Invited Talks & Community Events

Invited talks

On March 6-7, 2023, I am excited to meet students and colleagues at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, to speak about the future of qualitative inquiry in a (post)pandemic world. Looking forward to the discussion with Iveta Silova and others!

For the World Qualitative Research Conference, I was invited to give a special pre-conference talk to engage participants and entice them to submit their abstracts to the upcoming conference. It was a fabulous discussion with Dr. Elizabeth Pope about qualitative inquiry, transformative inquiry, and critical self-reflection.

In June 2022, I had the pleasure of giving a plenary at the Social Justice in Multicultural Societies conference in Haifa, Israel. This was the first face-to-face conference I’ve attended in a couple of years, and the dialogues and learning offered a tremendous depth of consideration around developing hands-on practices for working with multicultural communities (e.g., Arab, Druze, Jewish, Ethiopian refugees). Other keynotes included Drs. James A. Banks and Cherry McGee-Banks who spoke about their expertise in multicultural education. A big thanks to the work of Professor Deborah Court, Adv. Zaki Kamal (President of the conference), Rhonda Khairova-Abbas (President of the Academic Arab College of Education), along with the work of their extraordinarily organized teams. I spoke on “Empowering qualitative social justice researchers and communities in multicultural contexts” drawing from my recent book, Questions in Qualitative Social Justice in Multicultural Contexts.

Earlier in the year, I presented a keynote for the 13th Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference. While normally meeting face-to-face, this year the event met virtually.

Enhancing gender-based research with qualitative social justice research

At the beginning of 2022, it was a delight to present a keynote for the 6th annual World Conference for Qualitative Research (WCQR) on their virtual platform. Reaching audiences in around 100 countries, I shared about becoming a “better” researcher, one who is focused on equity and inclusion. The YouTube video is now available

In November 2021, I had the opportunity to have a book launch with the Nazarbayev University Library.

Book Talk: Questions in Qualitative Social Justice Research in Multicultural Contexts. Nazarbayev University Library.

Thanks to the Asian Qualitative Research Association, I have the opportunity to give a plenary talk guiding early career researchers in becoming “better” researchers and ways in which to focus and incorporate equity and inclusion into our work.

Flyer for the AQRA conference with photos of keynote and plenary speakers
Invited Plenary – How to become a “better” researcher? Critical self-reflection in qualitative social justice research. Asian Qualitative Research Association. October, 2021.

Plenary – How to become a “better” researcher? Critical self-reflection in qualitative social justice research. Asian Qualitative Research Association. October, 2021.

  • Life-changing moments in qualitative research: A transdisciplinary travel anthology. NVivo Virtual Conference: Transcending Boundaries in Qualitative Research. September 2021.
  • Keynote: Equity and Inclusion in Qualitative Research. 20th Annual Thinking Qualitatively Conference. July 2021.


Beyond Work/Life Balance: A Photovoice Study of Motherscholars in a Global Crisis

This study explored experiences of those who identity as mothers and academics (referred to as “motherscholars”) during the height of the lockdown and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Issues of gender equity and parity are issues worldwide, including in higher education. The pandemic added untenable roles for mothers working in academia and will have unprecedented effects on recruitment, retention and promotion. This study sought to understand first-hand what motherscholars were facing during those first few months of the pandemic. It moves beyond experiences to identify structural issues and hidden obstacles faced. The website can be seen here –

The photovoice website was an arts-based advocacy platform as an outcome of a study conducted during then COVID-19 pandemic (from May-July 2020) with those who identity as mothers and academics (referred to as “motherscholars”). Issues of gender equity and parity are issues worldwide, including in higher education. The pandemic added untenable roles for mothers working in academia and will have unprecedented effects on recruitment, retention and promotion. This study sought to understand first-hand what motherscholars were facing during those first few months of the pandemic. It moves beyond experiences to identify structural issues and hidden obstacles faced. The website can be seen here – . The project was recently mentioned in an interview for Galym Galam current event series for Nazarbayev University (link)

Global Education Times (May 2020)

Global Education Times (GET) discusses my work in developing the Higher Ed Learning Collective, the next steps for the Collective, and the connection to Kazakhstan.

London Business School Professor Share Leadership Lessons (2020)

 In their weekly roundup in moving entirely online, they highlight my recommendations for online learning, “Dr Anna CohenMiller, from Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, shares four ways professors are mastering online teaching.”

Resources of support during times of corona virus (2020)

Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) compiled a set of resources for support during the corona virus, including my post about Jumping into Online Teaching and the Higher Ed Learning Collective

Tips for Teaching Online (2020)

Dr. Kathy Roulston, Professor of Qualitative Research at the University of Georgia, posted on QualPage, Tips for teaching online. In the post, she highlights my work for How to Jump into Online Teaching, the living Google doc I developed for Online Learning for our University and beyond, and the Higher Ed Learning Collective

Higher Ed Learning Collective (2020, March)

Dr. CohenMiller is one of the founding members and advisory board member for the Higher Ed Learning Collective. It started at the beginning of the crisis with the corona virus and the need for educators to move online to teach and learn. The resultant set of resources and community engagement are promoting opportunities for collective support and ideas for the future of higher education. Currently at over 26,000 members across more than 100 countries.

Learning from popular culture’s changing ideals of normativity (2020, Feb)

The post announces the work of Editor in Chief, Dr. CohenMiller and editorial team for the latest issue 7.1 of Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy

EXPOsing gender in science: a visual analysis with lessons for gender awareness and science diplomacy (2020, Feb)

Announcing the cross-disciplinary study examining gender representation in photographs as showcased at the Astana world expo.


The Gender Forum (2019, June)

I lead the development of the 1st Annual Gender Forum at Nazarbayev University: Challenges & Changes in Gender & Sexuality in Central Asia: Bridging Researchers, Policy Makers, & Practitioners
  • Developed through a grant with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, sponsored from the Office of the Provost, and coordinated by The Consortium of Gender Scholars, I was central to developing and leading the Executive Conference Committee in the development and institution of the first gender forum of this format in the region. June 13-14, 2019, Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan.
  • Hosted on the Nazarbayev University campus and coordinated by The Consortium of Gender Scholars (GenCon), the Forum seeks to bring together interested parties to explore a range of areas related to gender with the goal of raising awareness and building bridges between researchers, policy makers, and practitioners to advance gender equity in Central Asia. The primary language of the Forum was English with translation provided for some sessions in Russian and Kazakh


COVID, Mothers, & Work: Finding a Way Forward: Panelist. International Association of Maternal Association and Scholarship. (2020, July)

This panel offered current research and findings regarding mothering during the Covid crisis. Discussion included how to approach the coming months as teachers, mothers, and activists. I presented on an arts-based research study using photovoice to highlight the “reality” of mothers working in higher education who also have children at home during quarantine.

Interview about Equity and Diversity in Higher Education: Navigationalist Podcast (2020, July)

Invited by Jimmy Chefan, Assistant to Vice President of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at Madison College, I spoke about steps for equity and inclusion in higher education, focusing on steps to facilitate the success of historically marginalized communities, such as mothers in academia.

Panel for Motherscholars: Moderator. Nazarbayev University Library, Astana, Kazakhstan. (2019, March)

As part of Week of Women, an event we launched through The Consortium of Gender Scholars, the University community highlights achievements of women throughout disciplinary sections. In the panel, I led five women through conversations and discussion about being a mother and scholar, moving beyond the typical construct of “work-life balance” into considering the larger organizational structures and sociocultural expectations for the roles of mother and for women as scholars.

Panel: Mothers and Scholars: speaker & moderator. Nazarbayev University Library and Consortium of Gender Scholars. Astana, Kazakhstan. (2018, March)

  • In this panel, I was invited to be a key speaker and moderate discussion with faculty and students across the University to explore the experiences of mothers working and learning within higher education. This was one of the first events for Week of Women at the University. 

Cooperative Learning Workshop to Learn, Deeply Reflect, and Advocate for Graduate Student Mothers – facilitator & coordinator.  Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. (2017, July)

This roundtable was contextualized within the Sociologists for Women in Society social action grant. I was awarded funding, although did not end up needing to utilize it for the roundtable because of donations from local organizations. 
  • The project provides a forum for graduate student mothers to come together with international specialists studying and working with mothers in academia. Through a full day, cooperative workshop, participants will (1) learn about research in the field of mothers in academia, (2) be guided through deep reflective practice and collective sharing—a form of feminist practice of oral history (Berger Gluck, 1991), (3) identify campus/community needs specific to the concerns of mothers in academia, and (4) develop advocacy platform to address campus and community needs.
  • Guest speakers included: Dr. Lisa Wolf-Wendel and Dr. Denise Demers

Academic Mothers and Multiple Roles: speaker – WIN Breakfast Talks, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan. (2016, April)

  • Hosted by the Office of the Provost, I was invited to speak about within the set of seminars to discuss the multiple roles of academic mothers.
  • These seminars aim to demystify some aspects of academic careers. They provide an opportunity to meet colleagues from other Departments, Schools and units and share a cup of tea. All NU faculty, teaching assistants and staff, women and men, are very welcome.


Motherhood and Scholarship – KGNU, a series of radio shows hosted over more than 30 years, from Boulder, Colorado. (2019, Feb)

For this radio show, I was invited for an interview with Professor Emeritus, Joe Juhasz, and affiliated faculty with the Center for Asian Studies.In this 25 minute interview, I discuss the structural obstacles universities are faced with in ensuring an equitable environment for all. 
  • “From 8.35-9am Joe Juhasz hosts Good Ol CU with guest Anna Cohenmiller Assistant Professor & Co-Founding Director of The Consortium of Gender Scholars  Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, Republic of Kazakhstan. She is founding director of The Motherscholar Project (; Founding Co-Editor and Editor-in-Chief: Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy ( The topic is Mother Scholars in Academia.” 

Traveling to Conferences with KidsaKIDemic Life – a resource hub for carers in academia (2019, Feb)

In this interview, I was invited to discuss the ways in which I have found traveling with kids to conferences has affected my academic career. I discuss both the larger framework of how conferences can provide resources for academic families and also tips for visiting a new location with a family. 

Interview with a mothering emphasis: A day in the life of a mom in Astana (2017, March) – Bebe Voyage – an online community supporting and encouraging family travel

In this interview, I discuss a typical weekend day off of work, as a mother in Kazakhstan, providing insight to life abroad with two young children.