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AIR – Atelier Idee & Ricerca is an association of researchers in social sciences, by researchers in social sciences and for researchers in social sciences.


How to use AIR?

LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES

On Air4edu.com you will find calls for papers, calls for contributions, fellowships, grants, post-doc and PhD offers, thesis prizes and sometimes openings for tenure-track positions. Help yourself!

Which topics?

The study of circulation – of people, texts, and ideas – in modern and contemporary era is the common ground of our different researches, and thus also the perimeter of the fields we cover in AIR. This frame allows us to bypass disciplinar distinction and report calls and initiatives ranging from a wide range of approaches and focuses. A non-exhaustive list of topics include:

  • political and social history (diplomatic history, labor history, international history, public history, storia politica e sociale, transnational and international approaches).
  • political /moral philosophy
  • migration / diaspora studies (wide specter, including mediterranean, transatlantic and post-colonial studies)
  • art, literature, cinema when related to social or political stakes
  • Political sciences, economics, law, when involved in a wider historical or social reflection.
  • discrimination studies (racism, nationalism, populism, gender studies, religion).

Therefore, from this frame we exclude, e.g., opportunities exclusively related to:

  • ancient and medieval history
  • art, music and literature when considered “l’art pour l’art”.

How do we select and publish these opportunities?

Among the many initiatives that fit this perimeter we try to choose all those intended for young researchers and non-tenured. For example, post-graduate events; conferences that can provide some funding to cover travel and / or accomodation. The third and last criterium is the transnational or international approach that we cherish.

In any article you will find all the essential information clearly visible: the first element of the title is the deadline, expressed in DD/MM/YY. You will find the date of the event a few lines after, because what matters is the deadline, and nothing else. Then follows the location of the event and its title. If the conference allows more than one language, you can click on the flags to go directly to the one you’re interested in. Beware: althought we publish only in Italian, English and French, it happens quite often to have events in German, Spanish, Portuguese or other languages. Check the tags or read the full call to know more about that. We don’t translate the opportunities in other languages because, hey, we don’t know them. If you want to help us to translate or publish, you’re more than welcome.

HINT: Twice a month we publish the Gazette, which sums up all the incoming deadlines. We usually publish it on the 13th and 27th, so watch out.

We don’t have any geographical preference. If a conference is interesting and satisfies our criteria, it doesn’t matter if it takes place in Rome, Ushuaia or Randomville.

How to search?

The last available Gazette will provide a bird’s eye over the next deadlines. If you’re looking for something more specific you can search by TAGS. These follows a few different reasonings. We use them

  • to determine the kind of opportunity (CFP,CFC, fellowship, prize, grant, post-doc, etc.) per TAG. I tag seguono diverse logiche
  • to list the languages allowed: these are with “#”, so yoy will read #ENG, #FRA, #ITA, #GER, #ESP and so on.
  • to indicate, most obviously, what is the conference about: from “modern history” all the way down to “ottoman studies”, from “LGBT” to “literary studies”, from “migration and diaspora” to “history of ideas”.

Where the opportunities come from?

From several sources. It might be academical newsletters, direct acquaintances, forums, groups. But we strive to find these calls directly from the organizers: when possible we absolutely refer to the official page of the event or organizer.

ORGANIZING EVENTS

AIR itself organizes events, and this is our second branch of activity. Every AIR project starts from individual ideas thatm, after discussion, are managed by the whole association. This is often interesting because it forces everyone to quit his/her own domain of work and take part into something a bit different. An idea usually grows over a coffee or a beer and develops through many coffees and beers until everything is ready to submit the project to other institutions and actors. What does it means? If you have an idea, a project, we would like to provide all the help we can to realize it; it could be a reading group, an academic conference, a short class or, more generally, any event that is intended to discuss and spread interesting discussions.

B. Why AIR?

TO FAVOR THE DIALOGUE

A rich amount of cultural associations exists in Italy, and we keep discovering more and more. Most of the time they are unofficial groups of researchers, phd students, post-docs that organize all sort of events; this lively and fertile ground is limited by a very simple issue: a very, very limited funding. It’s very hard to find a few euros to invite a speaker, or to find a place to host the event, or even to invest in communication. Therefore we try to link the dots of these many associations in order to create something that could attract some sponsors. This is possible, of course, on the condition of linking the right dots,: not every association is good for every event; it is a selection and coordination work.

Besides, academy presents the annoying tendency to isolate people, sometimes even within the very same field of work. But AIR is founded on the basic belief that research means above all debate and discussion among colleagues. We also believe that cooperation is more interesting and more fruitful than competition.

TO FAVOR TRANSPARENCY…

Isolation is usually exacerbated by the Italian Academy, which is still dramatically marked by nepotism or patronizing practices which can affect the willingness to work together and the general glasnost. Our publishing activity aims to be a politically engaged answer: one call at a time we try to improve the world; but we like doing this throught a positive path, helping to communicate, rather than throught the negative path of condemnation and polemics. Because we think the latter inevitably leads to polarization rather than resolution.

… AND MULTIPLY OPPORTUNITIES

Calls, grants, fellowships: there are quite many websites and tools to look for academic opportunities. However, they are sometimes disarming because of the amount of material; some other times they are, on the contrary, amazingly specific. Thus, following them we will always find the most updated information about that narrow field of research, but will not enlarge our perspective. Overall, transdisciplinarity is hardly promoted by most of these services – not because of unwillingness, but by their logical structure. But quitting our own echo chamber can be exciting, and that is what we try to do. FOr this reason we do not catalogue opportunities according to disciplinary fields, but we gather all that we can around a common theme: the already mentioned circulation of words, people, and ideas in modern and contemporary times. This perspective allows us to favor inter-disciplinarity while keeping a global coherence.

TO QUIT THE ACADEMIC IVORY TOWER

One last reason is that we believe in the responsibility closely tied to the privilege of doing academic research. We have to be and to act within our community. We have to make our voices heard; not only as a political matter, but also as a social participation; because divulgation is part of the research.

Moreover, this social involvement is coupled with a more self-serving purpose: speaking to non-academic people is interesting, fruitful, and funny. Non-academic events often require innovative approaches, preparing engaging speeches and visuals, and most especially extending explanations without losing depth. This is a challenge we want to take.

Our own story

In 2016 Edoardo was starting his Ph.D. in philosophy in Nice, while Francesco was about to discuss his Ph.D. dissertation at La Sapienza in Rome. Both in Turin, and both with various experiences abroad, we found ourselves looking for a “space” to discuss our work and meet new colleagues. This is how AIR was born.

SInce our beginnings we worked on the website, focusing on fellowships, grants and calls in humanities and social sciences. These opportunities reach now more than 50 countries thanks to our selection and translation in English, Italian and French.

After our online debut, in January 2017 the first event was planned: the conference about the Constitutional Referendum in Turkey took place in April of that year, thanks to the partnerships with the Istituto Fondazione Antonio Gramsci, at the Polo del ‘900.

From these first steps the two processes of the association gradually grew. On one side the distribution of academic opportunities; on the other side the organization of events related to our fields of work: a way to share our works also with a non-academic public. We strongly believe in these two practices, both founded on the cooperation with Universities and the public.

When this work patter was roughly set up Anna Lisa joined us, in the summer of 2017. Ph.D. candidate at the University of Birmingham, she has been “infected with our wish to share” and had since offered her contributions in the fields of literature, linguistics and gender studies.

Very recently, AIR is working with more researchers from Turin, especially about events related to the Middle East and the ’68 history.

Every one of us is used to move around and to be in different environments, often in other disciplinary fields and other languages. That’s why every one of us can give AIR a unique touch. Starting from this platform we worked to build relations with other associations in Italy, France, Turkey and England.

AIR is always hiring

Do you need assistance to organize an event? You’re more than welcome. You want to help us publishing and spreading the various opportunities? You’re more than welcome. You want to join AIR? We’re always looking for more people. After all, ours is an association based on a network of researchers, ergo more people, more network. We have projects and targets both offline and online: if you want to help us to reach them, we won’t say no.

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