Seminar Series

This monthly seminar series brings together academics, higher degree researchers, post-graduate coursework students and those interested in relational approaches to research. The overarching purpose of these seminars is to facilitate a research environment that is focused on pushing the boundaries of what is known and producing cutting edge relational research. Organized by Dr Scott Eacott, this is an innovative and intellectually stimulating series with participants working together to improve the quality of both individual and collective research programs.


Who should attend?

These seminars will be of value to current and aspiring researchers working with relational approaches to scholarship. However, any person with a vested interest in relations and relational theories in their broadest sense would benefit from attending.


What you can expect to get from these seminars?

These seminars will provide an opportunity for participants to engage with, critique and unpack a current piece of relational research (e.g. working papers or published works). Participants can expect theoretical, methodological and empirical ideas in relating the focus article to their individual and collective research program.


What will you have to do to get the most from these seminars?

Participants must commit to reading the focus article prior to the meeting (a pdf of the article will be forwarded via email following RSVP). This can be combined with the challenges and successes of experience in the field. Come with as many questions regarding the work as you like. Some key points to consider include: What does this mean for my research program? Where does this fit with our combined research agenda? And What does this mean for the advancement of relational approaches?

The 2018 Schedule is to be confirmed, but will run Feb-Nov. It is planned that the seminars will take place on the second Thursday of every month at 11:00am in room 124 John Goodsell Building (UNSW Sydney). Tentative focus readings for Feb-June include:

08 Feb

Depelteau, F. (2018). Relational thinking in sociology: relevance, concurrence and dissonance. In F. Depelteau (Ed.), The Palgrave handbook of relational sociology. New York, NY: Palgrave.

08 March

Donati, P. (2017).  Relational versus relationist sociology: a new paradigm in the social sciences. State of Affairs, 12, 15-66.

12 April

Eacott, S. (2018). Starting points for a relational approach to organizational theory: a conceptual glossary. Working paper.

10 May

[need a volunteer]

14 June

Planned all day ‘Relational Prospects’ workshop


Seminar structure

While fluid in their nature, the following serves as a guide for seminar structure:

  • The first five minutes of each seminar will be house-keeping, including progress of previous papers.
  • Five minutes will be allocated for the author (or chair) to orientate the paper in broader discourses (e.g., target outlet), how it fits within a trajectory, and links to any collective research agenda.
  • At least 40 minutes will be allocated to rigorous and robust discussion around the theoretical, methodological and/or empirical implications of the text. The purpose of this dialogue is to strengthen the intellectual quality of the paper to maximize the chances of publication (working paper seminar) or broaden our intellectual engagement (recently published paper seminar).
  • The final five-ten minutes is assigned to the seminar chair to synthesize the discussion. In the case of a ‘working paper’ seminar, some of this time should be allocated to the author to outline next steps in moving the paper towards submission.


Seminar protocols

  • Papers will be distributed to the mailing list at least one week in advance;
  • Participants are expected to have read the paper prior to attending. This will allow for rigorous and robust dialogue and debate on the paper; and
  • The seminar chair (a rotating role) will be responsible for posing questions and moderating the discussion (and in the case of the ‘reading’ seminar, selecting an appropriate recently published paper).