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EAESP-SPSSI Small Group Meeting
Intergroup contact: Recent advancements in basic and applied research”

August 28 – 30, 2008
Marburg, Germany

Organizers: Oliver Christ, Miles Hewstone, Linda Tropp, and Ulrich Wagner

This small-group meeting aims to bring together international scholars on the topic of intergroup contact, including those with basic and applied interest and expertise. In recent years, academic interest in intergroup contact has intensified, leading to a number of theoretical advances and modifications of intergroup contact theory.

Contact remains one of the most powerful approaches in the social sciences for improving intergroup relations and reducing intergroup conflict. This positive effect has been shown in carefully-controlled laboratory experiments, cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, and in a number of applied fields and interventions. Contact is a proven intervention in cases of deeply-rooted societal conflict, such as Northern Ireland or South Africa, but also in local organizations and schools.

The central aim of the meeting is to bring together researchers who explore basic approaches with those who try to apply this knowledge in cases of real intergroup conflict. We are focused on advancing both theory and research, so we would particularly welcome papers offering: novel theoretical understanding of how contact works, integration with other theories in social psychology, cross-fertilization across disciplines beyond social psychology, and new research techniques and methods.

Where: The meeting will be held at the Department of Psychology in Marburg, Germany. Marburg is a beautiful small university town in the centre of Germany. Philipps-University Marburg is the oldest university in the world that was founded as a Protestant institution and has been a place of research and teaching for nearly five centuries. The city of Marburg is located 80 km to the North of Frankfurt and thus is easily reached by plane or train.

Costs: No fees will be charged for the meeting and most meal expenses will be covered. Participants will be responsible for their transportation and their hotel costs. Some additional support may be available especially for young researchers and those without access to research funding.

Participants: The meeting will have a maximum of 30 participants. We hope to have a mix of senior and junior scholars (including graduate students), and joint applications to present work by senior and junior scholars are welcomed. We plan to have approximately equal representation of SPSSI and EAESP members.

Presentations: Those interested in participating should submit a one-page summary of the work they would present at the meeting. In addition, please send a brief abstract (100 words or less) that could be included in the conference program, as well as a cover page indicating your name, affiliation, contact information, and membership status in SPSSI and/or EAESP. Depending on the number of promising applications we are keeping open the option of having some presentations in one or more poster sessions. Applications should be sent to Oliver Christ before February 29, 2008.