The thematic line Theory and Methodology fulfils several strategic functions.

Its main task is to channel exchanges between researchers on issues that involve theoretical, methodological and/or epistemological reflection related to research work in its different phases. Research advances through studies, but it is also renewed through the development of new approaches and the discussion of established paradigms. It is a part of research activity that is not always apparent at first sight, but it is the key to excellence and innovation in research.

As researchers, we are always in a process of training and specialisation; this includes, in a prominent place, the adaptation of new methodologies and approaches, which implies becoming familiar with their categories and/or the technologies that accompany them, as well as with their polemics and debates.

On the one hand, there are major orientations in scientific knowledge and its relations with the social world, which give rise to controversies that we professionals must take up and become familiar with. On the other hand, interdisciplinarity is an elementary dimension of excellent research, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with methodological innovations and theoretical debates in the various disciplines that nourish the humanities. Among these, the social sciences have traditionally stood out, but more and more technological applications are being produced that involve at least user knowledge.

In such a scenario, all researchers can share with other colleagues their knowledge of certain conceptual tools, ways, and methods of gathering information or of positioning themselves in front of certain lines of reflection. This is an activity with a necessary collective dimension, driven by the individual need to keep up to date in the rigorous use of the categories and tools with which we work.

On the other hand, in the current phase of CHAM's transformation, the line Theory and Methodology is presented as a guarantor of the cohesion and coherence of the research groups in relation to the centre’s strategic project. In this sense, the line is strategic because it contributes to increasing synergies between researchers, groups and with the other transversal lines. And beyond this practical shorter-term utility, a community of researchers accustomed to dialogue and controversy can turn CHAM into a node for the generation of ideas and lines of work with an impact on scientific production in the Humanities on a global scale.

To this end, the line calls for the involvement of groups, teams, and individual researchers to offer the entire CHAM community their concerns, positions, and expertise on issues that the work of the researcher brings to light. The line is thus open to receive proposals, arrange a calendar and channel their realization, ideally one during the year by each research group, decided at the first annual meeting of the group.

The options for activities are varied, some of them to be explored. They may be the presentation of a polemic, an original proposal, or a critical position in the field of theory, methodology or epistemology; the organization of discussion sessions on a text that is supporting or provoking discrepancies between members of a group or a project, or an update on a polemic in the disciplines of the social and human sciences.

It also brings the possibility that the activities channelled through the line may converge with those of the Forum of researchers, and culminate in possible publications on issues of theory, methodology and epistemology.


Coordination  .   Pablo Sánchez León

Activities per year