Call for papers: Rhythms of Research, Researching Rhythms

Abstract deadline: October 1, 2020 (optional). Full paper deadline: February 1, 2021.


Rhythms are the basics of life. The earth’s elliptical movement creates recurring rhythms of day-night and the seasons. Rhythms are the placement of sound and silence in time, in a piece of music, and in speech. Rhythms are the beat of your heart, arrhythmic at times. Rhythms are repetition and change, emphasizing and relieving, giving and receiving. Experiencing like breathing is a rhythm of intakings and outgivings. Their succession is punctuated and made a rhythm by the existing of intervals, periods in which one phase is ceasing and the other is inchoate and preparing” (Dewey 1934, p. 158). In this way, rhythm refers to various kinds of repeated patterns such as in language, music, natural phenomena and human activities.

This call for papers invites contributions on rhythms as an analytical perspective - the Rhythms of Research and contributions on the ways in which rhythms are experienced in various aspects of life - Researching Rhythms. Lyon (2019) notes that there is a renewed interest and awareness of rhythm in the social sciences and humanities, and that this ‘return’ can be seen as a response to the changes in the structures, processes, spaces and temporalities of everyday life. These changes are addressed with concepts such as ‘acceleration’ (Rosa, 2013), ‘resonance’ (Rosa, 2019) and ‘spacetime compression’ (Harvey, 1990), among others, which refer to the ways in which everyday life, institutions and social structures leave less and less space and time for resonant and ‘rhythmic’ experiences .

We are inspired by the concept of rhythm as it appears in the writings of the French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre (1901-91) and the American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer John Dewey (1859-1952). Dewey used the idea of rhythms to grasp aesthetic experience and the ethical imperative. He emphasized that rhythm is not just temporal but something which “takes place” in “ordered variations of changes” (Dewey, 1934, p. 160). Lefebvre inspires research as an intellectual, embodied endeavour. In his discussions of music, commodities, measurement, media and the city, Lefebvre, (1992) develops a framework, Rhythmanalysis, for studying linear and non-linear time. He argues that the human body has several rhythms and that rhythms outside of the body can be studied with the researchers own rhythms as a reference. Rhythms offer an approach for studying, understanding and representing modern and postmodern speed, experiences of breakdown, and the various movements of slowness that challenge the ‘cult of speed’ (Honoré, 2004).

Rather than being a ‘standard research method’, rhythmanalysis is a general orientation comprising a set of approaches that can be applied depending on the object and field of inquiry. As a research practice rhythmanalysis has much in common with ethnography and its ambitions of being there and observing through spatially, temporally and sensually attuned practice, but it has also been used in more quantitative studies of economic circles and digital interaction. Analyzing rhythms involves an intimate feel for the transaction between and entanglement of bodies and spaces, and a commitment to experimenting different ways of becoming attuned to the world (McCormack, 2013). 

Rhythmanalyses are published in many forms and what holds them together as a body of work is the search for temporal patterns of social activity (Lyon, 2019). It involves the researcher engaging actively and creatively with his or her own rhythms and with the rhythms in the field of investigation. While the vocabulary of pace (e.g., ‘speed’, ‘slow’ and ‘acceleration’) may give the impression of linearity, the vocabulary of spacetime (e.g., ‘rhythm’ and ‘resonance’) offers a complex approach for the study of various coexisting rhythms involving place, materiality, movement and the body (Lyon, 2019), as well as transgressions of boundaries and issues of power (Reid-Musson, 2018).

We are looking for papers that address, but are not necessarily limited to, the following topics:

How rhythms are organized and experienced.

Rhythms relating to power, place, and the body.

The ways in which different rhythms are configured, enacted and negotiated in everyday life.

The continuities and transformations of everyday and embodied rhythms.

How rhythms are perceived as normal or deviant/arrhythmic.

What role rhythms play in academic settings; research, teaching and writing.

The relationship between rhythm, interruptions and breakdowns.



Barletta, V. (2019). The births of rhythm: John dewey and aesthetic form  . In J. R. Resina, & C. Wulf (Eds.), Repetition, recurrence, returns: How cultural renewal works (pp. 147)

Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. New York: Penguin Group.

Harvey, D. (1990). The condition of postmodernity: An enquiry into the origins of cultural change. Cambridge: MA: Blackwell.

Honoré, C. (2004). In praise of slow. how a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed. London: Orion Books.

Lefebvre, H. (1992). Rhythmanalysis: Space, time and everyday life. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Lyon, D. (2019). What is rhythmanalysis? London: Bloomsbury Academic.

McCormack, D. P. (2013). Refrains for moving bodies: Experience and experiment in affective spaces. Durhma and London: Duke University PRess.

Reid-Musson, E. (2018). Intersectional rhythmanalysis: Power, rhythm, and everyday life. Progress in Human Geography, 42(6), 881-897. doi:10.1177/0309132517725069

Rosa, H. (2013). Social acceleration. A new theory of modernity. New York: Columbia University Press.

Rosa, H. (2019). Resonance. A sociology of our relationship to the world . Cambridge: Polity Press.


Instructions for authors:

For any questions, please contact the Editors: Charlotte Wegener or Noomi Christine Linde Matthies 

  • Call for papers: Writing dialogues – dialogical writing



     Full paper deadline: September 1th 2018 

    For this special issue of Qualitative Studies, we invite discussions and explorations of the dialogical nature of writing. We encourage papers that explicitly address dialogical knowledge creation through writing and ways to make dialogical aspects visible in academic texts. We want to emphasize writing as a research activity in its own right, tightly entwined with reading, exploring, stating and sharing with others – that is, dialoguing. 

    In everyday life, dialogue usually means a conversation or verbal exchange between two or more persons. Dia- is a prefix meaning ‘through’ or ‘by’, and logos can mean word(s), discourse, talk, thought, reason, knowledge and theory (Linell, 2009). Therefore, dialogue has a broad range of possible meanings, all addressing the interactional, relational nature of exploring and getting to know something. Moreover, dialogue holds an aspect of semiotic mediation - that is, meaning-making activities in and through words, signs, symbols, concepts or body language (Linell, 2009). These mediations can be face-to-face or technology mediated, and they can be immediate, delayed or interwoven in time, space and modalities. While dialogue refers to these mundane social activities, it is also often used in a normative sense involving symmetry and cooperation as opposed to, for example, monologuing or arguing. 

    A text is, as a material artefact, a monologic format. However, its production and reception are dialogic. Moreover, dialogue within the actual text can be explicit and implicit in various ways. Hyland (2005) argues that all metadiscourse in writing is dialogical. Questions and commentary explicitly function to build a writer-reader relationship by anticipating readers’ mood and possible reaction to the text (p. 32), while more subtle markers, such and hedges and boosters, can function indirectly to get the reader on board or soften potential reservations.

    This call invites papers engaging with broad - empirical or abstract - notions of dialogue in or through writing. These could be: internal dialogue; dialogue between positions or ideas; ‘data as dialogue partner’ (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2011); engaging with interviewees’ response data in the text (Helin, 2014); co-writing as dialogue (Edwards & Fowler, 2007); analysing in dialogue with fiction (Wegener, 2014) or other modalities; explorations into the craft of writing through exchange of letters (Meier & Wegener, 2017) or emails (Wegener & Tanggaard, 2013). We also invite papers that explore and discuss ways in which dialogue can be crafted in writing, where qualitative researchers can find inspiration to do so (Narayan, 2007; 2012), as well as dialogical writing as an integrated part of the research process (Helin, 2016; Lorino et al., 2011). 

    Thus, in this issue we invite contributions that explore writing as dialogue and dialogue in writing as core activities in qualitative research. We are looking for papers that address, but are not necessarily limited to, the following topics relating to the ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of dialogue in academic writing: 

     Reflections on the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of dialogue and their implications for the way we write qualitative research texts. 

     Strategies for dialogue in both co-authored and single-authored texts. 

     Experiences, experiments and explorations into written dialogue or dialogical writing. 

     Dialogue as a writing methodology – implications, strengths and weaknesses of dialogue as a means of knowledge creation or knowledge dissemination. 

     Designs and methods that invite dialogical perspectives on a phenomenon or concept. 

     Accounts of empirical studies that explicitly used dialogical writing as a means of knowledge creation, analysis and representation. 

     Dialogues between researcher stances, voices, writer personas or other characters in the text. 

     Explorations of the relationship between language, dialogue and understanding in/through writing. 

     Implicit and explicit dialoguing in writing. 

     The limits of dialogue in writing - when dialogue breaks down, doesn’t do the job or simply obscures things. 


    Alvesson, M., & Kärreman, D. (2011). Qualitative Research and Theory Development. Mystery as Method. Los Angeles: Sage. 

    Edwards, R., & Fowler, Z. (2007). Unsettling boundaries in making a space for research. British Educational Research Journal, 33(1), 107–123. 

    Helin, J. (2014). Writing Process After Reading Bakhtin From Theorized Plots to Unfinalizable “Living” Events. Journal of Management Inquiry, ahead-of-p

    Helin, J. (2016). Dialogical writing: Co-inquiring between the written and the spoken word. Culture and Organization

    Hyland, K. (2005). Metadiscourse: Exploring Interaction in Writing. London: Continuum. 

    Linell, P. (2009). Rethinking Language, Mind, and World Dialogically. Interactional and Contextual Theories of Human Sense-Making. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc. 

    Lorino, P., Tricard, B., & Clot, Y. (2011) Research Methods for Non-Representational Approaches to Organizational Complexity: The Dialogical Mediated Inquiry. Organization Studies. Volume: 32 issue: 6, page(s): 769-801 

    Meier, N., & Wegener, C. (2017). Writing With Resonance. Journal of Management Inquiry, 26(2), 193–201. 

    Narayan, K. (2007). Tools to shape texts: what creative nonfiction can offer ethnography. Anthropology and Humanism, 32(2), 130–144. 

    Narayan, K. (2012). Alive in the Writing. Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 

    Wegener, C. (2014). Writing with Phineas. How a fictional character from A. S. Byatt helped me turn my ethnographic data into a research text. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 14(4), 351–360. 

    Wegener, C., & Tanggaard, L. (2013). Supervisor and Student Co-Writing: An Apprenticeship Perspective. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(3).

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