The Program – Virtual Symposium

¡ATENCIÓN! el simposio es bilingüe Inglés/Español. Para traducir estas mismas páginas por favor da click arriba a la derecha en el logo del traductor de “Google”. Selecciona la opción en “español”

The program for the 3rd International Symposium on Relational Research will include a mix of keynote talks followed by small group conversations, as well as online poster and paper presentations, and online dialogues.

Presentations  and small group dialogues – Live conference call/webinar using a Zoom Conference Calling Platform

Day 1 – Sept 25 (Tuesday)  All Translated. (English/Spanish)
US Eastern time

  • 10:00 – 10:15   Welcome and Opening
  • 10:15 – 11:15    Keynote 1 – Ken Gergen and Sheila McNamee (see below for details) 
  • 11:15 – 12:00    Small groups breakouts (same language groups)
  • 12:00 – 12:15    Break
  • 12:15 – 1:15     Keynote 2 – Indigenous Research – Monica Mulrennan
  • 1:15 – 2:00       Small group breakouts (same language groups)
  • 2:00 – 2:30       Keynote 3 – Community Research – Kristin Bodiford, Celiane Camargo Borges, Jan DeFehr

Asynchronous – Posters, Papers, Online Discussions for the rest of the day on the Taos Online Learning Platform (ning).

Day 2 –  Sept 26 (Wednesday) All Translated.(English/Spanish)
US Eastern time      

  • 10:00 – 10:15     Welcome
  • 10:15 – 11:15      Keynote 4 – Carolyn Ellis and Jenny Helin  (see below for details) 
  • 11:15 – 12:00      Small groups breakouts (same language groups)
  • 12:00 – 12:15      Break
  • 12:15 – 1:15       Keynote 5 – Writing for the Journals – Harlene Anderson and Saliha Bava  (IJCDP), Gail Simon (Murmurations), Ron Chenail, Dan Wulff, and Sally St. George (TQR)  
  • 1:15 – 2:15          General closing session
  • 2:15 – 2:30         Closing instructions (How to continue in Ning. etc.) 

Asynchronous – Posters, Papers, Online Discussions for the rest of the day on the Taos Online Learning Platform (ning).

Sept. 21 – 28 – Join Online for Asynchronous – Posters, Papers, Online Discussions on the Taos Online Learning Platform (

The Keynote Talks:

Keynote 1 – Insights on How Research is Changing
Keynote talk and dialogue with Sheila McNamee & Ken Gergen
25th September 10.15 – 11.15 am NY time

Research is changing. From a positivist fundamentalism approach towards a more relational ontology and a relational orientation to research. The subject/object split is being replaced by the notion of co-researchers and co-authors, transforming our research practice from mirroring to more future forming visons of inquiry. This enables research to take new heights and shape new worlds.

During this keynote, Sheila and Ken will invite you into a dialogue based on their insights:

  • How social construction first undermined positivist fundamentalism, then opened the door to multiple paradigms and the qualitative movement
  • How questions about ideology and the subject-object split have enabled a move to a relational ontology
  • How ethics and research are relational processes
  • How studying therapeutic processes generated a relational and transformative view on research and writing
  • How research is moving beyond snap-shot representation that mirrors a fixed world to a future forming vision of inquiry

Keynote 2 – Research from an Indigenous Perspective
Keynote and dialogue with Monica Mulrennan
25th September 12:15 – 1:15 pm NY time

In this conversation, we will explore the nuances of doing research, as a non-native/first nation’s people, with people from these communities. We will also reflect on the questions: How do we engage in research processes in ways that do not reinforce colonization? What do we have to keep in mind when attempting to do research that contributes to decolonization?

“If we assume we are guests, we are welcome. 
If we assume we are welcome, we are no longer guests.”

Prior to the keynote we invite you to watch this 5-minute video
Decolonizing Methodologies: Can relational research be a basis for renewed relationships?

Keynote 3 – Community Research
Keynote with Kristin Bodiford, Celiane Camargo-Borges, Jan DeFehr
25th September 1:45 – 2:30 pm NY time

Specific research examples of community research will be shared that are foundationally dialogic and collaborative with hopes for generative and transformative possibilities for all involved.

Celiane Camargo-Borges and Kristin Bodiford will share their experience working in collaboration with Health Nest Uganda to strengthen health and health services from the point of older persons and health professionals.

  • Collaborative Design Research in Uganda: Strengthening Health & Health Services
  • They would like to offer the following resource to explore an orientation that Celiane and Kristin have developed in their thinking and practice of doing research called – Designing Research. Designing Research offers ways of ‘being’ in research that brings a sense of attentiveness, relationality and connection to research and the co-creation of knowledge and practices that are useful, that support generative change, and that intimately connect research to daily practice.
  • Bridging Research and Practice: Illustrations from Appreciative Inquiry in Doctoral Research

Jan offers her practice example of action research embracing dialogic inquiry with a local community health clinic. Jan DeFehr will be able to share soon an article on Dialogic social inquiry. Stay tuned!

  • DeFehr, J. N. (in press). Dialogic social inquiry: Attunement, responsivity, and answerability. International Journal of Collaborative-Dialogic Practices.
  • DeFehr, J. (2008). Transforming encounters and interactions: A dialogical inquiry into the influence of collaborative therapy in the lives of its practitioners. Published doctoral dissertation. Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Retrieved from

Keynote 4 – Doing Relational Research: Compassionate and Collaborate Interviewing/Dialogic and Evocative Writing
Keynote with Carolyn Ellis & Jenny Helin
September 26, 10:15 – 11:15 am NY time

This discussion will focus on doing interviews from a relational ethic of care, which emphasizes the role of connection and feeling to guide our work. Using this approach, the researcher asks: what is going on here, what is needed to make this interaction go well, to honor the other person and bring more love and kindness into what we do and who we are as researchers.

Researchers and participants work collaboratively, sharing authority and responsibility. They listen deeply to, speak responsibly with, feel passionately for, share vulnerably with, and connect relationally and ethically to each other with care.

Then researchers—often in collaboration with participants—write and tell stores empathically, respectfully, and evocatively, accompanied by a desire to relieve or prevent suffering and bring readers into the emotions and relational dynamics of the story. We will discuss this research approach and provide a short (8 minute) excerpt from an interview with a survivor of the Holocaust to demonstrate and open discussion about this method.

Prior to the keynote we invite you to watch this 8-minute movie illustrating inquiry practice:

Furthermore, we suggest a few articles that we encourage you to read to become acquainted with the guiding philosophies and practices behind our work:

  • Bochner, A. P. (2018) “Unfurling Rigor: On Continuity and Change in Qualitative Inquiry”, Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 24(6), pp. 359 –36
  • Ellis, C. & Rawicki, J. (2017) “The Clean Shirt: A Flicker of Hope in Despair”, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography pp. 1 –13, DOI: 10.1177/0891241617696809
  • Helin, J. (2013) “Dialogic listening: toward an embodied understanding of how to “go on” during fieldwork”, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 8(3), pp. 224-241,
  • Helin, J. (2015) “Writing Process After Reading Bakhtin: From Theorized Plots to Unfinalizable “Living” Events”, Journal of Management Inquiry, Vol. 24(2), pp. 174 –185
  • Helin, J. (2016): “Dialogical writing: Co-inquiring between the written and the spoken word”, Culture and Organization, DOI: 10.1080/14759551.2016.1197923
  • Rawicki, J. &Ellis, C. (2011) “Lechem Hara (Bad Bread), Lechem Tov (Good Bread): Survival and Sacrifice During the Holocaust”, Qualitative Inquiry, DOI: 10.1177/1077800410392337

Keynote 5 – Editors’ Wisdom: What Everyone Ought To Know About How To Publish Relational Research
Keynote withHarlene Anderson and Saliha Bava (IJCDP), Gail Simon (Murmurations), Ron Chenail, Dan Wulff, and Sally St. George (TQR)
Sept. 26th 12:15 – 1:30 pm NY time

Six journal editors from Murmurations, The Qualitative Report, and the International Journal of Collaborative-Dialogic Practices, share ideas and suggestions on how to improve our manuscripts and research reports to get published in qualitative research journals. Relational research methodologies could contest traditional qualitative methods, designs, and reports, these experienced presenters will discuss how to minimize barriers to disseminate relational research work.

Questions for small group dialogues if you have them:

  • What have been the main barriers to publish your relational research?
  • How have you coped with the challenges to disseminating your research?

Links, articles, resources that you want to share: