Call for Papers

20th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

May 15-18, 2024 (in person)

May 29-31 (virtual)

We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time (T. S. Eliot, No. 4 of Four Quartets, 1942).

The 20th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will be held in-person at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from May 15-18, 2024, with a subsequent virtual Congress to be held May 29-May 31.

The theme of the 2024 Congress is “Qualitative Inquiry in the Present Tense: Writing a New History”. We are in a new space, living through the lingering, traumatic effects of a global pandemic. Couple that with political and economic strife, intensifying effects of climate change, the ravages of poverty and war, and so on, and the horizons of hope and possibility begin to whither if not fade. Within and against these changing and evolving conditions under which qualitative research is thus conducted, performed, and enacted, we must imagine new ways we can write our way into and out of these spaces, imagine how we can write a new history of the present in which qualitative researchers intervene into and affect change in everyday life. To this end, we need a new language, a post-pandemic pedagogy of new terms and practices for the conduct of our research—one that considers competing if not contested pasts, presents, and futures of a qualitative research project continually in transition.

To this end, the charge of the 2024 Congress is to consider ways to better link our research and our attendant interventions to those institutional sites where private troubles are turned into public issues and public issues transformed into social policy. For we must continue to look for new ways of connecting persons and their personal troubles with social justice methodologies—toward ways of bringing about change in and with our research. In these uncertain, we need to look forward with a renewed sense of hope, but a hope that remains grounded in the reality that much work lies ahead. Collectively and collaboratively, this moment calls for a critical, performative, social justice inquiry directed at the multiple crises of our historical present. We need a rethinking of where we have been, and, crucially, where we are going–and how we will get there. Our inquiry must meet the demands of our hopeful–but evolving–future. It is in the hands of the diverse and ever-evolving qualitative research community to intervene into the challenges and demands that we face–to be present to the history that we all shape. These challenges and demands may require us to rethink our ethical, political, and methodological moorings–create new alliances and collaborations.  Although we do not know what the future may hold, we must ensure our voices will be heard as we continue to intervene into the spaces of the everyday–working toward a more diverse, inclusive, and transformative present.

We invite papers and sessions addressing a wide array of topics and themes, including but not limited to:

  • Contemporary social phenomena, including those related to higher education, identity politics, globalization, and health and well-being,
  • Methodological innovations and advancements, including those related to ethnographic practices, intersectionality, post-humanism, and collaborative research across the disciplines
  • Social Justice and Equity, including those related to marginalized voices, activism and social change, and policy development
  • Narrative and Storytelling, including poetic, performative, and arts-based approaches
  • Digital Methods, including netnography, social media, and ethical issues
  • Politics of Science, Research, and Inquiry, including funded research, audit culture, and research marketplaces
  • Co-Production, including stakeholder involvement and community impact

Sessions in the 2024 Congress will take up these topics, as well as those related to and/or utilizing: feminist inquiry; Critical Race Theory; intersectionality; queer theory; critical dis- ability research; phenomenology; Indigenous methodologies; postcolonial and decolonized knowing; poststructural engagements; diffraction and intra-action; digital methodologies; autoethnography; visual methodologies; thematic analysis; performance; art as research; critical participatory action research; multivocality; collaborative inquiry; and the politics of evidence. Sessions will also discuss threats to shared governance; attacks on freedom of speech; public policy discourse; and the changing nature of qualitative inquiry itself.

Scholars from around the world come to the Congress to resist, to celebrate community, to experiment with traditional and new methodologies, with new technologies of representation. Together we seek to develop guidelines and exemplars concerning advocacy, inquiry and social justice concerns. We share a commitment to change the world, to engage in ethical work that makes a positive difference. As critical scholars our task is to bring the past and the future into the present, allowing us to engage realistic utopian pedagogies of hope.

In consideration of our evolving (post-)Covid landscape, the 2024 the Congress will be offered in two formats.

The first will be an in-person Congress hosted on the campus of the University of Illinois (May 15-18, 2024).

The second will be a virtual Congress, held two weeks later (May 29-31, 2024).

We will begin accepting abstract submissions beginning on September 20, 2023.

When submitting your abstract, you must select the format in which you wish to present: in person only; virtual online only; in-person and virtual.

In-person Format:

The in-person format is the traditional mode of delivery for the Congress, taking place on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This year, the in-person Congress will feature pre-conference SIG days, workshops, parallel sessions, plenary sessions, and keynote addresses, as well as a special celebration in honor of Norman K. Denzin.

As part of the in-person registration fee, those attending the in-person Congress will also receive access to the virtual Congress sessions, and the option to also present their same paper at the virtual Congress. In-person attendees will also receive a copy of the annual Congress volume, a one-year subscription to the International Review of Qualitative Research, and an opening food reception.

Virtual Format:

The virtual format is the format that we successfully used during the pandemic for the 2021 and 2022 Congresses. Parallel sessions will be streamed live via the virtual Congress conference provider, CVent. Participants in the virtual format will also have access to recordings of the keynotes and select plenary sessions.

As part of the virtual registration fee, those attending the virtual Congress will receive access to all virtual Congress sessions, an eBook version of the Congress volume, and a one-year subscription to the International Review of Qualitative Research.

Celebrating Norman K. Denzin

Lastly, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the passing of Norman K. Denzin, who founded ICQI in 2005 and served as Director and then Emeritus Director until 2023, and through his scholarship and mentorship created and supported numerous spaces through which the qualitative research community could continue to grow and flourish. We are devastated by this loss, and will endeavor to uphold his vision for qualitative research as the Congress moves forward.

A special celebration in honor of Norman will be held on Thursday, May 16. More information on this celebration will be added in due course.

For more about Norman’s life, please see the obituary available at https://www.renner-wikoffchapel.com/obituary/Norman-DenzinPhD