Convivial Research


The Convivial Research Group of Humboldt County is a collective of community members who enjoy gathering to think and dialog together about social justice.  Over the years a varied group of participants has continued to meet in university classrooms, social halls, coffee houses and private homes to bringireal world issues into a space for analysis and action.

By convivial research we mean:

  • a collective investigative approach that refuses to objectify communities of struggle,
  • engages multiple sites of knowledge production,
  • generates new strategic, conceptual tools while also promoting an on-going process of community regeneration.

Research Methodology

As individual researchers we begin with the Objects of Study to define the issues and parameters of our research area.  When we meet together we create a climate of learning based on mutual respect and acknowledgement that there are many ways of knowing. 

To expand the context of the subject matter, we use a variety of "pop ed" facilitation tools to address contradictions, question preconceptions and analyze socially constructed biases.  By discussing the writings of global scholars, activists, philosophers, educators and movement theorists we have found we are better able to situate our “local issues” within a wider context of historical, cultural, social, economic, environmental and political conditions.

Our projects include:

Our colleagues research:

The group began in 2007 when some graduate students of color in the Environment and Community (E&C) Interdisciplinary Masters Degree Program at Humboldt State University began meeting to support one another in analyzing issues of gender, power, culture, race and class in their university experience. They also began to study an activist research methodology developing in Latin America known as Coyuntural Analysis, or Convivial Research. Interested community members were invited to join in.

Our guide to Convivial Research is Dr. Manolo Callahan, former professor at HSU and founder of the Center for Research and Autonomy. He has defined the methodology this way: "A Convivial community - based research approach is a grassroots collective investigative effort that fundamentally refuses to objectify groups, organizations, or communities-in-struggle and promotes facilitating spaces for on-going encounters of collective knowledge production put in service of self-organized constituencies seeking to address specific problems impacting them.

“We cannot get out of the state we are in by street-fighting; we must think our way out.” --Manolo Callahan

Humboldt County Settler Colonialism Timeline