Keynote Speakers | Conference ThemeTypes of Presenations | ScheduleConference Housing

When: TBD
Where: University of Missouri–St. Louis, J.C. Penney Conference Center

Situated Inquiry: Community, Context and the Researcher

The 9th St. Louis Qualitative Research Conference (QuaRC) will convene March 7–9, 2013, on the University of Missouri–St. Louis campus. QuaRC is an interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students to present research conducted with qualitative methods and to engage in
dialogue about issues of epistemology and representation.

Keynote Speakers

Shirley Brice Heath | When Culture and Poverty Meet the Brain

Researchers working with interviews, observations, and stimulated recall methods must rely on behavioral evidence for their conclusions.  Many questions regarding how learning works remain unanswered. However, cognitive neuroscientists have in recent years initiated research that helps scholars who typically use behavioral research better understand what observational data may signal. Heath will address several particularly troublesome questions about how cultural and socioeconomic factors affect the brain at work learning new information that is coded in symbol systems (e.g., language, mathematics, science, etc.). She will raise challenging issues regarding the relative roles of formal schooling and informal learning opportunities that can be offered by sites such as museums, community gardens, and other public cultural resources. 

The Jane Zeni Lecture will be delivered by Shirley Brice Heath, Margery Bailey Professor of English and Dramatic Literature and Professor of Linguistics, Emerita, Stanford University. Brice Heath studies learning environments within families and underresourced communities. A linguistic anthropologist, she is best known for her longitudinal research on how children develop oral and written language patterns and uses through their language socialization within families and community settings. In the past decade, her research has given close attention to how out-of-school learning situations in which the young follow pursuits of their own interests lead them to read structured symbol systems of all types – virtual and real, from games and arts sites to forests and sports statistics. She focuses on the joint project work of young people who follow patterns of explorations that artists and scientists also use. Her recent research is informed by cognitive neuroscience findings that can supplement explanations of learning documented through observations and recordings of behavior. She is the author of the classic Ways with Words: Language, life, and work in communities and classrooms (Cambridge University Press, 1983/1996) and the sequel volume, Words at work and play: Three decades in family and community life (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Sharan B. Merriam, Professor Emerita of Adult Education and Qualitative Research at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, will present a study on traditional healers in Malaysia and will contextualize this study with some reflections on cross-cultural research. Sharan Merriam has published 26 books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters. Among her most recent books are, The Jossey-Bass Reader on Contemporary Issues in Adult Education (2011), and Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation (2009). She has been a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Research Fellow in Malaysia, and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in South Korea and South Africa. She has received numerous honors and distinctions for her academic contributions.

Nicholas E. Husbye is a teacher educator and literacy researcher in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, TESOL, and Special Education at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. With interests in multimodality, digital literacies, and classroom practice and inquiry, his research and teaching seek to highlight the ways in which young learners engage in literacy practices within complex meaning-making systems mediated by socio-cultural factors in addition to existing and emerging technologies. Prior to joining the faculty at UMSL, Nicholas worked as an early childhood educator, completing his Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Conference Theme: “Situated Inquiry: Community, Context, and the Researcher” 

Conference theme will focus on:

  • Connecting family and community life and school and out-of-school situated learning experiences.
  • Engaging youth within the situated reality of their media saturated world.
  • Learning from cross-cultural research and researchers.
  • Exploring how research methods and situated inquiry evolve in an increasingly global world.
  • Analyzing and representing situated data in an array of forms and media – visions and challenges.

The QuaRC planning committee invites faculty, graduate students, and field-based practitioners to contribute to this forum. We especially welcome papers connected to the conference theme; when appropriate, please note this connection in the ‘keywords’ line. However, qualitative research from any relevant field of study is welcome and encouraged. There are venues for symposia, papers, round tables, and data analysis sessions, for completed work and support for work in progress.

Registration Fee

Thanks to a generous gift from Susan Salesky Rudin, we are able to offer the following registration fees:

  • $49 graduate students
  • $79 academic faculty and all others
  • $29 one-day pass for graduate students
  • $49 one-day pass for faculty and all others
  • $25 Qualitative Interviewing Preconference Workshop

ALL presenters MUST BE REGISTERED. Fees include materials and some meals.

For registration questions contact, Diana Rehagen at (314) 516-6590. For general conference questions, contact Jim Jordan at (314) 516-7250. 

QUARC 2013 Conference Chair: Professor Wolfgang Althof, althofw@umsl.edu, (314) 516-6818

Types of Presentations

  • Paper: Report of a completed qualitative (or mixed methods) research project or analysis of a methods issue arising from research or conceptual contribution. Papers (20 minutes each) will be thematically grouped into paper sessions.
  • Symposium (themed group presentations): Three or four paper presentations on focused topic (with or without discussant) or other collaborative format (60 or 90 minutes total). Groups are self-organized.
  • Research Roundtables provide an opportunity for those who have qualitative research in progress – including dissertations – to informally discuss aspects of their work with a small group of interested conference participants.
  • Data Analysis Session: Consult with experts and peers on segments of your data analysis (20 minutes for presentation and discussion). Proposals should state clear questions about data analysis; include the data to be addressed, i.e. field notes (max. 2 pages), interview transcripts (max. 2 pages), audio or video tapes (maximum 1.5 min.), or archival documents.

Conference Housing

UMSL Conference rates have been secured at the Drury Inn St Louis Airport ($89/room, includes Free Hot Breakfast Buffet) and Pear Tree Inn St. Louis Airport ($69/night, includes Free Hot Breakfast Buffet) or UMSL campus dormitory room ($20/night).

Please make your hotel reservations by Thursday, February 7, 2013 to receive your group rate.  Reservations made after this date will be subject to prevailing rate and availability.   

Graduate Students wishing to secure housing on campus in university dorms may do so by submitting a completed housing request form: http://www.umsl.edu/~umslconf/form_guest.html.  The rate is $20/night/person and all rooms are singles. Please make your room reservations at least 3 days in advance. Please note that no shuttle service is provided from airport, however Metrolink, light rail, may be taken from the Airport to UMSL South Campus to access University Housing.