ISA West Annual Conference 2016, Pasadena, California

September 23rd - 25th
Westin Pasadena, Pasadena, California, USA

Hosted by ISA-West


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The 2016 ISA West Annual Conference was held at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, CA September 23-24 and was coordinated by region Program Chair Amy Below and President Lui Hebron. Over 150 attendees, representing seven Western states, ten U.S. states outside the region and twelve countries, participated in the two-day conference. Conference organizers were pleased with the increased amount of conference proposals and hope to see equally high numbers for our 2017 conference.

Attendees were welcomed at the Friday evening reception by ISA President T.V. Paul who gave his thought-provoking presidential address entitled “Is Peaceful Accommodation of Rising Powers Possible?” Our Saturday luncheon featured Ole R. Holsti Distinguished Scholar Award recipient Dr. Patrick James (University of Southern California) for his contributions to scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and the West region. His keynote address was entitled “Systems of International Studies.”

The region also continued its tradition of offering the Emerging Scholars Forum professional development program wherein sixteen advanced graduate students and junior faculty were paired with senior scholars in Friday morning panel sessions. ISA West would like to express its gratitude to T.V. Paul, Mark Boyer, William Thompson and Jacek Kulger for their time and mentorship.

The Program Chair would also like to thank regional leadership that assisted with coordination efforts including executive board members Carolyn James, Amy Skonieczny, Veronica Ward, Cameron Thies, Michel Gueldry, Jennifer Rogla, Therese Anders and graduate student volunteers from the University of Southern California. Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors, the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California and the ISA Active Learning in International Affairs Section for their generous contributions.

- Amy Below, ISA-West Region President, 2016-2017

The deadline for paper/panel submissions was Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

The International Studies Association West Region is pleased to announce our 2016 annual conference, September 23th - 24th, in Pasadena, California, USA. ISA-West invites paper, panel and roundtable proposals on any subject related to international studies, broadly defined. Our conference continues its collaboration with ISA sections International Ethics and Active Learning in International Affairs, thus we especially welcome papers related to these areas.

2016 ISA West Emerging Scholar Forum

This year ISA-West will continue its Emerging Scholars Forum (ESF, funding pending). Senior graduate students and junior faculty are encouraged to apply when submitting paper proposals for the program. Similar to ISA's Junior Scholar Symposium, this is a valuable opportunity to receive in-depth feedback from a senior scholar at a regional conference.

This forum, to be held on the morning of the first day of the ISA-West conference, will place four small groups of three to four emerging scholars with a senior person in the field (totaling approximately 16 students and four senior scholars). The junior scholars and their senior scholar mentors will be grouped together with similar papers into four panels, oriented around themes such as international security, international political economy, international ethics, and international relations theory. The final composition of the panels will reflect the actual proposals received. The selection process is competitive and limited to sixteen senior graduate students and junior faculty. Final topics will depend upon the papers selected.

Each member of the panels will have read the relevant papers for their group prior to the panel. The junior scholars will make brief presentations of their work, which will be followed by comments from the senior discussant, a broader discussion of their work, its relationship to the relevant subfield, and lead the group in subsequent discussions. Non-participant observers are welcome to attend.

As an incentive to arrive early and participate, PD funds would be used to cover hotel expenses for participants. Senior scholars will receive a full night at the conference hotel, and junior scholars will receive a half a night (but may cover one or more full nights by sharing rooms). Once the emerging scholars are selected, ISA West will make a contact list available to facilitate finding roommates. To be eligible, all participants must be ISA members and registered for the 2016 ISA-West conference.

Advancement of PD Goals

This activity will provide an opportunity for junior people to network in a meaningful way with senior scholars in the field. At a minimum, they will receive feedback on their work from a senior scholar in their subfield. Ideally, they will be able to form an ongoing professional relationship with this senior person.

There are two reasons why ISA West is an ideal venue for this type of activity. First, we have a number of established scholars who regularly attend our conference and are excellent at mentoring junior scholars. They are generous with their time, expertise, and contacts. Second, ISA West is a much smaller meeting than the main ISA conference. By holding this event at the beginning of the conference, there likely will be continuing interactions among the participants as they attend the same panels and events throughout the conference.

Making the Emerging Scholar Forum Available to a Broader ISA audience

Participants will be encouraged to submit their papers presented at the Emerging Scholar Forum to appropriate ISA journals, ideally as special sections themed around each panel. Ultimately, the publication of those papers is beyond the control of the ISA West leadership, so this cannot be guaranteed.

Beyond this, ISA West will publish on its website insights from both junior and senior scholar participants about the insights that they have taken away from their participation in this activity. Participants will be asked to respond to a short survey so ISA West can get useful feedback on the structure and format of the initiative in order to future ESF activities. The survey must be submitted along with receipts for reimbursement.

Please contact ISA West President, Lui Hebron, with questions.

2016 Program Chair

Amy Below

Oregon State University

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