The IGLP Approach

An IGLP Approach for Moderators | PDF

 An IGLP Approach for First Time Panel Presenters | PDF

An IGLP Approach to Presenting & Offering | PDF


 

An IGLP Approach for Moderators

PDF

All of us present our work in a variety of settings.   Although we all say we want to contribute to a discussion and look forward to feedback, all too often we fail to present our work in a way that encourages discussion or even leaves time for feedback.

At the IGLP Conference, we will encourage everyone to do a better job.   Here are some tips – and policies.

TIME MANAGEMENT POLICY.

Before the Panel.  The Moderator should help ensure that each panelist has his or her name card, which will be available in the panel room.

 Opening remarks.   The Moderator will have up to FIVE minutes to introduce all members of the panel and their papers.

Panel presentations. All panel presenters will be strictly limited to TEN MINUTES for opening remarks.  As a Moderator, we are asking you to be ruthless on timekeeping.   Moderators will have a set of IGLP time cards to indicate clearly to speakers when there remain ten minutes, five minutes, two minutes and zero minutes. Please also be sure to bring a watch or sit in a place where you can see a clock.

General Discussion.    In a 90 minute panel with five presenters, 30 minutes will remain for discussion. The goal is to encourage spirited discussion of the larger theme or issue posed by the panel, drawing on the presentations and on the work of others who may be in the room.  To this end, we recommend not using this time for specific questions directed toward individual panelists.  Individualized comments and questions are often better addressed to a speaker after a panel has concluded and one has time to engage informally in a direct conversation.

We will give each moderator the option to open the discussion by reflecting for up to FIVE MINUTES on one or two cross cutting themes linking or distinguishing the papers and which may be interesting to discuss.    The Moderator will ask the audience NOT to ask specific questions of individual panelists, but to engage the panelists and one another on the larger themes.

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An IGLP Approach for First Time Panel Presenters

PDF

All of us present our work in a variety of settings.   Although we all say we want to contribute to a discussion and look forward to feedback, all too often we fail to present our work in a way that encourages discussion or even leaves time for feedback.

At the IGLP Conference, we will encourage everyone to do a better job.   Here are some tips – and policies.

TIME MANAGEMENT POLICY.

Opening remarks.   The Moderator will have up to FIVE minutes to introduce all members of the panel and their papers.

Panel presentations. All panel presenters will be strictly limited to TEN MINUTES for opening remarks.   We have asked Moderators to be ruthless.   Moderators will have laminated IGLP time cards to indicate clearly to speakers when there remain five minutes, two minutes and zero minutes.

General Discussion.    In a 90 minute panel with five presenters, 30 minutes will remain for discussion. The goal is to encourage spirited discussion of the larger theme or issue posed by the panel, drawing on the presentations and on the work of others who may be in the room.  To this end, we recommend not using this time for specific questions directed toward individual panelists.  Individualized comments and questions are often better addressed to a speaker after a panel has concluded and one has time to engage informally in a direct conversation.

We will give each moderator the option to open the discussion by reflecting for up to FIVE MINUTES on one or two cross cutting themes linking or distinguishing the papers and which may be interesting to discuss.    The Moderator will ask the audience NOT to ask specific questions of individual panelists, but to engage the panelists and one another on the larger themes.

Feedback.   It is enormously useful to receive feedback on what one has presented at a Conference.   The best time is rarely when one is still up on the panel.  We encourage everyone to seek out panelists whose ideas or research they found stimulating for further discussion after the session has concluded.

 TIPS FOR PRESENTERS

How can you make best use of your ten minutes?  Here are some tips suggested by people in the IGLP network.   If you have other suggestions from your own experience listening to or giving academic presentations, please send them to us.  We’ll pass them on!

 

  • You can’t “present” your paper.   No one can present an entire paper it has taken months to research and write in ten – or fifteen, or twenty, or thirty — minutes.   You must be selective.   That means you need a strategy.   In light of your research and all the thinking you have done, what would you like to say to this group today?

 

  • Describing your paper is rarely a good presentation strategy.    Tempting as it is, describing in general terms “what I did in part one” and then “what I do in part two” rarely works.   Few people can get a sense for HOW you do what you do and what is interesting about it from this kind of 30,000 foot table of contents description.   You need to think about your paper as a whole and figure out what you want to say about the topic of your interest to this group.  The paper can take care of itself.

 

  • Retracing the logic of discovery is rarely a good presentation strategy.  When you think back on your work as a whole, it can be fascinating — for you — to remember how you came to the topic, how you did the research, what you thought half-way through and how you developed your ideas.   This kind of bildungsroman is rarely fascinating for other people.   They want to know what you think about something they are also interested in now.   How should they now change their ideas and why?

 

  • The Elements of Strategy.

 

  • Identify the terrain.   Where are you intervening?  What discussion are you participating in?  Why is this discussion important?

 

  • Identify the intervention.  What did you discover that we did not know?  What did you reinterpret that we ought now to understand differently?  How has your work changed the debate?  What did who misunderstand that you have set straight?

 

  • Identify the stakes.   Why does this matter?  Who would or might do what differently?   What lines of inquiry have you opened which were closed?  What tools have you developed that might be used?

 

  • Pre-empt opposition.   How would those with whom you disagree – against whom you have written, who stand to lose given the stakes you have identified – respond?  

 

  • Start a conversation.   Presenting academic work is more like tennis than moot court.   The goal is not to prove that you are right.  It is to start a conversation.   What remains puzzling for you?   How would you frame the methodological, political, doctrinal or institutional choices opened up by your analysis?  

 

 

Note: Some types of scholarly intervention and modes of argumentation

 Scholarly works “intervene” in ongoing scholarly or policy discussions in various ways.  How are YOU intervening?  How do YOU argue?

An Incomplete List of Scholarly Interventions and Arguments

 

  1. I propose a new take on a well-established empirical claim, line of reasoning, or doctrine.
  2. I aim to reorganize or reinterpret what had been a settled doctrinal field.
  3. I identify – and map – an overlooked but crucial aspect of mainstream thinking about X.
  4. I intervene in an ongoing debate about social policy on the basis of new evidence or a new approach.
  5. I intervene in a theoretical, jurisprudential or political debate on the basis of new evidence or new ideas.
  6. I advocate a new or renewed interdisciplinary project.
  7.  I intervene in two disciplines simultaneously in an original way, changing each by reference to the other.
  8. I compare or juxtapose things which are not usually presented together to illuminate new possibilities or change our understanding of each.
  9. I retell or unsettle a historical narrative: recovering possibilities that have been overlooked.
  10. I retell the internal or contextual history of a discipline to challenge its self-understanding and basic assumptions.
  11. I uncover problematic assumptions underlying particular theories, doctrines, and policies with which I disagree.
  12. I highlight unresolved gaps, conflicts and ambiguities in existing arguments or proposals.
  13. I identify biases and blind spots that existing approaches ignore.
  14. I bring new (or old but forgotten) theories, theorists, personal narratives, and/or empirical methods to bear on familiar problems.
  15. I present new data or a new analysis that challenge(s) existing empirical findings.
  16. I expose some of the unintended consequences of reform projects or ideas that have largely gone unnoticed or unacknowledged.
  17. I ____________________________________________________________ .

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An IGLP Approach to Presenting & Offering

PDF

FEEDBACK ON THE PAPERS OF COLLEAGUES

ALL OF US GIVE FEEDBACK and comment on other people’s intellectual work. We all try to situate

our own work in relationship to the ideas other people have had about issues we care about,

which also requires that we accurately reflect on their prior work. We hope the Writing

Workshop will help us all become better at this crucial professional activity. We propose a

simple three step approach.

First, restate the paper. What does it say? Reflect as accurately as possible what the

other author has said as you heard or read it. By itself, this can often be extremely

helpful – letting the author know what came across.

Second, identify the scholarly intervention. What is the main contribution of this piece

to the existing literature? What appears to be the author’s purpose in publishing this

piece and why would/should others want to read it?

Third, offer constructive feedback. How can the author’s project be improved, her or his

intervention strengthened?

We purposely leave out a fourth element that is, unfortunately, common in reviews of other

people’s work – explaining what you would write, how you would intervene. That is crucial for

your own work. Indeed, each of us begins our work by moving from what others are saying to

what we wish to say. But this is only rarely helpful to another author.

In what follows, we give you the outline that will guide discussions in each of the sessions, and

some more specific suggestions to inform your remarks.

______________________________________________________

OUTLINE FOR THE DISCUSSION OF EACH PAPER

Each paper is allotted roughly 55 minutes for discussion during the workshop, as detailed below. Please

note that all the members of each section are expected to have read each of the papers in advance.

Author Introduction (2 minutes or less)

1. Describe the basic nature of her/his intervention.

a. Mode/Venue: Is it meant as a law review article, or a book chapter? Is it part of a dissertation?

Is it for a peer‐reviewed journal?

b. Genre: What is the literature with which it engages? To whom is it meant to speak? What is the

intended audience?

2. Identify areas of difficulty where feedback might be most helpful.

Peer Discussant Presentation (12 minutes or less)

Your presentation should approximate the format below:

1. Describe the paper and identify its central argument(s)/contribution(s). (5 minutes)

a. What appears to be the central issue/puzzle that the paper seeks to address?

b. How would you state the paper’s central argument or thesis? (If you see more than one

potential argument, articulate the various possibilities.)

c. How does the author develop the argument? (Offer a brief summary of the paper.)

d. In what debates/discussions does it seek to intervene? Who is the author writing against? For?

e. How would the author complete the sentence: “Until now, everyone has thought _____ but

now we should think ______.”

2. Identify the types and modes of scholarly intervention. (2 minutes – see page 3 for incomplete

typologies)

a. What evidence/methods does the author use to support the claims made?

b. How does/should the author explain the nature of her/his intervention?

c. How would you classify the type and mode of intervention?

3. Offer constructive feedback. (Initially, 5 minutes maximum, but you should have additional

comments for the following discussion; see page 4 for suggested types)

a. Identify one or two broad areas in which the paper might be improved.

b. What might be helpful for the group to discuss to assist the author?

Faculty Discussant Presentation (12 minutes or less)

Group Discussion (25‐30 minutes)(we will reserve 2‐3 minutes at the end for the authors to respond, if

they wish)

TYPES OF SCHOLARLY INTERVENTION AND MODES OF ARGUMENTATION

Scholarly works “intervene” in ongoing scholarly or policy discussions in various ways. They do so with

arguments of many different types. It is often helpful to try to specify just what kind of intervention is

being made, into what ongoing discussion, using what mode of argumentation. Here are some possible

types of intervention and modes of argumentation. The lists may be useful in describing the various

drafts to be discussed in your workshop section. You will surely identify others in the papers you discuss

during the Workshop. Please use the blank lines below to extend the lists.

An Incomplete List of Types of Scholarly Intervention

1. Proposing a new take on a well‐established empirical claim, line of reasoning, or doctrine

2. Reorganizing or reinterpreting a doctrinal field

3. Critically mapping the consciousness of the establishment

4. Intervening in a broad debate about social policy on the basis of new evidence or a new approach

5. Intervening in a theoretical, jurisprudential or political debate on the basis of new evidence or a new

approach

6. Interdisciplinary: advocating a new or renewed interdisciplinary project or intervening in two

disciplines simultaneously in an original way

7. Comparison: intervening in two different national political or legal debates at the same time; using

comparison to intervene in a policy or jurisprudential debate; using comparison to challenge

accepted empirical claims

8. Retelling or unsettling a settled historical narrative: recovering possibilities that have been

overlooked

9. Using historical retelling to challenge a discipline’s basic assumptions

10. Critiquing a scholar with whom you are generally sympathetic – or more hostile – through a book or

literature review

11. _________________________________________________________________________

12. _________________________________________________________________________

An Incomplete List of Modes of Argumentation

Intervening has a positive side, of course – how you think things should be understood. There is also a

critical component – how has the prevailing discussion run off track? Arguing against other points of

view can be done in many ways. Here are some examples:

1. Uncovering problematic assumptions underlying particular theories, doctrines, and policies with

which you disagree

2. Highlighting unresolved gaps, conflicts and ambiguities in existing arguments or proposals

3. Focusing on structural biases and blind spots that existing approaches ignore

4. Bringing new (or old but forgotten) theories, theorists, personal narratives, and/or empirical

methods to bear on familiar problems

5. Presenting new data or a new analysis that challenge(s) existing empirical findings

6. _________________________________________________________________________

7. _________________________________________________________________________

TYPES OF FEEDBACK

You should consult this list before you start preparing your feedback, but feel free to identify other

types of comments.

Helpful Types of Feedback

1. Suggest how the author might clarify or sharpen the thesis, type of intervention, etc.

2. Suggest ways the author might reorganize the paper to make the thesis/intervention clearer. (Hint:

Imagine how the paper would read if it were to start with the conclusion.)

3. Offer objections that are likely to be raised to the paper and suggest responses.

4. Propose the consideration of related literature that might offer further theoretical or

methodological insight or that might be good models for the paper. It is usually helpful to be as

specific as possible – and to work within the author’s chosen method/approach.

5. Consider ways that the author might sharpen or strengthen the paper’s method.

a. Is the author reaching macro conclusions from micro analysis? The reverse?

b. Is the author relying on unexamined assumptions?

c. Are there unexamined alternative explanations for the conclusions offered?

d. Might the author’s analysis lead to a different conclusion?

e. More broadly, are the methods appropriate to the question/data?

6. _________________________________________________________________________

7. _________________________________________________________________________

8. _________________________________________________________________________

Less Helpful Types of Feedback

1. Suggest that the author take a totally different theoretical/political approach (such as the one you

might take) to the issue she or he is addressing.

2. Propose an entirely new field or literature that the author needs to know before continuing with her

or his project (unless it is directly implicated and clearly overlooked).

3. Propose a different/more interesting question the author could answer.

4. _________________________________________________________________________

5. _________________________________________________________________________

6. _________________________________________________________________________

 

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