WPSA Virtual Communities bring academics together on Zoom or other virtual platforms for scholarly, pedagogical, and/or professional development in political science and related fields. Virtual Communities (VCs) are organized around a variety of academic specializations or themes. Each community meets approximately once a month in formats that may include panels, colloquia, workshops, reading or writing groups, pedagogy discussions, mentoring opportunities, peer support groups, social/networking events and more, depending on the interests of its co-chairs and participants.
Currently, 25 co-chairs are collaborating to organize 10 independent Virtual Communities focused on the following areas:
Participation in the VC program is open to full and VC-limited WPSA members (see WPSA Membership Information below for details). The steps for joining are as follows:
WPSA’s Virtual Community program has multiple purposes: to maximize scholarly engagement while minimizing climate-warming carbon emissions; to support the professional growth of those who find it difficult to travel to in-person conferences for any reason; to help democratize access to academic networks; to broaden participation in WPSA; and to provide academics in political science and related fields the opportunity for regular intellectual exchange and development throughout the year. The program is guided by aspirations to balance tradition and innovation, to attend to process as well as content, and to foster communities that are inclusive, accessible, respectful, and supportive. Recognizing the value of social connection in academic life, the program will explore creative ways to nurture community ties in the virtual environment.
Participation in the Virtual Community program is included in regular WPSA membership dues, along with discounted registration fees to WPSA’s in-person conference, subscriptions to its two journals, and eligibility to participate in all other WPSA activities. For scholars and students who are interested in participating only in the Virtual Communities, WPSA offers a limited membership that does not include these other benefits. We encourage everyone who can to join WPSA as a full member to help sustain the Association. If you have not paid WPSA membership dues within the past 12 months, you may join or renew here. If you need a specific receipt from WPSA for reimbursement from your institution, you may request one from Elsa Favila at firstname.lastname@example.org. With relatively low membership dues and conference registration fees, WPSA is a lean professional organization with a very limited paid staff. If you would like to help provide more support for the Virtual Community program and its future development, please consider donating to the program.
We welcome input on this new WPSA initiative. Please send feedback and questions about specific Virtual Communities to the co-chairs for that VC. Please use this online form to send feedback and questions about the initiative in general to the VC Program Committee.