ISRI meets annually, in even-numbered years as a preconference special interest group in conjunction with SRA’s biennial meeting, and in odd-numbered years as a two-day stand-alone meeting.
2017 Conference: Groningen, The Netherlands
In 2017, the stand-alone meeting took place from May 18 to 21 in Groningen, The Netherlands. The conference was organized by ISRI President, Marilyn Montgomery (Northwest Christian University, United States), ISRI Program Committee Chair, Elizabeth Morgan (Springfield College, United States), and ISRI International Member-at-Large, Saskia Kunnen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands). ISRI highly values the international scope of its membership and our international commitment was underscored by this meeting, which was the society’s first held outside the United States. Attendees included 98 people from more than 20 countries!
It is an ISRI tradition to begin each meeting with a roundtable introduction in which all attendees have the opportunity to introduce themselves and summarize their identity-linked research interests. With 98 attendees this year, we split into three groups to get to know each other better in a smaller setting. In this session, faculty and students alike learn about range of exciting work being done by their colleagues and identify attendees they’d like to connect with during the conference. The roundtable is also useful for students to identify possible mentors for their graduate studies, to meet scholars in the field whose works they are reading, and to networks for Postdoctoral or other employment opportunities.
The invited program this year offered diverse considerations of identity. Wim Meeus (Utrecht University and Tilburg University, The Netherlands) gave the Keynote Address titled, “A Developmental Re-interpretation of Longitudinal Identity Research”. Marion Kloep (University of Glamorgan, Wales) and Leo Hendry (University of Aberdeen, Scotland) presented a thought-provoking and entertaining plenary session titled “Towards FluIdentity: A Systemic Outlook on Identity Research.” Outgoing ISRI President Marilyn Montgomery gave her Presidential Address of “Identity Theory and Research: What’s Our Identity Horizon,” before officially welcoming incoming President Moin Syed (University of Minnesota, United States).
Attendees chose from one of two invited methodological sessions: Elisabetta Crocetti (Alma Mater Studorium University of Bologna, Italy) presented “Systematic Reviews with Meta-Analysis: Applications to Identity Research,” and Moin Syed presented “An Interactive Session on Mixed-Methods Research.”
Conference sessions also included 5 organized symposia on topics including theory and methods, clinical relevance of identity, longitudinal research in an international context, and national identity. The 7 additional paper sessions included 27 presentations on a broad range of identity-relevant topics, and we also had three interactive sessions (narrative methods, statistical techniques, and identity in the school context). The poster session included 27 posters given by both faculty and students.
We presented Master’s Level Student Research Awards to Fanny Gyberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Shogo Hihara (Hiroshima University, Japan). The James Marcia student travel award was given to Rasmus Mannerström (University of Jyväskylä, Finland). We did not receive any nominations for Doctoral or Undergraduate Student Research Awards this year, so make sure to nominate outstanding students for the 2019 conference!
On Saturday evening, more than 60 conference attendees (and some guests of attendees) took a bus ride through the Dutch countryside to attend the conference banquet at Garnwerd aan Zee. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ and stimulating conversations in the lovely setting between a canal and a windmill before returning to Groningen. The conference concluded on Sunday morning with a discussion about future conferences and a professional development session on the topic of perseverance.
We hope to see everyone again (bring your colleagues, too!) at our next meeting. It will be held on April 11, 2018 in conjunction with the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (which will be held from April 12-14).
2016 Conference: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
In 2016, the meeting took place in Baltimore, MD on March 30th, 2016 at the Baltimore Hilton as a preconference special interest group with SRA. The conference was organized by ISRI President, Marilyn Montgomery (Northwest Christian University), and ISRI program committee chair, Elizabeth Morgan (Springfield College). Carolyn Lorente (Northern Virginia Community College) made the arrangements for the annual banquet. There were 43 people in attendance. In addition to the United States and Canada, scholars were from Japan, Israel, and Belgium. ISRI highly values the international scope of its membership and many ISRI members have benefitted through establishing productive cross-national collaborations. Indeed, the 2017 stand alone ISRI conference will take place in the Netherlands.
The program deviated slightly from the traditional structure this year. We began with a social hour for attendees, which was well attended and lively. We then heard from invited speaker James Côté (University of Western Ontario), who provided a keynote address at the conference titled “The Future of Identity Studies as an Interdisciplinary Pursuit.” In the talk, Dr Côté discussed epistemological divides within the field of identity studies. Following his presentation, attendees met at roundtables of 6-10 people to introduce themselves and discuss a set of questions related to Dr. Côté’s discussion. Following the small group discussion, Past-President Steven Berman (University of Central Florida) let a full group discussion about the topics. The evening concluded with a poster session where 17 posters were presented on a broad range of research relevant to the interests of identity researchers, including national identity, ego strength, moral identity, identity reconstruction, religious identity, identity supportive relationships, identity distress, identity horizons, sexual orientation identity, and positive identity development.
On Thursday, March 31st, the annual ISRI banquet was held at the Pratt Street Ale House starting at 7:00pm. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Alan Waterman (The College of New Jersey, Emeritus), who delivered a talk titled, “Just When I Knew all of Life’s Answers, They Changed the Questions.” Dr. Waterman’s talk integrated a variety of theories to undergird a discussion about Eudaimonic identity theory. In addition to Dr. Waterman’s talk, the evening was full of delicious food and stimulating conversation.
2015 Conference: Bellingham, Washington, U.S.
In 2015, the stand-alone meeting took place in Bellingham, WA on May 14-17th at the Best Western and Lakeway Inn.
The conference was organized by SRIF President, Steve Berman (University of Central Florida), and SRIF program committee chair, Elizabeth Morgan (Springfield College). Jane Kroger (Western Washington University) made the arrangements for the annual banquet. There were 46 people in attendance. In addition to the U.S. and Canada, scholars were from Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Finland, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden, and the Netherlands. SRIF highly values the international scope of its membership and many SRIF members have benefitted through establishing productive cross-cultural collaborations. Indeed, the 2017 stand alone SRIF conference is proposed to take place in the Netherlands.
It is the SRIF tradition to begin each meeting with a roundtable introduction (moderated this year by SRIF President Steve Berman) in which all attendees have the opportunity to introduce themselves and summarize their identity-linked research interests. This is a beneficial exercise for faculty and students members to learn of the range of research possibilities in the field of identity and to be updated on one another’s research activities. Many collaborative projects have sprung from this roundtable session. The roundtable is also useful for students to identify possible mentors for their graduate studies, to meet scholars in the field whose works they are reading, and to networks for Postdoctoral or other employment opportunities. SRIF highly values students’ contributions to the organization and attempts to provide many opportunities for student development at the conferences. This year there was both a professional development session and mentor fair for students and new professors. Over the years we have watched students mature in their professional development and grow into scholars who, in turn, mentor new student members.
The invited program at the SRIF conference this year offered diverse considerations of identity. Lene Jensen Arnett (Clark University) gave the Keynote Address titled, “Cultural-Developmental Theory for the 21st Century: Self and Social Science in a Global World”. Saskia Kunnen and Mandy van der Gaag (both from the University of Groningen, Netherlands) provided a methodology session titled, “A Process Approach to Identity Development.” Steve Berman (University of Central Florida), outgoing President of SRIF, gave a Presidential Address titled, “The Identity Development of SRIF: Who are we? Where are we going? And what do we want to be?.”
Paper topics spanned a broad range of research relevant to the interests of identity researchers including international and cultural perspectives, identity horizons and the identity capital model, sexuality and stigmatized identities, parent-child relationships, and adoptive identity. An exciting symposium used international research from Finland, Sweden, Japan, and Trinidad to examine identity development in adulthood. An engaging interactive session also explored interventions for identity distress using Erikson’s psychosocial theory as a framework. The conference also included a poster session where 17 posters were presented by both faculty and students from a range of academic institutions.
The Doctoral Student Research Award was presented to Lakshmi Priya Rajendran (The University of Sheffield, UK). The Undergraduate Student Research Award was presented to Jessy Gruler (University of Central Florida). Yesel Yoon (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) was awarded the James Marcia student travel award.
Concluding the conference was the annual banquet, which was held at Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill, where we had a delicious dinner and stimulating conversation. We hope to see everyone back (and a few new people) at our next annual meeting in conjunction with the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), in Baltimore, MD on March 31 through April 2, 2016![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]