ENGAGE 2023: 22nd Annual Graduate Student Conference

Date and Time



Zoom link to be distributed closer to the date


Call for Abstracts
For over two decades, graduate and upper-year undergraduate students have proudly represented the University of Guelph in its annual ENGAGE student conference. Celebrating the diversity of vitality of student research, the ENGAGE conference offers students a chance to present their research and network with other students and come together and ENGAGE with peers over critical issues and social debates.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN), in partnership with the Guelph Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) invites graduate and upper-year undergraduate students to the 22nd annual ENGAGE Graduate Student Conference, which will be held virtually from April 3rd to 5th, 2023. This year, the ENGAGE committee is encouraging abstract submissions with a focus on development studies and transformational ideas helping to reimagine and rethink the future of development.

Our theme for this year’s conference is Reckonings and Social Transformation.

This year’s ENGAGE theme seeks to reflect on past or present reckonings and generate new insights into the potential for positive social transformation wrought by such reckonings. We welcome relevant research from any discipline or sub-discipline.

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: Monday, March 20th, 2023, at 5:00 PM EST.

Land Acknowledgement 
We would like to begin by acknowledging the Indigenous Peoples of all the lands that we occupy today. While we meet today on a virtual platform, the University of Guelph resides on the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. We recognize the significance of the Dish with One Spoon Covenant to this land and offer our respect to our Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Métis neighbours as we reflect on the stolen land in which we call home. As we engage in deep conversations about our future within this space of higher education and voice our respect and responsibility, honouring the ancestral connections that are grounded in kinship with the land can strengthen our relationships and interconnected nature with Indigenous peoples who hold the land, and one another, sacred.

Abstract Submissions
In fulfilling our mission to develop a supportive and inclusive environment for students to conduct and present their research, the ENGAGE conference accepts submissions on an array of topics in any areas that are broadly inspired by or related to the conference theme. In addition to sociologically, anthropologically, and developmentally focused topics, we will be accepting undergraduate and graduate student presentations which connect to the theme of Reckonings and Social Transformation.

Abstracts for submission must be between 150-300 words in length. Abstract submissions will not be accepted after Monday, March 20th, 2023, at 5:00 PM EST. Please submit your abstract to soanconf@uoguelph.ca.

Presentation Options
The following options are available for presenting your work:

  • Paper sessions: these are sessions organized around a general topic / area of study (~15-minute presentation + discussion).
  • Roundtable sessions: these are sessions that use the roundtable model where multiple papers are presented at a single round table concurrent with other roundtables. Individual round tables are organized around a common theme or subject (~5-minute presentation + discussion).

Abstracts for submission must be between 150-300 words in length. Abstract submissions will not be accepted after Monday, March 20th, 2023, at 5:00 PM EST. Please email your abstract to soanconf@uoguelph.ca.

Five monetary awards will be presented at the ENGAGE conference this year:

  • ENGAGE Original Outstanding Research Award ($100)
  • ENGAGE Best Development-Related Research Award ($100)
  • ENGAGE Best Community Engaged Research Award ($100)
  • ENGAGE Best Graduate Research Presentation Award ($100)
  • ENGAGE Best Undergraduate Research Presentation Award ($100)

Conference Goals
The goals for ENGAGE 2023 are to:

  • Provide students with a collegial environment in which to present and receive feedback on both completed works and / or projects in progress;
  • Foster communication and engagement between scholars with diverse research interests and perspectives;
  • Challenge and critically examine our understanding of the social world, as well as the impact our research has on the individuals and / or communities we partner with and / or study.

Conference Format
This conference will be delivered virtually on Zoom over the course of 3 days. Paper presentations will be presented synchronously throughout the day. Information regarding the theme and time of each session, as well as the length of each presentation, will be provided closer to the date of the conference.

Cost and Accommodation
There is no fee to participate in this conference. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer funding for participants' costs.

There are a variety of accommodation options available. Please email soanconf@uoguelph.ca if you would like to participate and require accommodation.

We look forward to seeing you at ENGAGE 2023!