Västerås, Sweden. June -3-4, 2021
Last day to submit: October 12, 2020 Extended deadline
After Method in Organization Studies IV (AMOS) is a conference taking place at Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden, June 3-4, 2021. The purpose with the conference is to provide an opportunity for social science researchers to meet and discuss methodological questions around epistemology of practice and epistemological practices.
Whilst an epistemology of possession treats knowledge as something that people possess, an epistemology of practice accounts for the knowing found in practice (Cook and Brown, 1999). In considering knowing as a situated activity and practice as a collective knowledgeable doing, practice-based studies (PBS) contend that the epistemology of practice is a posthumanist project that seeks to decenter the human subject and reconfigure the concept of agency within sociomaterial practices. In so doing, an epistemology of practice joins several conversations going on around relational ontology, political ontologies, communication as constitutive of organizations, assemblage theory and post-qualitative inquiry, in social sciences in general, and organization- and management studies in particular. The turn to practice, to sociomateriality, performativity, and affect, enabled by new materialism and posthumanism, elicits important questions about how we do research once we assume an ‘ethico-onto-epistemology’ (Barad 2007) or a ‘thinking with theory’ analytic (Jackson and Mazzei 2012).
The conference is organized as an occasion to travel through the movement towards a relational epistemology that is at the core of practice-based theorizing (Eikeland and Nicolini 2011, Gherardi 2001, 2016), agential realism (Barad 1998, 2003, 2007), and feminist materialism (Gherardi 2019, Ringrose, Warfield and Zarabaldi 2019, Sollfrank 2020). Within and beyond organization studies, a relational epistemology allows to look at the ongoing interaction between doing and knowing (Gherardi 2000), the knowing subject and the known object (Haraway 1988, Lenz Taguchi 2013), social and material (Orlikowski 2007, 2009, Woolgar 2002), humans and nonhumans (Law 1994). In other words, central to this epistemological argument is the notion that there is an ongoing situated process of ‘becoming together’ when the knowing subject, the object of knowledge, and the heterogeneous components that are involved in a practice are entangled. Entanglement makes all the categories of humanist qualitative research problematic. With Lather and St. Pierre (2013, p. 630) we may ask: “how do we determine the ‘object of our knowledge’ – the ‘problem’ we want to study in assemblage? Can we disconnect ourselves from the mangle somehow (Self) and then carefully disconnect some other small piece of the mangle (Other) long enough to study it? What ontology has enabled us to believe the world is stable so that we can do all that individuating? And at what price? How do we think a ‘research problem’ in the imbrication of an agentic assemblage of diverse elements that are constantly intra-acting, never stable, never the same?
As pointed out by Law, whose work inspired the initiation of the After Method in Organization Studies conferences, “if much of the world is vague, diffuse or unspecific, slippery, emotional, ephemeral, elusive or indistinct, changes like a kaleidoscope” (Law, 2004, p. 2), social science research needs to rethink itself and open to a methodological view that is “broader, looser, more generous, and in certain respects quite different to that of many conventional understandings” (p. 4).
After Methods in Organization Studies IV is meant to host a rich interdisciplinary discussion around what an epistemology of practice entails in studying organizational processes, sociomaterial practices, and the constitutive entanglement and becoming of heterogeneous components involved in research practices.
The conference welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers on topics including, but not limited to:
- Epistemic practices in PBS
- Elusive knowledges and research practices
- Practice-based studies and post-qualitative inquiry
- Non-representational practices and practice-based theorizing
- New feminist materialism and practice-based studies
- Practicing diffractive analysis in organizational studies
- The turn to practice and the turn to affect
- Writing as a research practice in PBS
- Art-based methodologies in practice-based research
Prospective contributors are invited to submit an abstract. Authors of an accepted proposal are invited to submit a full paper that will be discussed in thematic sessions.
Michela Cozza – Conference Chair