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Call for Abstracts: “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods”

Call for Abstracts: “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (SMUS Conference) 23 – 26.09.2021 (Deadline: 31.05.2021)

Call for Abstracts
for the “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (SMUS Conference)
and “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana”
in cooperation with ESA RN21 “Quantitative Methods”
23 – 26.09.2021, Gaborone, Botswana
(Deadline: 31.05.2021)

Dear Colleagues,

We hereby invite you to submit an abstract for the “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (SMUS Conference) and “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” in cooperation with ESA RN21 “Quantitative Methods” 23 – 26.09.2021, organised and hosted online by the University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.

About the Conference

The “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS) together with the Research Committee on “Logic and Methodology in Sociology” (RC33) of the “International Sociology Association” (ISA) and the Research Network “Quantitative Methods” (RN21) of the European Sociology Association” (ESA) will organize a “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (“SMUS Conference”) which will at the same time be the “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” from Thursday 23.09 – Sunday 26.09.2021, hosted by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. Given the current challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will convene entirely online. The conference aims at promoting a global dialogue on methods and should attract methodologists from all over the world and all social and spatial sciences (e.g. area studies, architecture, communication studies, educational sciences, geography, historical sciences, humanities, landscape planning, philosophy, psychology, sociology, urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning). Thus, the conference will enable scholars to get in contact with methodologists from various disciplines all over the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from various methodological angles. Scholars of all social and spatial sciences and other scholars who are interested in methodological discussions are invited to submit a paper to any sessions of the conference. All papers have to address a methodological problem.

Please find more information on the above institutions on the following websites:

If you are interested in getting further information on the conference and other GCSMUS activities, please subscribe to the GCSMUS newsletter by registering via the following website:


Conference Sessions:

  1. Decolonizing Social Science Methodology – Towards African Epistemologies
  2. Decolonizing Social Science Methodology – Overcoming Positivism and Constructivism
  3. Decolonizing Methodologies and Epistemologies: Discourse Analysis and Sociology of Knowledge
  4. Culturally Sensitive Approaches for the Global South – Potential New Directions of Empirical Research
  5. Critical Conversations on Bagele Chilisa’s Indigenous Research Methodologies
  6. Policy Analysis and Political Economy
  7. Researching the History of Postcolonial States with Qualitative Methods
  8. Hermeneutics ‒ Interaction ‒ Social Structure
  9. Interpretative and Multi-Method Approaches to Global-South-Migration
  10. Process-Oriented Micro-Macro-Analysis
  11. City Networks between the Structural and the Everyday: Methods that Bridge Macro- and Micro-Perspectives for a Better Comparative Understanding of Cities
  12. Methodologies for the Investigation Spatial Transformation Processes
  13. Human Centric Approaches on Urban Futures
  14. Methods of Architectural Research
  15. Art and Design Based-Research, Cross-Disciplinary Approaches for Material Knowledge Production
  16. The Contribution of Urban Design to the Qualitative Methodology Discourse
  17. Mapping for Change? Resituating ‚Slow Time‘. Craftwo/manship and Power
  18. Applying Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Urban Sustainability Projects
  19. The Role of ‘Productive Interactions’ between Researchers and Stakeholders in Creating Rigorous and Relevant Research for Urban Sustainability
  20. Knowledge Creation in Informal Settlements: The Process, Ethics and Outputs of Co-Productive and Community-Led Research Methods
  21. Fieldwork in the Global South – Shedding Light into the Black Box
  22. Survey Data Quality in Interviewer-Administered Surveys in LMIC Contexts
  23. Assessing the Quality of Survey Data
  24. Digital Methods in Action: Use, Challenges and Prospects
  25. Researching Climate Change Communication: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era
  26. Money and Digitalisation in the Global South
  27. Methods in Food Studies Research
  28. Locating the Religious/Secular in Africa: Methodological Challenges Conveners
  29. Ethical and Methodological Dilemmas of Social Research in Violent Conflict Situations

Submission of Papers

All sessions have to comply with the conference organization rules (see below). If you want to present a paper, please submit your abstract via the official conference website: https://gcsmus.org between 20.02.2021 and 31.05.2021. You will be informed by 31.07.2021, if your proposed paper has been accepted for presentation at the conference. For further information, please see the conference website or contact the session organizers.


Conference Organizers:
Gabriel Faimau (University of Botswana, Botswana) and Nina Baur (TU Berlin, Germany)

Botswana Organizing Team: Gabriel Faimau, Sethunya Mosime, France Maphosa, Godisang Mookodi, Ikanyeng Malila, Gwen Lesetedi, Latang Sechele, Esther Nkhukhu-Orlando

Rules for Session Organization (According to GCSMUS Objectives and RC 33 Statutes)

  1. There will be no conference fees.
  2. The conference language is English. All papers therefore need to be presented in English.
  3. All sessions have to be international: Each session should have speakers from at least two countries (exceptions will need good reasons).
  4. Each paper must contain a methodological problem (any area, qualitative or quantitative).
  5. There will be several calls for abstracts via the GCSMUS, RC33 and RN21 Newsletters. To begin with, session organizers can prepare a call for abstracts on their own initiative, then at a different time, there will be a common call for abstracts, and session organizers can ask anybody to submit a paper.
  6. GCSMUS, RC33 and RN21 members may distribute these calls via other channels. GCSMUS members and session organizers are expected to actively advertise their session in their respective scientific communities.
  7. Speakers can only have one talk per session. This also applies for joint papers. It will not be possible for A and B to present at the same time one paper as B and A during the same session. This would just extend the time allocated to these speakers.
  8. Session organizers may present a paper in their own session.
  9. Sessions will have a length of 90 minutes with a maximum of 4 papers or a length of 120 minutes with a maximum of 6 papers. Session organizers can invite as many speakers as they like. The number of sessions depends on the number of papers submitted to each session. E.g. if 12 good papers are submitted to a session, there will be two sessions with a length of 90 minutes each with 6 papers in each session.
  10. Papers may only be rejected for the conference if they do not present a methodological problem (as stated above), are not in English or are somehow considered by session organizers as not being appropriate or relevant for the conference. Session organizers may ask authors to revise and resubmit their paper so that it fits these requirements. If session organizers do not wish to consider a paper submitted to their session, they should inform the author and forward the paper to the local organizing team who will find a session where the paper fits for presentation.
  11. Papers directly addressed to the conference organising committee (and those forwarded from session organizers) will be offered to other session organizers (after proofing for quality). The session organizers will have to decide on whether or not the paper can be included in their session(s). If the session organizers think that the paper does not fit into their session(s), the papers should be sent back to the conference organizing committee as soon as possible so that the committee can offer the papers to another session organizer.
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