The qualitative analysis of text, film footage and visual imagery that is produced, used and filed during research processes is a form of interpretative research practice; that is a research practice which is based on interpretation, explanation and (re)construction. In line with the logic of this research approach, the reality that communication (processes) and social media actively produce knowledge and insights has become the object of academic reflection. One main characteristic of interpretative research is that it relies on a communicative space for the discussion and reflection of the respective objects of investigation; that is a space for the investigation of ‘ways of reading’, the processes of modifying and safeguarding these, as well as addressing questions of political, methodological and methodical insight. As such, spaces for exploration and reflection are not always ‘locally’ accessible — a wide variety of nationwide and international opportunities for intellectual and professional exchange has been established over the years. The autumn workshop “Interpretative Research Methods” that has been offered on a regular basis since 2008 in cooperation with the University of Vienna is one such exchange option in this field. In a timeframe of 4 to 5 days with a group of up to 30 participants, this workshop offers the chance for the discussion of methodological, methodical, theoretical and practical questions in the area of qualitative research. To this end the autumn workshop places the participants’ questions, materials and experiences that have emerged out of the research practice on center stage. There is a lively mixture of input, outcomes of participant group work, (empirical) research material, collegial advice, workshops as well as individually conceived work phases that alternate between single and group work sessions.
The Autumn Workshop is addressed to people from educational, cultural or social sciences who conduct research projects based on qualitative empirical methods and are interested in discussions and in the professional exchange of methodological questions and problems from their individual research practice. It is specifically addressed to researchers who work with concepts and methods of interpretative research in their academic qualification process (dissertations and postdoctoral qualifications).