Introduction to the Graduate Student Subgroup

This subgroup originated after a particularly generative discussion during the online conference for the CIS Network in June 2020. Ph.D. Candidate Gian Hernandez offered to coordinate a subgroup in which graduate students and early-career researchers could come together and discuss some of the critical issues that occupy the network.

The group had its first meeting on October 9th, 2020. We discussed the potential directions we would like to take the group during this meeting, including sharing community with other graduate students and helping each other navigate academia. The group meets via the chatting platform Discord, which offers the opportunity to “drop in” and provides a transparent chat feature that everyone can access at any time. There were two main outcomes of the first and subsequent meetings. Firstly, we established a writing group that meets twice a week to accommodate those in different time zones. During the writing sessions, we follow the Pomodoro technique and chat about our individual projects to hold each other accountable. The second concrete outcome we decided upon was a semi-regular meeting to present our research to one another. During these presentations, we will offer each other informal feedback after a small presentation so that we can all benefit from one another’s expertise. The first of these meetings was on December 11th.

Because there is no central “leader,” each of these initiatives was brought forward by members of the group. We have had several members step forward to offer their ideas, and the discussion about the group’s trajectory is ongoing. Our goal is to foster an intentional community and hold space for all possibilities. Future activities could involve collaborating on articles together, putting together conference panels, and inviting senior members of the CIS Network to speak. If you’re interested in joining us, please don’t hesitate to join the discord server at

We look forward to having you with us!

Author: Gian-Louis Hernandezis a doctoral student and research assistant at the Institute for Communication, Culture and Society at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI). He is also the program coordinator of the European Masters in Intercultural Communication (EMICC). Gian holds an MA in Global Studies from Universität Humboldt zu Berlin, in collaboration with the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) Argentina.

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