Each semester, the Initiative on Cities hosts a doctoral workshop, led by Professor of Sociology and IOC Faculty Fellow Japonica Brown-Saracino, that invites post graduate and Ph.D. candidates to explore the issues of urban inequality.

This bimonthly workshop approaches the topic of urban inequalities from different disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical angles. The workshop explores themes that include, but are not limited to: cities and race, economics, health, politics and governance, education, youth, climate change, resiliency, sexualities and gender, marketing, and neighborhoods.

Open to doctoral students from across the university, the workshop brings together students whose work addresses both theoretical and policy concerns. Workshops include two types of meetings:

  • presentations of work in progress by regular participants
  • presentation of work in process by scholars from outside of Boston University

Upcoming Workshops

Spring 2024

  • February 23, 2024: Dr. Alize Arican, Postdoctoral Scholar at BU Society of Fellows
    • “Figuring it Out: Caring Towards Futures of Urban Transformation in Istanbul”
  • March 22, 2024: Dr. James DeFilippis, Rutgers University
    • “Public-Making in Hyper-Diversity: Politics, Elections, and the Democratic Party in Queens, NY”
  • April 5, 2024: Andrew Ward, PhD Student in Sociology (BU)
    • “Rent Control or Damage Control? Tensions in Boston and Massachusetts’ Housing Policies”
  • May 3, 2024: Dr. Timothy Weaver, SUNY Albany
    • “Resistance and Rebellion: Egalitarianism in New York City”


Past Workshops 

Spring 2022

  • Landon Lauder, PhD Student in Sociology (BU):“Blindfolded and Bound: The Homonormative Urban Lens”
  • Dr. Andrew McCumber, PostDoc in Earth & Environment (BU): “The Pest We All Live With: Cultural Meaning and the Life and Death of Rats”
  • Dr. Brandi Thompson Summers, UC Berkeley: “Black Pasts + Presence: Anarchonautic Urbanism and the Spatial (Re)configuration of Black Life”
  •  Thomas Benson, PhD Candidate in Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware: “Urban Governance and Sustainability in Boston”

For a full list of sociology events, click here.