Method in the Madness or Madness in the Method?

October 16, 2015 @ 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Method in the Madness or Madness in the Method?

Testing the limits of methodology for interdisciplinary research

Study Day organized by the Graduate Students in Francophone Studies
York University, Glendon Campus (Toronto)
Friday, October 16th, 2015; 8:00-6:00
Proposals due: Monday August 17th, 2015

Of what use is methodology to the novice scholar? Interdisciplinary research, transversal studies... two academic trends that are putting traditional notions of theory and methodology to the test, highlighting their potential limitations and drawbacks. While academic discourse aims for the expansion of intellectual horizons, it seems that it simultaneously sets boundaries on this process by using methodology to draw the lines. Yet, as interdisciplinary research grows in popularity, theory and methodology must strive to be innovative in order to meet the unique demands and obstacles brought forth by the crossing of various domains. Thus arises the question, under what conditions and to what extent is methodological and theoretical innovation possible in academic research?

The Masters and Doctorate students of York University’s French and Francophone Studies programs invite you to participate in a bilingual**, interdisciplinary study day to confront this very topic. This exciting event will be held on the Glendon Campus (Toronto), on the 16th of October, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Far from a traditional conference, this study day will take the form of an ‘un-conference’. In the morning, you are invited to take part in four consecutive round-table sessions, run by your fellow graduate students. During each session, you will explore four topics presented by your colleagues over the course of forty minutes, followed by a ten minute discussion led by a professor. The afternoon will focus on collective discussion and debate about the future of methodology in interdisciplinary research.

Presenters are invited to reflect upon the following questions, but are welcome to propose their own subjects relating to the place of methodology in interdisciplinary research:

  • To what extent can we attempt to play “mix and match” with methodology? Is there a specific procedure to follow when attempting such an approach?
  • How can we use choose from existing metalanguage and methodologies? What procedure, if any, must be followed when importing vocabulary from one discipline to another?
  • How does one sort through previous research? How does one acknowledge this research without rehashing the entire intellectual history of the discipline?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of choosing an interdisciplinary approach (ex. discourse analysis)? How does one justify such an approach?
  • Who can we consider to be qualified to analyze and to assess an interdisciplinary method?
  • What is the relationship between theory and methodology? How does theory inform methodology?

Please submit your 400-word proposal by August 17th, 2015 to Proposals may be written in English or in French. Considering the unique setup of this ‘un-conference’ study day, the proposals may take the form of a video or a text, but must highlight the research aims and the methodological questions you would like to address during your ten-minute presentation. Please also indicate your name and contact information in addition to your year of study and the name of your program/department/school.

For further information, please contact the event website, where new information will be posted as it becomes available:

** All participants and audience members must be able to understand French. However, you may present in English, French or in Franglais.