On the day before the start of the annual meeting, four WPSA-affiliated groups hold workshops to share research and address issues of common interest. The five workshops are (full descriptions may be found by clicking on the links below): The Monkey Cage (TMC) will host a one day workshop on Friday, April 19. Please click here for details

1) Advancing Inclusion (Workshop by the WPSA Committee on the Status of Women
2) Environmental Political Theory

3) Feminist Theory
4) Interpretive Methods and Methodology
5) Latina/o Politics
6) Philosophy for Children Workshop (P4C)
7) Professional Development and Instructional Workshops Series
8) The Monkey Cage (TMC)


To increase content on The Monkey Cage (TMC) related to global health, hunger, and poverty, TMC will host a workshop for a cohort of new guest contributors in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association (WPSA). Participants must attend a day-long workshop on Friday, April 19 in San Diego, CA. Selected participants will receive a $1500 travel stipend and TMC will provide meals during the workshop.

Facilitated by TMC editors, the workshop will engage a cohort of scholars in translating findings from their research into pieces accessible to a general audience. TMC will offer mentoring support for at least 6 months following the workshop and devote resources to publicizing participants’ TMC pieces within the relevant communities of journalists, practitioners, and policymakers.

Applications are due Feb 12. Political scientists at any stage of their career (including ABD graduate students) and working in any subfield are eligible. Priority will be given to political scientists with research interests in health, hunger, or poverty.

Questions? Email TMC editor Kim Dionne at

Ready to apply? Go to

TMC was founded in 2007 and in 2013 earned a home at the Washington Post. TMC builds a bridge between political scientists and the political conversation by creating a compelling forum for research-based discussion, developing publicly focused scholars, and fostering an informed audience. The vision of TMC is for America’s political conversation to be more informed by timely, accessible and sound research from a publicly oriented political science discipline and thereby become less dominated by evidence-free arguments.

WPSA Committee on the Status of Women Workshop
Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at the Manchester Hyatt Hotel, Location: Harbor A

This workshop will build on the momentum from the recent APSA #MeToo short course, multiple symposia on diversity and coalitions in the professsion, the symposium in PS on stories and the profession, and the APSA 2018 diversity and inclusion hackathon.

Making workplaces more equitable requires taking steps to allow everyone to thrive now. Thriving now will make it more possible to do long term work to improve workplaces, which includes diversifying leadership and building non-discriminatory cultures. The increasing use of contingent faculty increases rather than decreases vulnerability. This workshop will develop useful practices to share.

Please bring a computing device.

AGENDA (subject to change)

12:30 - 1:00 PM Welcome, introductions, light refreshments

1:00 - 2:15 PM What we’ve learned from previous work

This session will also aspire to developing lists of preferred practices to bring back to a department. Preferred practices will also be submitted to the New West blog from the caucus. Multiple strategies have come up at multiple workshops and on social media feeds, including nominating women for awards, encouraging people to submit to journals who might not have envisioned doing so, sharing information about how best to submit to journals, and stopping social activities that exclude yet are necessary for career advancement. (Examples include sporting events and outings to bars, or last-minute scheduling of department meetings.) For an example of a department’s statement, see University of Colorado Boulder Philosophy Department (2014).

2:15 - 2:30 PM Break

2:30 - 4:15 PM Learning from Mediation (MarDestinee Perez, UCSD)

The majority of people who experience workplace discrimination do not file legal complaints, for myriad reasons. Not every problem would count as a legal violation. Those who have filed legal complaints have not always found it satisfactory. The University of California, San Diego Center for Diversity and Inclusion includes peer mentoring by faculty members trained in mediation. Representatives from the office will explain their approach and discuss mediation.

4:15 - 4:30 Break

4:30 - 5:30 PM Hacking equity, 3 teams:

This session will be held jointly with the Latin/x caucus workshop (Bernard Fraga, chair).

(1) Managing rejection: Rejection is built into the profession. People who are not members of dominant groups, or who work on issues that do not work within dominant frameworks, face more rejection. Challenging the practices still requires surviving rejection now. We'll develop a shared document of strategies and tactics, drawing on what people have found helpful.

(2) Managing Hostility and Indifference. Some exclusion in the profession is indifference, in addition to hostility. Those who are hostile and neglectful have to stop. Meanwhile, everyone needs to survive in their workplaces. This session can draw together strategies for

(3) Recommendations for gatekeepers: the APSA hackathon recommended strategies for journal editors and department chairs and other gatekeepers to act more inclusively. This team will build on the work to develop guidelines. Those in the session who have a gatekeeping role can commit to acting on one point.

5:30 - 6:30 PM Reception with the Latin/X caucus at the Harbor Terrace.


Announcing the Fifteenth Annual
Wednesday, April 17, 2019- 9:00 - 5:00 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt - Cortez Hill A-C

This year the Environmental Political Theory Wednesday workshop at WPSA will take advantage of the location in San Diego to critically engage with questions of environmental activism in the border region in times of national closure and, reflecting the conference theme of Climate Change, bring together a debate about the politics and ethics of geoengineering with advocates and critics of the development of these controversial technologies. The workshop includes a professional development session on publishing and teaching environmental political theory, academic panels on geoengineering and the sustainability politics at the US-Mexico border, a border activist panel, and planning for next year, followed by a dinner together.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 1:30 - 5:45 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego
Room: Harbor F

The Feminist Theory Workshop is an annual pre-WPSA conference event where invited scholars present feminist book projects and articles. Discussants are selected to provide critical feedback to presenters. The presenters' articles/books are circulated in advance, and participants are expected to have read this work in preparation for the workshop, the majority of which is dedicated to communal discussion. All are welcome to attend.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Location: Cove

Rina Williams
Kimberley Curtis

Participants in this preconference gather to discuss research approaches that foreground questions regarding the meanings that political actors make of events, processes, movements, problems, institutions, and power relations. Please join us to honor and remember Lee Ann Fujii and her work; workshop a forthcoming book with the author; and discuss experiences using interpretive methods in our own work with all colleagues present. A schedule for the preconference follows.

2:00-2:15 PM Welcome and introductions
2:15-2:30 PM Remembering Lee Ann Fujii and her work (Peri Schwartz-Shea)
2:30-4:00 PM Workshopping with the Author
Selections from Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India
(forthcoming, U Penn 2019) with Laura Dudley Jenkins
4:00-4:15 PM coffee/break
4:15-4:45 PM Open discussion: Using interpretive methods in our own work
(all participants) This is an opportunity for scholars engaged in interpretive projects to share ideas and experiences about methodological questions, dilemmas, and successes, in the hope of fostering a more intellectually diverse culture among those who study political phenomena.
4:45-5:00 PM Wrap-up and planning for next year

Workshopping with the Author: Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India (forthcoming 2019, U Penn Press) with Laura Dudley Jenkins.

In Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India, Laura Dudley Jenkins argues that, although the right to religious freedom is enshrined in India’s constitution, mass conversions to minority religions have complicated the practice of this right, which is increasingly invoked to restrict, rather than defend, the freedoms of minorities and women.

Interpretive methods: Conversion narratives
Jenkins contrasts converts’ own perspectives on their mobility with the often patronizing assumptions about converts, women, and lower castes and the incendiary ideas about religious minorities embedded in other people’s narratives about converts and conversion. Narrative sources discussed in this book start with India’s Constituent Assembly debates and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Subsequent chapters range from official to unofficial narratives, including state-level conversion laws, government forms, court decisions, politicians’ speeches, activists’ writings, archived documents, oral histories, missionary accounts, and various print, electronic, and social media representations of converts.

Selected readings from the book will be made available to participants in advance.

Political scientists and theorists from all subfields with interests in ethnographic fieldwork, participatory-action and socially-engaged research, discourse analysis, and other qualitative methods are warmly encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, Location Harbor B

1:00-1:15 PM – Welcome, Introductions, and Announcements

1:15-2:15 PM - Session 1

Graduate Student Research Presentations
Viviana Rivera Burgos (Columbia)
Gabriela Vitela (Louisiana State)

Moderators: Ivy Cargile (CSU-Bakersfield); Angela X. Ocampo (Michigan)

2:15-2:30 PM – Break

2:30-3:30 PM - Session 2

Latina/o Political Power
Christina Bejarano (Kansas)
Melina Juárez Pérez (Arkansas)
Moderators: Sophia Jordán Wallace (Washington); Angel L. Molina, Jr. (Arizona State)

3:30-3:45 PM – Break

3:45-4:30 PM - Session 3

Speed Mentorship
Moderator: Bernard L. Fraga (Indiana)

4:30-5:30 PM - “Hacking Equity” Session (with Committee on the Status of Women)

Three teams:
(1) Managing Rejection
(2) Managing Hostility/Indifference
(3) Recommendations for gatekeepers

5:30 - 6:30 PM Reception with the Advancing Inclusion Workshop at the Harbor Terrace.

Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 10:00 - 11:45 A.M.
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor A

The aim of Philosophy for Children (P4C) pedagogy is to develop a community of philosophical inquiry. A concept emerging out of the philosophies of John Dewey and Charles Peirce, the community of inquiry emphasizes that knowledge is both socially embedded and contingent, empowering students to investigate conceptual problems collaboratively. With its focus on teaching a style of inquiry rather than specific content, the pedagogy of P4C can be applied in a number of educational spaces beyond the pre-college philosophy classroom, in particular, in the university classroom. Looking for new pedagogies to use in their classrooms, faculty and graduate students have turned to P4C in order to develop robust critical and creative thinking in addition to forming a collaborative learning community. This workshop will introduce the pedagogical framework of P4C while also providing an opportunity to practice the skills required to transform their own classrooms into a community of inquiry.

More information provided here:


Listed in Program as Miniconference: Professional and Instructional Development
Organizer: Renée Van Vechten, University of Redlands
THURSDAY, April 18, 2019, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

8:00 - 9:45 AM
Title: Developing a Formal Training Program for Political Science Teaching Assistants
Facilitator: Eric Michael French, Oklahoma State University,

Description: The purpose of this workshop is to provide a tutorial on designing and implementing a formal training session for Political Science teaching assistants. Those attending the workshop will be presented with specific strategies for preparing a training program and overcoming common challenges – both during initial training and throughout the semester. Sample training materials will be provided, and workshop participants will be encouraged to work with the presenter and other workshop participants to identify their programs’ own specific needs – and to develop a vision for a formal training program that might address them.

10:15 - NOON
Title: Educating High Need Students for Citizenship
Organizer: Diana Owen, Georgetown University,
Maria Gallo, Director, Professional Development & Special Programs, Center for Civic Education
Diana Owen, Georgetown University
Kathryn Hartzell, Georgetown University
Jenny Lee, Georgetown University

Description: The need to improve civic education in the nation’s middle and high schools is especially pressing for high-need students—students living in poverty, minority students, English language learners, and special needs students. Instructing high-need students, who have fewer civic learning opportunities and access to resources than more advantaged students, presents unique challenges to educators. Thus, the goals of the proposed workshop are twofold: 1) to demonstrate instructional pedagogies that are effective in providing civic education to high need students; and 2) to present research findings on the effectiveness of these instructional strategies in imparting civic knowledge, disposition, and skills to students.
The workshop will focus on lessons learned from the James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP), a program of the Center for Civic Education that provides professional development to teachers of high-need middle and high school students based on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution. The goals of the JMLP are to improve teachers’ civics, social studies, and American government content knowledge and to enhance their classroom pedagogy, and results from JMLP participation show that the civic literacy of students in participating teachers’ classes increased markedly. The JMLP is funded by a Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The portion of the workshop that will address effective pedagogies for instructing high-needs students will be presented by Maria Gallo who was responsible for designing and implementing the JMLP teacher professional development program. The research study will be reported by Dr. Diana Owen with Kathryn Hartzell and Jenny Lee, graduate student members of the JMLP Research Team at Georgetown University.

1:30 - 3:00 PM
Title: Inquiry-Based Teaching Using Peer Instruction
Facilitator: Maureen Feeley, University of California, San Diego,

Description: This workshop provides an introduction to using Peer Instruction (PI) pedagogy as a means to promoting inquiry-based learning in both large and small-enrollment courses. Workshop participants will participate in answering and discussing questions as the pedagogy is explained and evidence-based best practices are demonstrated. Participants interested in promoting more interactive and participatory learning in their courses, with greater opportunities for all students to participate in discussions, should leave the workshop confident in their ability to use Peer Instruction as an effective evidence-based means of achieving these goals.

3:15 - 5:00 PM
Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers
Facilitator: Megan Becker, University of Southern California,

Description: Looking to get undergraduates involved in your research, but concerned about balancing the needs of your students with your other professional obligations? Learn how to organize collaborative undergraduate research experiences, which can be applied by faculty from all areas of Political Science. We will cover the 'why,' 'what,' and 'how' of starting your own research team. We will discuss a pedagogical approach, the Stewardship Model, which combines five elements: 1) targeted recruitment of underserved students; 2) technical training; 3) applied research experience; 4) multi-level mentorship; and 5) a carefully constructed, inclusive learning community. These five elements will serve as the thematic foundations of the workshop.

Attendees will...
1) brainstorm ideas for how they might integrate collaborative teams of UGs in their own research projects
2) review useful policies for recruitment, student training, organizing collaboration, and maintaining mentoring relationships
3) discuss strategies for evaluation
4) create a community of faculty in Political Science who are interested in UG research labs and can share ideas and best practices on an ongoing basis