Category: Faculty

Prof. Catherine Connell on Protecting LGBT Americans from Employment Discrimination

June 2nd, 2015 in Faculty, News

connell1In a post on the University of California Press Blog, Professor Catherine Connell writes about the “legal rights lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are still struggling to secure, including the right to employment.” Citing four decades of failed attempts at passing federal protections, Connell discusses the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill expected to be reintroduced – for the eleventh time – to Congress within the month, which would protect all employees federally from employment discrimination based upon sexual identity and/or gender expression. 

Drawing from interviews with gay and lesbian teachers conducted in 2008 for her recently published book, “School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom” (University of California Press, 2014), Connell considers the impact of this legislation and calls for even more work to be done “to help gay and lesbian teachers and by extension, LGBT workers more generally, feel truly protected.”

Read the entire article here.


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Sociology Welcomes New Faculty Neha Gondal and Saida Grundy

May 20th, 2015 in Faculty, News

Gondal-and-Grundy1The Department of Sociology is committed to understanding and challenging institutionalized inequalities. We welcome critical reflection and conversations on race.

It is in this spirit that we welcome our new colleagues Neha Gondal and Saida Grundy, who join the faculty this Fall.

Dr. Neha Gondal received her PhD from Rutgers University in 2013 following which she served as Assistant Professor of Sociology at The Ohio State University for two years. She specializes in the study of culture and stratification through the lens of social networks using quantitative, interpretive, and mathematical techniques.

Dr. Saida Grundy received her PhD in August 2014 in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan.  She studies the dynamics of race, class and gender and has conducted research on race, masculinity and class reproduction at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Welcome Neha and Saida!

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Nicole Aschoff Publishes “The New Prophets of Capital”

April 17th, 2015 in Faculty, News

Jacobin_Series_New_Prophets_of_Capital_300dpi_CMYK-max_221-29fb2aa407efec2686bda1921a236988Mythmaking is as central to sustaining our economy as proft-making, particularly as severe environmental degradation, breathtaking inequality, and increasing alienation among youth push capitalism against its own contradictions.”

In her newly published book, The New Prophets of Capital, Adjunct Professor Nicole Aschoff discusses the “new generation of wealthy mythmakers, masquerading as progressive thinkers,” who have emerged during this time of crisis “to reinvent the free market as the solution to society’s problems.” From Oprah to Sheryl Sandberg, John Mackey to Bill and Melinda Gates, these “new prophets of capital buttress the exploitative system, even as the cracks grow more visible.”

Nicole argues that “if we are serious about addressing the miseries and anxieties on which these prophets prey, […] we must give up our belief in the inevitability of the capitalist system that they mythologize.”

The New Prophets of Capital is available from Verso Books. 

Congratulations, Nicole!

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Professor Catherine Connell Receives Award for Excellence in Teaching

April 16th, 2015 in Faculty, News

connellProfessor Catherine Connell has been selected the recipient of the Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching. According to the College of Arts and Sciences website, this honor is “[A]warded annually to CAS faculty who exemplify deep and broad commitment, skill, effectiveness, impact, and leadership in teaching,” and recognizes not just excellence inside scheduled classes, but “the full range of pedagogical and curricular activities in which” faculty engage, including academic advising, mentorship, curriculum development, pedagogical innovation and collaborative scholarship with students. 

A qualitative researcher, Professor Connell’s teaching focuses on the social organization of inequality by examining  how the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexual identities and inequalities are created, sustained and/or challenged in different social settings. She recently published School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroomwhich considers the experiences of gay and lesbian identified public school teachers in California and Texas and the pressures they face inside and outside the classroom. Her next research project will consider the legal and cultural ramifications of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on the US military. 

Professor Connell will be recognized at the final CAS Faculty Meeting of the year, on Monday, April 27, at 4:00 PM, in CAS Room 522.

Congratulations, Cati!

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Professor Susan Eckstein Awarded 2015 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship

April 15th, 2015 in Faculty, News

ecksteinSusan Eckstein, a Professor of Sociology and International Relations in the Pardee School of Global Studies, has been awarded a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for her research on Cuban immigration exceptionalism.

In its ninety-first competition, the Guggenheim Fellowship awarded 173 Fellowships to 175 scholars, chosen from over 3,100 applicants “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

Author of The Immigrant Divide: How Cuban Americans Changed the US and Their Homeland, Professor Eckstein has previously been awarded grants and fellowships from a number of prestigious institutes, including the MacArthur Foundation, Radcliffe Institute and the American Council of Learned Societies (among others). During her fellowship in 2016, Professor Eckstein plans to study U.S.-Cuban immigration policy, noting in an interview with the Pardee School that “Cubans get immigration privileges no other foreign born gets. Any Cuban who touches U. S. land has a right to stay, get a green card, and enjoy a path to citizenship.” She plans to study this “exceptionalism” and its historical and future impacts.

For more information, please see the Pardee School of Global Studies website or the website for the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

Congratulations, Susan!

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Professor Connell and “School’s Out” Featured in Interview

March 17th, 2015 in Faculty, News

connellProfessor Catherine Connell’s “School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom” was featured in an article on on February 24th. In an interview with Hayley Matthews, Professor Connell describes her research on the pressures that gay and lesbian public school teachers face inside and outside of the classroom.

“On the one hand, gay and lesbian teachers have to contend with this expectation that they keep their sexuality out of the classroom and that they present themselves as very gender normative, and on the other hand, there’s this increasing demand within the gay pride community that all LGBTs should be out and proud at all times,” she said.

Read the entire article at


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Professor Harris In Bangkok, Thailand

February 22nd, 2015 in Faculty, News

photoProfessor Joseph Harris was recently invited to travel to Bangkok, Thailand to share knowledge and insights related to the political economy of universal health coverage as part of a workshop sponsored by the World Bank for countries in the Southeast Asian region moving towards universal health coverage. The workshop was held in the days leading up to the invitation-only Prince Mahidol Awards Conference for members of the global health community in Bangkok, Thailand from Jan 26-31, 2015, which Harris also attended.

This engagement builds on Harris’ previous work on universal coverage and past work with international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He contributed to the World Bank’s landmark report released in 2014 – Universal Health Coverage for Inclusive and Sustainable Development – which represented the Bank’s first involvement in the political economy of universal coverage. Harris also previously served as a delegate to the Japan-World Bank Conference on Universal Coverage in December 2013 and led the political economy section of a workshop on universal coverage for members of the global health community in Washington in October 2014.

These experiences naturally build on Harris’ research on the politics of expanding access to healthcare and HIV/AIDS medication. He is currently finalizing his book manuscript on the politics of access to healthcare and medicine in Thailand, Brazil, and South Africa, and his article, “’Developmental Capture’ of the State: Explaining Thailand’s Universal Coverage Policy,” was recently featured in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

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Professor Harris Invited to be a Fellow by the Southeast Asia Research Group

February 4th, 2015 in Faculty, News

photoProfessor Joseph Harris was recently selected as a Fellow by the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG), established in 2013 by a group of senior scholars at top U.S. research institutions to highlight the best new research being done by young social scientists working on Southeast Asian politics, and to establish a network of scholars in political science and allied disciplines who are working at the forefront of Southeast Asian studies in North America. Only six fellows were selected in a very competitive search process for leading work in the study of Southeast Asia.

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Professor Eckstein on American-Cuban Relations

January 26th, 2015 in Faculty, News


(Originally published on the Pardee School of Global Studies website)

Susan Eckstein, professor of International Relations and Sociology at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, argued that a newfound relationship with Cuba must mean the end of special privileges for Cuban immigrants.

Eckstein made her case in Reuters, writing a Jan. 6 post for their analysis blog The Great Debate called Time to end special privileges for Cuban Immigrants.

In the piece, Eckstein states:

In Washington’s overhauled Cuba immigration policy, Cubans should have the same rights as other foreign-born immigrants — no more, no less. The minority who seek refuge from persecution qualify for admission independent of the Cuban Adjustment Act and independent of Clinton’s bilateral immigration agreement. Their refugee rights should be protected.

Both the Cuban-American political leadership and the Obama administration have created an opening to address the outdated U.S. policy on Cuba. It is time to stop unjustly favoring Cubans above all other immigrants.

You can read the entire article here.

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Professor Swartz’ “Symbolic Power” Celebrates ASA Publication Award

September 1st, 2014 in Faculty, News


Professor Swarts with Silvia Pedraza, Chair of Award Committee

Professor David Swartz (L) and Professor Silvia Pedraza of the University of Michigan and Chair of the Award Committee for the History of Sociology Section

Prof Swartz with Neil Gross of Chair of ASA Historical Sociology Association

Professor David Swartz (L) and Professor Neil Gross of the University of British Columbia, Chair of the History of Sociology Section and Editor of Sociological Theory.

Professor David Swartz’s SymbolicPower, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu was awarded as co-winner of the American Sociological Association’s 2014 History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award at the ASA Conference in August.

Read more about his award here. 


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