CFP – Dynamics of Political Participation. A PhD CEFRES–EHESS workshop

Dynamics of Political Participation: Disciplinary Knowledge through the Prism of “Area Studies”

This PhD Students Workshop is organized withing the cooperation agreement signed by EHESS, CEFRES, Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Organizers and chairs of the workshop: Lucie Drechselova (CETOBAC, EHESS), Falk Bretschneider (Centre Georg Simmel, EHESS), Mateusz Chmurski (director of the CEFRES)
Time and place: 26 September 2023 – CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1 (with a possibility of online participation)
Proposal deadline: 25 May 2023
Deadline for submission of the final papers: 15 August 2023
Language of the workshop: English
Limited budget is available to support accommodation and travel costs of selected participants.

Keynote by Olga Lomová, Charles University et Tomáš Weiss, Charles University.

Eligibility: PhD students (and advanced Master’s students) in humanities and social sciences affiliated with CEFRES, EHESS, any university in the Czech Republic or based in Central and Eastern Europe understood broadly are invited to apply.

This workshop aims to bring together Ph.D. students (exceptionally also advanced Master’s students) around the theme of political participation understood broadly. It invites the participants to reflect on how their knowledge situated within “area studies” (including Central Europe, the Middle East, the Americas…) speaks to theories and concepts of the disciplines they mobilize.

Organized one year after the international conference “Knowledge and Know-How Situated: Humanities and Social Sciences and the World” which took place in November 2022 in Paris, this doctoral students’ workshop pursues – from Prague – the reflection about “area studies”. The theme indeed has a different resonance in Prague than in Paris: our debates shall draw on the strong philological tradition of the Central European area studies while also departing from it in order to analyse the relationship between disciplinary knowledge and situated knowledge.

The workshop participants are invited to reflect on the dynamics of political participation through two non-exclusionary lenses:

  1. Norms and transgressions – exploring the tensions between disciplinary knowledge and situated knowledge based on one’s fieldwork. How does “situated” fieldwork and/or archival work speak to the universalizing concepts informing the disciplines of history, sociology, political science, or gender studies? What tensions arise between the application of concepts into one’s “area” and the capacity of the latter to generate theoretical claims? To put it simply, what can “area studies” teach to the disciplines in order to advance our understanding of processes of political participation?
  2. Positionality – Secondly, the workshop invites participants to critically assess their own positionality. Positionality is at the core of situated research. The participants should go beyond a static enumeration of identity markers (gender, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship, ethnicity, class…) and shall rather show how these operate during their data collection as well as during the dissemination of their research. To what extent can a thorough reflection on researcher’s positionality be at the forefront of decolonizing the approaches to political participation in non-Western contexts?

The workshop will take place in person in Prague but online participation will be possible in order to accommodate the selected participants. Papers will be discussed by invited scholars.

Proposal file

You shall send a single PDF file titled “NAME_Cefres_2023” containing a CV (maximum two pages) and a brief description of the planned intervention (approximately 1.500 characters, including spaces).

Please send your application by May 25th, 2023 to the following addresses:,

For more information, please contact: