Too far, too close?

An interactive training day for junior researchers about positionality with talks and workshops

This training day, on 25 November 2021, aims to bring together junior researchers in Belgium working on topics in the field of gender studies, queer and trans studies, critical race and decolonial studies, critical disability studies and neighbouring disciplines. The event is fully booked, but you can still subscribe to the waiting list.

“How do I position myself towards my research?” is a question that early career researchers are inevitably confronted with. Within our fields, positionality is commonly used to refer to our cultural and social background and the issue of how the specific intersection of our identities influences the way we look at the world, and therefore also at our research. Increasingly, we are invited to communicate in a transparent way about our identities in terms of amongst others race/ethnicity, gender, class, bodily ability, religion, and sexuality. At the same time, some are insisting on the “objectivity” of research and the capabilities of “experts” to go beyond their own social positions. During this training day, participants reflect on the issue of positionality and research and apply it to their own research. 

The aim of this interdisciplinary training day is twofold. First, we would like to offer participants tools and practical ways to inform readers about their positionality in scientific output. Second, we would like to cultivate critical thinking regarding the way in which our research impacts society, our own lives and those of others. In that regard, it should be noted that we can be too far removed from, or too closely involved with our research. 

This day is organized in collaboration with the Antwerp Gender and Sexuality Studies Network and has been funded by an OJO grant (Support young researchers — Onderzoeksomkadering voor jonge onderzoekers) of the Flemish government.