The São Paulo School of Advanced Science on Research Methods for the Humanities will host one hundred students between the 10th and 21st of July 2017. Courses will be taught in English and have been designed for graduate students and recent PhDs (undergraduates can be accepted under exceptional circumstances). Applications will be accepted between March 20-31, 2017. Candidates will have to choose two among the eight courses available, one for each week. Selected candidates will be fully funded by Fapesp (stipend and flight tickets).

All courses consist of a total of 20 hours divided into five sessions over two weeks (July 10 –14 and July 17–21, 2017)


Week 1 (July 10-14, 2017)

  • Event History Analysis
  • Digital Ethnography
  • Kinship networks
  • Multilevel Analysis for the Social Sciences

Week 2 (July 17-21, 2017)

  • Methods for Subnational Population Projections
  • Introduction to Game Theory
  • Experiments in the Social Sciences
  • Archival Ethnography: The Intersection of Anthropology and History

Event History Analysis  (Week 1)

Dr. Benoît Laplante

The course is an introduction to the use of survival analysis in the social sciences. It covers biographical data collection, storage and handling; the life table as a statistical model and some estimators of it, including the Kaplan-Meier estimator; as well as survival models including the Poisson model, the logit model, the Cox model and piecewise constant exponential model. The course combines theoretical classes and data workshops. Students are assumed to have some familiarity with regression analysis. Prior knowledge of the life table is not required, but may help. Data workshops are done with Stata; students are assumed to be familiar with the software.

Digital Ethnography (Week 1)

Dr. Edgar Gomez-Cruz

The main aim of this course is to discuss the ethnographic work under the digital culture. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are part of the actual culture and it is necessary to build an ethnographic thinking about and with them. In the last years, many works have been discussing Virtual Ethnography (Hine, 2000), Netnography (Kozinets, 2010) or Digital Anthropology (Horst and Miller, 2012). These concepts have been designed to help the ethnographic studies about digital cultures. Actually, we have studies focused on digital objects and more traditional works using digital tools. During the course, students will have a broad overview about the relationship between ethnography and ICTs regarding the following themes: a) The creative use of ICTs to the analysis of ethnographic data; b) The ethical implications concerning these kinds of studies. Students will be encouraged during the course to develop specific tools connected to their own research interests.

Kinship Networks (Week 1)

Dr. Márcio Silva

Kinship (consanguinity and affinity) varies greatly from culture to culture as well as the extent of relevant kinship connections. Furthermore, as any human institution, it is subject to changes over time. Concepts, norms, and practices of kinship constitute one of the most complex challenges of social anthropology which satisfy the requirements for computer-based analysis. It is therefore no coincidence that the earliest efforts, in the Sixties, to use computer applications in anthropology were devoted to kinship matters. In the last fifty years, some tools were forged for creating and maintaining genealogical databases and analyzing kinship networks. These tools have allowed us to resume the study of a classical anthropological subject, the matrimonial circuits which result when spouses are linked to each other by kinship ties in a given network. In sum, it is this interdisciplinary challenge in computational and anthropological modeling of kinship that this course endeavors to pursue.

Multilevel Analysis for the Social Sciences (Week 1)

Dr. Maira Covre

Social research frequently involves problems that investigate the relationship between individuals and society. It is assumed that individuals interact with the social contexts they belong, meaning that these individuals are influenced by their social groups or contexts, and that those groups are, in turn, influenced by individuals who are part of that group. Commonly, individuals and their social groups are presented as a hierarchical system, with individuals and groups defined at distinct levels of this system. The appropriate methodological tool for analyze such a hierarchical system is called multilevel analysis. The main goal of this course is to present the theoretical basics of multilevel modeling and some methodological issues related to it. The student will also learn how to create and analyze multilevel data sets, to interpret the output and to report the results. The benefits of multilevel analysis are discussed in theory and with practical examples.

Methods for Subnational Population Projections (Week 2)

Dr. Marcos Gonzaga

Estimations and forecasting of sex and age-specific population across time and space are very important for formulation and evaluation of public policies. Many existing approaches, including statistical and mathematical formulations, estimates the total of population between and after demographic census. However, no statistical or mathematical approaches by themselves make possible to incorporate demographic dynamics (i.e. fertility, mortality and migration) into population estimates and forecasting. This short course aims to present demographic and mathematical methods for subnational population projections. First, for larger areas in Brazil, as Federative Unit (state), it will be presented methods for estimate and forecasting sex and age-specific fertility, mortality and migration rates. Then, a cohort component method that integrate those demographic rates will be presented followed by applications to Federal Units in Brazil. Finally, based on the population projections for those larger areas, mathematical methods, used to project populations for small areas, will be shortly approached. Applicants should have some knowledge of R software.

Introduction to Game Theory (Week 2)

Dr. Umberto Mignozzetti

The objective of this class is to build up a working knowledge in applied game theory, focusing on current International Relations and Political Economy problems. By the end of the class the student is expected to have a working knowledge in game theory that will facilitate the understanding of academic articles, as well as model real world situations using game theory. The class does not assume any previous knowledge in game theory, and the math requirements are kept at minimum: high school math without any calculus pre-requisites. In the class we will be studying games ranging from simple Pure Strategy Nash Equilibrium computations, to more sophisticated Bayesian games and Bargaining models.

Experiments in the Social Sciences (Week 2)

Ph.D Candidate Natália Bueno

The search for causality is ubiquitous in social sciences. Do conditional cash transfers reduce poverty? Do medical doctors, without any increase in investments in infra-structure, improve communities’ health outcomes? Is the difference in income between whites and nonwhites caused by class and educational inequalities or racial discrimination? What is the effect of labor training on income? Are civil wars caused by economic instability? When we are interested in finding out the effects of causes, it is often very hard to separate different causes: how can we parse out the effects of class, schooling, and race given their high levels of correlation? How do identify the effect of labor training from motivate if the most industrious workers are the ones who seek out extra training? How do we identify the effects of economic instability on civil wars if civil wars may also be a cause of economic downturns? For many years, the experimental approach was very marginal in the social sciences compared to the medical and pharmaceutical sciences. However, we observe a growing trend of the “experimentalist revolution” in the social sciences, particularly in psychology and economics. We will discuss that, despite the limitations and challenges involved in conducting experiments in the social sciences, there is great potential.

Archival Ethnographies: The Intersection of Anthropology and History (Week 2)

Dr. Christiano Tambascia and Dr. Mariana Françozo

The collaboration between Anthropology and History, championed by last century intellectuals, has been producing research in which the interdisciplinary approach is unavoidable. However, the paths opened by critics to conjectural history in Anthropology, as it has been attributed to social evolutionism, bringing to the spotlight the debate on the statute of historical sources, coupled with the never accomplished promise of historical ethnographies, could only take further such disciplinary dialogue after the unfolding of reflexive criticism in a post-colonial context. The question concerning the production of knowledge, in this sense, has shifted the certainties of analysis searching for a non-mediated realism.  It has also placed the political instruments of academic practice in the center of the debate. Therefore, a study of power structures in research contexts began in parallel with the necessity of questioning the use and access to data, which frequently reached beyond the scientific field: in order to assemble a critical social analysis, what relations underlining the production of knowledge can be highlighted? What archiving policies should be investigated? The studies on colonial archives and museums, which are both the source and the result of classic anthropological and historical research, allow us to gaze upon the archival institutions with an ethnographic stance and, therefore, produce an interesting historical account of these disciplines. This course aims to discuss theoretical, methodological and, above all, epistemological issues concerning the nature of the knowledge that is produced by archival and museum collection research, as well as the kind of archives and memories that are thus created. The debates on the organization of historical and museum permanent archives, as well as on the politics of conservation and access, will provide the means to consider the intertwining between anthropology and history in a reflexive and questioning perspective.