Journal article Open Access

Dance Lessons

Brookes, Marissa

On a warm night in Washington, DC in late summer 2014, Kendra Koivu and I sat next to each other at a large table inside the never-notcrowded restaurant-bar-café Open City, unwinding from a fiery day at APSA alongside a handful of other old grad school friends. We indulged in carefree chatter and swapped stories over drinks and a wild mushroom pizza about our then-new lives on the tenure track. Kendra was entering her third year at the University of New Mexico (UNM); I was starting my second at the University of California Riverside. Two or three beverages in, we began to wax lyrical about our mutual passion for qualitative and multi-method research. We then reflected on the fact that the two of us happened to get jobs in the Southwestern US, as had friend and fellow Northwestern PhD Jen Cyr, who was beginning her third year at the University of Arizona. The irresistible combination of methods enthusiasm and geographical proximity—along with conversations about a methods network between Kendra and UNM colleague Sari Niedzwiecki—inspired the four of us to co-found the Southwest Workshop on Mixed Methods Research (SWMMR), an annual (and now international) conference devoted to discussing the theory and practice of mixed methods in the social sciences.

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