Minority Politics Online Seminar Series

Minority Politics Online Seminar Series

By Ana Bracic, Mark J. Brandt and Nazita Lajevardi, Michigan State University

Scholars of minority politics are found across disciplinary boundaries, including in political science, sociology, economics, and psychology. They also can be found across countries and continents because the study of groups and their oppression has relevance cross-culturally. A key challenge for the field—and, indeed, for most fields in the social sciences—is the creation of intellectual connections across disciplinary and national boundaries. Historically, however, numerous constraints restricted interactions and scholarly dialogue across large swaths of the field, further siloing scholars in their already-narrow communities. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, invitations to scholarly presentations, attendance at conferences, and opportunities for presenting papers were largely dependent on financial resources and personal networks that often are available exclusively to individuals at elite institutions that are proximate to one another geographically. Indeed, the costs of attending a conference vary greatly among participants. These costs are particularly high for academics from low-income countries, scholars from countries located far from the conference destination, those who must secure visas to be able to travel professionally, and many who are caregivers and disabled individuals. These costs also are problematic for graduate students who are in precarious non-tenure-track positions and academics who work at institutions that provide minimal or no travel funding (Nicolson 2017).

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