The ECMI has begun a new series of workshops for PhD researchers in the field of minority studies.
On Saturday 17th March, six young researchers gathered at ECMI’s headquarters in Flensburg to discuss their PhD projects and to find common ground between their methodologies, theories and the challenges they face in conducting research. The workshop ‘Minorities and the Nation: Finding Common Ground’ was organised by two of the ECMI’s Junior Research Associates, who hope to establish a network of early stage researchers dealing with minority issues throughout Europe.
The participants are students at universities across Germany, as well as Slovakia and Belgium, and work within the disciplines of political science, sociology and law using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The workshop itself was structured around three session: Narratives & Perceptions, The Rules of the Game, and Minority Agency & State Structures. Each session allowed two speakers to present their work, followed by in-depth roundtable discussions with other participants.
The workshop was also open to Masters students and graduates who might be considering pursuing doctoral studies. “It’s important to have a space to develop our own ideas and connections,” said Sonja Wolf, one of the workshop’s organisers and a PhD student at the Europa University Flensburg. “Not only is it good to have constructive and supportive feedback from our peers, it’s also useful to be familiarising ourselves with the work of the next generation of minority studies researchers.”
Her co-organiser Caitlin Boulter, a PhD student at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, emphasised the unique opportunity the workshop structure offered. “It’s rare that we get the chance to present and discuss our work in such detail in such an interdisciplinary context,” she said. “ECMI’s extensive network allows us to connect with researchers from many different backgrounds, and to explore both the benefits and the shortcomings of working across various fields of study. Hopefully we can use the things we learned from this inaugural workshop to continue these kinds of productive discussions at future events.”