“Transdisciplinary Research on Incivility in STEM Contexts”
Thursday October 17 & Friday October 18 2019
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This workshop will bring together scholars across the STEM fields, social sciences, and critical studies to discuss varying accounts of, and definitions of, academic workplace incivility. The recent focus on sexual harassment and assault within academia broadly and science specifically has been an important one. However, workplace incivility requires greater attention within academic spaces for three reasons:

  1. Its presence and tolerance increases the risk for sexual harassment in all its forms.
  2. Incivility is perpetrated against women of color and white women more than other groups, making it one of the ways in which racism and sexism go underground in modern American workplaces.
  3. University administrators, organizational psychologists, and critical studies scholars all have varying and conflicting definitions of incivility that lead to different academic constituencies talking past each other about what constitutes a rigorous yet inclusive workplace.

This two day workshop will bring together scholars dedicated to: advancing understanding of incivility, promoting the scholarship and practice of engaging in healthy conflict, promoting productive academic discourse around difficult topics, and promoting equality, inclusion, and social justice in academia. We believe that fostering more conversations across disciplines on the scholarship and practice of civility in the workplace will allow researchers to share knowledge, enrich each other’s work, challenge theory, and forge new directions for research. Thus our main goals are to:

  1. Collaborate on cross-disciplinary, working definitions of incivility and workplace conflict and apply this broader understanding to how incivility and conflict operate in the academic workplace, particularly how it influences academic freedom, sexual harassment, and other downstream issues.
  2. Think beyond incivility – that is, discuss what will lead to lasting cultural change and how to move beyond definitions to solutions.
  3. Produce a post-workshop report documenting avenues for interdisciplinary research on incivility and conflict, as well as solutions for tensions around these issues in the academic workplace.
  4. Maintain a post-workshop Slack workspace that will allow for leaders, collaborations, trainings, and other activities to emerge based on the will and interest of attendees.

This workshop will offer a mix of expert panels and registrant-organized small group sessions and is advised by a transdisciplinary board of nationally recognized academics, professionals, and practitioners. We will offer some registration, travel, and lodging support to promote inclusion of underrepresented minority, junior, and/or regional and community college scholars.

Here is the public abstract of the NSF award.

Please visit the Announcements page for information as it is available regarding:

  • Registration
  • Hotel blocks
  • A Slack workspace
  • Schedule and opportunities to contribute sessions

Email Kate Clancy with any questions, and and please email Patty Jones to join the Incivility Workshop Listserv to receive timely updates.