Call for Posters: Academia in the Age of Comparison: Methodological and Empirical Perspectives in an Interdisciplinary Dialogue


When: June 13-14, 2019
Where: Leibniz Center for Science and Society, Leibniz University Hanover
Deadline for abstracts: March 4, 2019

Academia is in an age of comparison. Momentous processes like globalization, marketization, and digitalization are not only of general societal relevance, but are also pushed by and simultaneously push comparisons in academia. In this climate, comparison “strikes back.” Scholars not only conduct comparisons as a research method, but also turn into units of comparison themselves. Instead of conceiving comparisons as a mere intellectual operation with few social consequences, or as a social process that is not based on very specific methodological implications, we would like to emphasize the double role of comparisons as an intellectual operation in research practice, and as a social practice that contributes to creating an academic social order.

The symposium will facilitate, first, an interdisciplinary dialogue among researchers who pursue methodological and empirical perspectives on comparisons, and, second, provide a more detailed understanding of comparisons in and of academia. We have invited internationally renowned scholars of the field of comparison to pursue these perspectives. The program of the symposium will be structured alongside the following four topics:

  1. The relations between comparator and the compared
  2. Devices and instruments of comparison
  3. Consequences of comparison
  4. Histories and trajectories of comparison

The organizers invite six early-career researchers to present their ongoing studies on relations, devices and instruments, consequences, and historical backgrounds of comparison(s) in academia. In a one-and-a-half-hour poster session, authors of posters will have the opportunity to present their work and discuss the posters with the audience. Contributions from a variety of disciplines across science studies and higher education research and with a methodological, theoretical, or empirical focus on “Academia in the Age of Comparison” are welcomed. Both travel and accommodation for all poster presenters will be covered by the organizers.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is March 4, 2019. The abstracts should be sent by email to They should contain a title and not be longer than 600 words. The responses will be sent to the applicants on March 15, 2019.

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

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