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.


2019 Conference: Naples, Italy

This year, the stand-alone meeting took place from May 13 to 15 in Naples, Italy. The conference was organized by ISRI President, Moin Syed (University of Minnesota, United States), ISRI Program Committee Chair, Sara K. Johnson (Tufts University, United States), and the local arrangements committee consisting of Laura Aleni Sesito, Tiziana Di Palma, and Luigia Simona Sica, all from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy). ISRI highly values the international scope of its membership and this meeting was our second held outside of North America. Attendees included 99 people from more than 20 countries! More than a third of participants were attending ISRI for the first time, and slightly under half of attendees were students (bachelor, master, or doctoral level).

The invited program offered diverse considerations of identity. Saskia Kunnen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) gave the Keynote Address: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Identity Research. Linda Juang (University of Potsdam, Germany) presented the plenary session: Understanding Ethnic-Racial Identity in a Context Where ‘Race’ is not Recognized. Outgoing President Moin Syed gave the Presidential Address, The Promise of the Open Science Movement for Research on Identity, before officially welcoming incoming President Elizabeth Morgan (Springfield College, United States).

The program also included three invited workshops: Qualitative Data Analysis (Joe Schwab, Bridgewater State University, United States), On Generating Theory (Elli Schachter, Bar-Ilan University, Israel), and Data Management (Sara K. Johnson, Tufts University, United States). Giancarlo Ragozini (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) chaired a roundtable discussion on Socio-Cultural Factors in Career Development: A Comparison between Romania and Italy.

This year marked the introduction of several new presentation formats. We held our first Grant Competition, in which four teams of early career scholars (Mary Jane Arnaud and Marlene Waske; Taylor Hazelbaker; Nic M. Westrate) presented their ideas for research studies to be conducted with $1,000 in grant funding and answered questions from a panel of judges as well as the audience. After a vigorous question and answer session and a close vote from the panel and judges, the funding was awarded to Mary Jane and Marlene for their project, Effects of Ethnicity-based Bonding on Social Trust in Ethnically-Heterogeneous Interactions. This year, we also debuted the Works-in-Progress Presentations. In a longer presentation format of 30 minutes, presenters discussed a research idea or problem they had been thinking about and posed at least two questions for feedback from the audience.

Beyond these new formats, the program included a strong selection of symposia, paper presentations, and posters. Ten symposia were presented (with 30 total papers), along with four paper sessions (containing 15 papers in total) and four interactive sessions. The two poster sessions included 38 posters given by both faculty and students.

We presented the Undergraduate Level Student Research Award to Yerin Park (Tufts University, United States), the Master Level Student Research Award to Joshua Parmenter (Utah State University, United States) and the Doctoral Level Student Research Award to Ummul-Kiram Kathawalla (University of Minnesota, United States). The James Marcia student travel award was given to Iwasa Yasuhiro (Hiroshima University, Japan).

On Tuesday evening, more than 50 conference attendees (and some guests of attendees) took a bus ride through the city of Naples to attend the conference social dinner at the Palace of the Spaniard. We were treated to a concert of Neapolitan music in a beautiful mansion, now converted to an event space, and enjoyed stimulating conversation while eating a traditional home-cooked meal.

Thank you to all attendees for helping to make the conference a huge success! We hope to see everyone again (bring your colleagues, too!) at our next meeting. We will hold a preconference session on March 18, 2020, prior to the meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) in San Diego, California, United States. Check back soon for the call for papers and registration information!


2018 Conference: Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.

In 2018, the preconference special interest group meeting took place on April 11, before the SRA conference. The meeting was organized by ISRI President, Moin Syed (University of Minnesota, United States), and ISRI Program Committee Chair, Sara K. Johnson (Tufts University, United States). Attendees included 48 people from 10 countries. For about half of the attendees, this meeting was their first ISRI conference! It was great to see so many new faces, as well as familiar ones, and we hope to see everyone again at the 2019 stand-alone meeting.

In keeping with ISRI tradition, we began the preconference meeting with a brief roundtable introduction in which all attendees introduced themselves and summarized their identity-linked research interests. In this session, faculty and students learned about range of exciting work being done by their colleagues and identified other attendees to connect with.

Following the roundtable, we held the featured event, a panel discussion on “Methodological Issues in Identity Development.” ISRI President Moin Syed moderated the discussion, with panelists Kate C. McLean (Western Washington University, United States), Onnie Rogers (Northwestern University, United States), and Sara K. Johnson (Tufts University, United States). The panelists – with questions and input from the audience – discussed methodological issues facing identity research (and social science research more broadly), aspects of our research that could be improved, and barriers and facilitators to making such improvements.

After the panel discussion, the preconference meeting concluded with a poster session that included 20 posters on a diverse representation of identity-linked topics. Presenters included undergraduate and graduate students, university faculty, and program employees and organizers.

On Wednesday evening, about 25 conference attendees (and some guests of attendees) gathered for the Social Dinner at a nearby restaurant, The Local. We enjoyed delicious food and good conversation, and even a few games of pool!


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.


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.