister of Simon Fraser University was to deliver a keynote address Wednesday evening entitled Photography and Visual Methodology: Questions of Witnessing and Memory.
Other key events include panels on Publishing in the Digital Age and Filmmaking and Social Justice. The latter panel will be followed by screenings of films made by the panelists, including Paul J.A. Chaput (Planting Stories, Feeding Communities: Knowledge, Indigenous Peoples and Film), Karol Orzechowski (Maximum Tolerated Dose), and Joanne Green (Outside the Ring: The Shape Your Life Program).
After the conference, key proceedings will be published in special issues of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, the Canadian Review of Sociology, and Studies in Social Justice.
The conference, funded in part by a SSHRC Connection grant, runs at the Four Points Sheraton from May 11-13. Day passes are available for people who are interested in attending select sessions or talks, and students can attend for free. Please visit www.qualitatives.ca for program details.