Blum Center researchers presented several projects at the recent annual International Studies Association convention. The conference’s central theme this year was Real Struggles, High Stakes: Cooperation, Contention, and Creativity. A more fitting theme for the work undertaken by the Blum Center and its partners would be hard to find. The team used this opportunity to share progress on Blum Center research projects, chair panels, lead discussions, and engage with other scholars from around the world.

The Center’s nascent project delving into the narratives of inclusion of Indigenous Peoples within California’s climate action was among the presentations. Dr. Richard Matthew, Dr. Maureen Purcell, Stephanie Martinez, Ann LeHolland, Angela Yun, Sifat Reazi, and H.G. Gorback discussed the preliminary findings of this discourse analysis in an early career scholars panel dedicated to the topic of Indigenous Peoples and climate change. The ambitious objective of this project is to compare the narratives used by the Academy, civil society, and Indigenous groups, to characterize an urgent political challenge – whether these perspectives on climate mitigation and adaptation can be coordinated into a single or several compatible responses to climate change- while also evaluating the extent of meaningful inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the research and action around climate change.

Director Richard Matthew also participated in a panel (chaired by our own Stephanie Martinez) on “The Intersection of Methods and Ethics in Research with Violence-Affected Populations” along with Zoe Marks (Harvard Kennedy School), Annie Bunting (York University), Holly Dunn (University of South Florida), Juliana Restrepo (University of Florida). In this critical conversation, Dr. Matthew addressed the trade-offs that result from the recent advances in data collection, storage, and analysis which have permeated most sectors of society. To complement the discussion of risks and benefits of the collection and use of data from vulnerable populations, he suggests managing these tradeoffs through coproduction of knowledge through community engaged research methods.