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"We will not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and to know the place for the first time" (T. S. Elliot, No 4 of 'Four Quartets', 1942).

Michal Krumer-Nevo
Director, Israeli Center for Qualitative Research of Peoples and Societies (ICQM)
Department of Social Work
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

John H. Stanfield, II
African American & African Diaspora Studies
Indiana University

The Seventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry will take place at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from May 17-21, 2011. The theme of the 2011 Congress is "Qualitative Inquiry and the Politics of Advocacy." Increasingly in these troubling political times qualitative researchers are called upon to make their work relevant. They are encouraged to pursue social justice agendas, to be human rights advocates, to do work that honors the core values of human dignity, and freedom from fear and violence. Many oppose any political agenda, calling for non-activist qualitative research, let the chips fall where they will. They are reluctant to put their faith in any project that seeks to transform the nature of human social life. They advocate non-partisan inquiry. They call for objectivity. They question partisanship, and have reservations about any activist role of research in relation to policymaking or practice.

The 2011 Congress will offer scholars the opportunity to debate these issues, to foreground the politics of advocacy, pro and con, to form coalitions, to engage in debate on how qualitative research can be used to advance the causes of social justice, while addressing racial, ethnic, gender and environmental disparities in education, welfare and healthcare.

Sessions will take up such topics as: the politics of advocacy; value-free inquiry; partisanship, bias; the politics of evidence; alternatives to evidence-based models; multiple and mixed-methods; public policy discourse; indigenous research ethics; decolonizing inquiry. Contributors are invited to experiment with traditional and new methodologies, with new presentational formats (ethnodrama, performance, poetry, autoethnography, fiction). Such work will offer guidelines and exemplars concerning advocacy, inquiry and social justice concerns.

On May 18 there will be pre-conference language events and on May 19, morning and afternoon professional workshops. The Congress will consist of keynote, plenary, featured, regular, and poster sessions. There will be an opening reception and barbecue as well as a closing old fashioned Midwest cook-out.

We invite your submission of paper, poster and session proposals. Submissions will be accepted online only from October 1 until December 1 2010. Conference and workshop registration will begin October 1, 2010. To learn more about the 7th International Congress and how to participate, please visit our website

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