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.
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.
Currently, 26 co-chairs are collaborating to organize 9 independent Virtual Communities focused on the following areas:
• Contemporary Feminist Political Theory
• Critical Disability Studies
• Critical Whiteness Studies
• Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice
• Environmental Political Theory
• Inclusive Teaching and Pedagogy
• Interpretive Methods in Political Science
• Planetary Justice
• Political Theory
Please visit VC webpages for further details on their leadership, focus, and format. See https://wpsavc.com/ for a unified calendar of Virtual Community events.
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. Join or renew as a full or Virtual Communities-limited WPSA member at http://www.wpsanet.org/member/join.php.
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. You may contribute here: https://www.wpsanet.org/forms/donation.php
We welcome input on this new WPSA initiative. Please send feedback about specific Virtual Communities to the co-chairs for that community. Please send feedback about the initiative in general to Cheryl Hall, WPSA VC Program Chair, at chall at usf.edu.