About the Symposium

 This one-day event, to be held on October 19, 2019, will feature concurrent workshops in black, postcolonial, and queer studies, respectively, which will allow participants to receive feedback from eminent scholars and graduate peers in their individual fields and to collaboratively reflect upon “what we talk about when we talk about method.”

The Symposium is divided into two parts:

Research Methods Workshops
We have three concurrent workshops, which will be held in two 90-minutes sessions. Only accepted participants can attend these workshops. Guided by our invited scholars, we will, in these workshops, collaboratively reflect on the foundations and implications of methodological practices in Queer Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Black Studies. We hope each participant would walk away from the event with a richer understanding of “method” and, more importantly, with insights into how method and/or methodologies might inform their own projects. Each of the three workshops will consist of approximately ten graduate students and will be guided by an invited non-UMass faculty member.

Roundtable and Discussion
We have a roundtable discussion about research methods, which is open to the public. At this roundtable, our invited scholars will share their perspectives on methods in a conversation with one another and with the audience. There will be time for an interactive session with the audience at this roundtable, which will be held at South College W245.



Joy and Nirmala talking

  • We’re excited to announce that three prominent scholars will facilitate the workshops and participate in a public roundtable: Pheng Cheah, University of California Berkeley (Postcolonial Studies), Kathryn Bond Stockton, University of Utah (Queer Studies), and Jayna Brown, Pratt Institute (Black Studies).
  • There is no cost to participate in the workshops or to attend the roundtable. 
  • Lunch, refreshments and a reception included for workshop participants.


Symposium events for October 19, 2019:

  • Concurrent Workshops
    At South College
    10am – 11.30 am: Session I
    11.30 am – 12.30 pm: Lunch break
    12.30 – 2 pm: Session II
  • Coffee break
    2pm – 3pm
  • Roundtable (Open to the public)
    3pm – 5 pm: in South College, W245
  • Reception
    At the University Club (for invited guests and workshop participants)
    5.30 – 7.30 pm: Reception (Dinner) with scholars, Deans and Department Chairs.



  • Saumya Lal, English
  • Subhalakshmi Gooptu, English
  • Nirmala I. Vasigaren, English
  • Korka Sall, English
  • Thakshala Tissera, English
  • Kate Perillo, English
  • Patricia Mathews, English
  • Tyler Smart, English
  • Shannon Mooney, English
  • Anna-Claire Steffen, English