I held the POLTEXT conference last weekend in Tokyo with Lisa Lechner and Miklos Sobok. At the end of the conference, many people thanked me for organizing the conference, but I owe much of the success to my assistants and the admin staff at Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS).
WIAS is Waseda University’s research-only institution where about 30 early-career scholars in different disciplines (from quantum physics, political science, to classics) conduct cutting-edge research independently during the three-year appointment. They enjoy high degrees of freedom with very little teaching requirement, making it an attractive place for both international and Japanese post-doc researchers.
With the great degrees of freedom at WIAS, I decided to organize POLTEXT in Tokyo last November to promote quantitative text analysis in non-European languages. There was a lot of work to do to hold the Europe-based conference in Asia: apply for funding, arranging travels, coordinating logistics, etc., but I managed to secure 37,000 EUR to cover the costs and implement the plan thanks to the full support by the admin staff. WIAS is a great place for early-career scholars not only to conduct research but also to promote research in Asia and beyond.
POLTEXT 2019 has finished (although there is a lot of paper work to do). It is time for me to leave Waseda University to take up a new position at the University of Innsbruck, so I have to say not only “thank you” but to “good-bye” to people at WIAS. I was thinking to work at the institution for at least two years when I arrived last June, but I decided to move on to further promote the methodology internationally.
My new position is at Digital Science Center and Political Science Department of the University of Innsbruck. Incidentally, the university will host POLTEXT 2020, so I will fully assist Lisa to organize the conference as a colleague at the same department as well as a member of the conference committee based on my experience in holding the conference.