Call for Proposals

7th European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
University of Helsinki, 10-12 January 2024, Helsinki, Finland
Participation, collaboration and co-creation: Qualitative inquiry across and beyond divides

Participatory research, citizen science, co-creation, research creation, collaborative ways of knowing: the range of participatory approaches in qualitative inquiries has expanded in recent years, with such approaches being applied in an increasing number of disciplines as well as across paradigmatic boundaries. Acknowledging that doing qualitative research necessarily means thinking with somebody or something (Jackson & Mazzei, 2022) emphasises how collaboration and participation are at the root of all research endeavours. Participatory research designs have traditionally been associated with emancipatory, democratic, and empowering aims, and as such, they have been mobilised to involve marginalised groups in knowledge production. Thus, fields such as disability studies and childhood studies have been keen to embrace inclusive and participatory approaches, whereas several other fields, particularly those ascribing to more positivist paradigms, have been more hesitant. Post-qualitative and arts-based methodologies have been at the forefront of developing the ideas of participation in research by disrupting the subject/object divides in research settings and by emphasising entanglements and experiments involving knowing, being, doing and feeling (e.g. Koro, 2022). Furthermore, in recent decades, theoretical viewpoints drawn from feminist new materialisms and multispecies research have challenged qualitative researchers to consider a larger “crowd” of possible participants in research, including various animate, inanimate and networked more-than-human agencies, and to pay attention to the related ethical complexities (e.g. Rautio et al., 2022). These challenges have therefore complicated idealistic notions of the ethical superiority of participatory approaches and have called for more nuanced understandings of what participation is and what it does, and how sustainability, ethics, and justice might be associated with it.    

The ECQI 2024 engages with these developments with an aim to foster dialogues across and in-between disciplinary and paradigmatic divides. We invite engagement with questions such as: What does it mean to practice or enact participation in research? How are participation, voice and agency linked? What are the conditions of possibility for participation in different disciplines and among participants who are differently positioned in society? What unites and what separates differently labelled approaches with roots in different traditions of thought – and efforts to break free from them? Is participation always innocent? How can we work against the various hierarchising forces that shape academic research and the positions afforded to researchers and co-inquirers? It is time to ask: Participation - but who is invited? By whom? For whom? With what kinds of consequences?  

We, therefore, urge the ECQI 2024  to map various possibilities for working across and beyond divides along various intersecting axes of distinction that might shape or obstruct participation and inclusion in research. These include distinctions between human and non-human, academic and non-academic, science and art, activism and research, rational and affective, academic knowledge and embodied experience. We welcome submissions which engage directly with the congress theme but also those that reach beyond it and focus on timely topics within qualitative inquiries more broadly. We also welcome submissions from researchers at all stages of their careers, including undergraduate students and doctoral researchers.


Jackson, A. Y., & Mazzei, L. A. (2022). Thinking with theory in qualitative research. Taylor & Francis.

Koro, M. (2022). Speculative experimentation in (methodological) pluriverse. Qualitative Inquiry, 28(2), 135–142.

Rautio, P., Tammi, T., Aivelo, T., Hohti, R., Kervinen, A., & Saari, M. (2022). “For whom? By whom?”: critical perspectives of participation in ecological citizen science. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 17(3), 765–793.


• Tuesday, 9th January 2024: Pre-congress workshops.

• Wednesday, 10th January 2024 – Friday 12th January 2024: Main congress events.

Submission of abstracts for the conference is closed.

The European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry is the annual conference of the European Network for Qualitative Inquiry. The congress is organised in Finland in 2024 for the first time and is hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki.

We look forward to welcoming you to Helsinki!