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Department of Sociology Newsletter

Issue 6: January 20, 2020

Welcome back!

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back to campus. I hope you all had a terrific winter break and are returning rested and ready for a busy semester!

We have an exciting slate of speakers coming to campus this semester.  Among the highlights: This Thursday, Professor Rebecca Sandefur will be giving a colloquium entitled "Civil Justice and Social Inequality." Professor Sandefur is one of just a handful of sociologists to be awarded a coveted MacArthur "genius" grant in 2018. On March 5, Professor Kathleen Blee will give the 2020 SBS Dean's Distinguished Lecture with a talk entitled "Intellectual, Political, and Ethical Challenges in the Study of Contemporary White Supremacism."  Both talks will be followed by wine and cheese receptions. In addition, we have a number of other terrific speakers scheduled, not least a presentation by a faculty member in the newly established "Works-in-Progress" (WIP) colloquium. Each fall, a student will be invited to present a work in progress through the Jason B Phillips Memorial Lecture, followed by a Faculty WIP in the spring. 

We also look forward to celebrating our undergraduates with honors presentations scheduled for the end of April and commencement festivities in May.

Our first happy hour of the semester will be held at Roosterspin on February 5 from 4-6pm. We'll aim to hold one a month during the semester. Please try and stop by for one or more if you can.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2020, and thank you to everyone who shared their good news in this letter.

Julie Phillips
Department Chair
We look forward to welcoming Tom Davidson, our newest faculty member, in September!
We are delighted to announce that Tom Davidson will be joining our faculty as an assistant professor in fall 2020. Tom studies politics and culture using computational methods including machine learning, natural language processing, and social network analysis. At Cornell, he is currently completing his dissertation, which examines how radical right social movements, political parties, and their supporters have used social media to organize and engage with the public at an unprecedented scale. Check out his op-eds in the Washington Post to learn more about his exciting work.
Congratulations, Marie!
Marie Ferguson is a recipient of the 2019 SAS Staff Recognition award!  This award honors Marie's outstanding service to the Sociology department, and we’re thrilled that the school recognizes her hard work, deep commitment and fantastic contributions to our graduate program. Marie will be recognized at an SAS award ceremony on February 7. 
Professor Leslie Jones joined our department in September of 2019.  
We asked her to tell us a little bit about herself.
Welcome, Leslie!  It's great to have you here.

Tell us a little bit about your research. 

My research is about digitally enabled collective mobilization and culture. In graduate school, I became very interested in the outsized impact that perceptions of Black consensus on Twitter seemed to have on media framing of political news. I decided to discover for myself what (ultimately who) “Black Twitter” was through participant observation. Ultimately, I found that the popular imaginary of Black Twitter elides a deliberate, long-running effort by Black feminists to secure and protect  discursive space. These efforts have led to changes in the platform, and inspired new repertoires of digitally networked action.  

How did you become interested in sociology? 

There is definitely a thread of technology running through my interest in sociology over time. I wrote a senior thesis about pre-teens using Facebook together as a group bonding ritual. At the time, Facebook had just opened registration to users with email addresses that were not affiliated with a university. I was particularly interested in how people use social media in ways that are often quite in tension with the designers’ intentions or expectations. 

Tell us about your teaching interests and your plans for any new courses.

I have really broad teaching interests, including disciplinary staples like race, ethnicity & immigration; gender and sexuality; and qualitative methods. I can’t wait to teach a digital sociology theory and methods course. 

What book do you wish everyone would read?

Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts

And finally, what do you like to do in your free time? 

I like playing video games. Right now I am playing Death Stranding and Tetris 99. I also like to play with my dog, Riley.

Recent Dissertation Defenses
Congratulations to Dr. Victoria Gonzalez who successfully defended her dissertation "Where is the 'We' in Online Social Movements: Rethinking the Role of Collective Identity in Online Activism." From left to right: Karen A. Cerulo, Victoria M. Gonzalez, Mary Chayko and, via Skype, Joanna Kempner. Francesca Polletta was the outside member. Congratulations Victoria!
Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Stroffolino who successfully defended his dissertation "The Scientist’s Dilemma: the Ethics of Advocacy." He worked with Lee Clarke, Norah MacKendrick, Thomas Rudel, Phaedra Daipha, and Rebecca Jordan. Congratulations Andy!
Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to Steph Peña-Alves! Steph is the 2019 Harry C. Bredemeier Award Recipient in recognition of her outstanding teaching!  

Faculty Awards

The American Society of Criminology has established a graduate student award in Laurie Krivo's name. Congratulations to Laurie on this honor and well-deserved recognition of her career of dedicated mentorship of graduate students!

Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo Graduate Student Scholar Award

The ASC’s Division of Communities and Place Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo Graduate Student Scholar Award recognizes the best paper or book published (online or in print) in the past two years by graduate student division members. Papers or books can be sole-authored, or co-authored, as long as the nominated graduate student (i.e., the applicant) is the first author. There is no restriction on the rank or number of co-authors. One submission per applicant is permitted. Letters of support are not required.

Recent and Forthcoming Article Publications
Callejas, Laura M., and Hana Shepherd. 2020. “Conflict as a Social Status Mobility Mechanism in Schools: A Network Approach.” Social Psychology Quarterly,
Peña‐Alves, Stephanie. 2019. "Outspoken Objects and Unspoken Myths: The Semiotics of Object-Mediated Communication:" Symbolic Interaction.
Chaudhary, Ali R. & Luis E. Guarnizo. 2020. “Immigrant Integration, Stigma, and Pakistani Diaspora Organizations in Toronto and New York City” in Dennis Dijkzeul and Margit Fauser (Eds)Diaspora Organizations in International Affairs. Routledge Series on Global Institutions. London: Routledge

Guarnizo, L.E., A.R. Chaudhary and N. N. Sorenson. 2019. “Migrants’  Transnational Political Engagement in Spain and Italy” in Migration Studies. 7(3):281-322                     

Chaudhary, Ali R. 2019. “Immigrant and Ethnic Entrepreneurship” in Gold, Steven. J. and Stephanie J. Nawyn (eds) The Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies2nd Edition. London: Routledge
Brittany Friedman and Brooklynn Hitchens' chapter "Theorizing Embodied Carcerality: A Black Feminist Sociology of Punishment" is forthcoming in the long-awaited edited volume, Black Feminist Sociology: Perspectives and Praxis, edited by Zakiya Luna and Whitney Pirtle.  The volume features contributions from legendary black feminist sociologists Patricia Hill Collins and Dorothy Roberts.
Brittany Friedman's article "Carceral Immobility and Financial Capture: A Framework for the Consequences of Neoliberal Penology" is forthcoming in Criminal Justice Law Review.  The issue brings together forward thinking contributions from the leading scholars on monetary sanctions who convened in September 2019 at a symposium organized by Harvard Law School.
Toby, Jackson. 2019 ."‘Free College for All’ Is an Experiment That Has Already Failed." The Wall Street Journal, December 6
We hope everyone had an enjoyable and peaceful holiday season.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2020!
Presentations and Addresses
Ali Chaudhary and Quan Mai were invited to present their co-authored paper on Asian Immigrants'  Civic Engagement in the 2016 Presidental Campaign at a Symposium on Asian Americans held at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.
Ali Chaudhary gave an invited guest lecture to over 100 Rutgers Honors College students on immigrant contributions to American popular music, Rutgers Honors College, New Brunswick, NJ. October 9, 2019.
Ali R. Chaudhary gave an invited seminar entitled: "Racialized Incorporation in the Global North and Beyond", at the KNAW Academy Colloquium - Renewing the Migration Debate, which took place at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, NL. October 6-9th, 2019.
Brittany Friedman did an interview with Black Agenda Radio discussing the right to read within prisons.  The interview is titled "Slavery is Model for U.S. Prison Book Banning" and explains how most book bans are unconstitutional and function as social control.
Arlene Stein gave talks about her book Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity at Australian National University,  Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University, and at Bowdoin College.
Eviatar Zerubavel was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 for the October 12 program "Our Anniversary Obsession." 
Eviatar Zerubavel was featured in a long interview about his work in the journal Sociologica, Vol. 13.2 (2019): 55-74. 
Undergraduate News
Save the Date!
The Undergraduate Honors Presentations will take place on April 29  from 9:30 - 1 pm in the department library.  Lunch will be served. Stay tuned for more details.
We hope you were able to join us at the film screening of Southwest of Salem last semester.  The event featured the screening of the documentary, which tells the story of how, after being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the '80s and '90s, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration.  Following the screening, Mike Ware, the lawyer from the Innocence Project who helped exonerate these women, fielded a lively Q&A session.  Special thanks to Sharon Bzostek and Carissa Nadonley for their efforts to put together such an exciting event!
Congratulations to the 2020 graduating class of Rutgers Sociology!  
We look forward to celebrating with the 2020 graduating class of Rutgers Sociology.
The Sociology Undergraduate Major Graduation Ceremony will be held on May 13 from 6-8 pm in Kathleen W. Ludwig Learning Center, Douglass Campus.
Alumni News
Irene J. Dabrowski and Anthony L. Haynor. 2020. The ‘new person’ contested: Atheist humanist vs. Catholic worldviews on transhumanism. in Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence. Christopher Hrynkow (Ed.). Vernon Press
Congratulations to Rutgers Sociology alumnus, Dr. Robert E. Lang. As a professor of urban affairs and executive director of The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West in UNLV, Robert and the Lincy Institute received a $5 million donation to support their public policy research.
Janet A. Lorenzen earned tenure at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She was invited to be on a panel at ASA in San Francisco on the future of sociological inquiry into energy. 
Ghassan Moussawi. 2020. Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut. Temple University Press.
Lauren Murphy has accepted a two-year postdoctoral fellow position at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She has received a major grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to fund her research project “Identifying Disparities in Preventive Primary, Dental, and Vision Services after Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).”
Graduate program alumnus Vikash Singh recently received tenure at Montclair State University. 
Karen A. Cerulo was quoted in the article "It's the End of Accountability as we know it." published in DAME magazine. It is a piece about truth, lying and apologies in the public forum.
Ali R. Chaudhary was elected to serve a 3-year term as a Council Member for the Asia/Asian American section of the American Sociological Association.
Brittany Friedman was selected by the Zimmerli Art Museum to be a member of the interdisciplinary faculty advisory committee assisting with the upcoming Angela Davis Exhibition (September-December 2020).
Brittany Friedman signed a book contract with The University of North Carolina Press. Her forthcoming book on the Black Guerilla Family will be listed as a lead title in Sociology, African American Studies, Carceral Studies, and the prestigious special series Justice, Power, & Politics, which is co-edited by Pulitzer Prize winner Heather Ann Thompson and Rhonda Y. Williams.
Brittany Friedman's essay "Initiating Inmates: Closing Rikers Island without oversight will expose thousands of transferred inmates to new violence" was featured in Public Seminar and documents ongoing abuses committed by correctional personnel against inmates in NY jails.
Brooklynn Hitchens has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is one of the top rated criminology departments in the country. Congratulations Brooklynn!
Julie Phillips was quoted in an article in the LA Times about a recent study showing a link between minimum wage raises and lower suicide rates.
Arlene Stein is a proud volunteer on the Elizabeth Warren for President campaign. 
Hannah Troxel and her partner, Ryan Gander, became engaged. Image result for clipart wedding bells
Congratulations to Lisa Iorillo, who ran the marathon in the Windy City! She trained hard and finished it in four hours, 2 minutes and 5 seconds. 

And congratulations to Brent Hoagland, who ran the Philadelphia Marathon this past November and finished it in 4 hours 39 minutes. No photo - Brent was just happy it was over. :) Fantastic accomplishment!
In February, Marie will be singing the role of The Muse in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann with Opera Theater Rutgers. Performances will be Thursday, February 6th through Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 9th at 2 p.m at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. Additional information is available here.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Puerto Rico, please consider making a contribution to provide support.  Thanks to graduate student Mario Mercado-Diaz for providing a list of trustworthy organizations and individuals based in the Southern coast of PR. If you are interested in knowing more about these and other initiatives, check out this list made by Chicago Boricua Resistance. 

  1. Brigada Solidaria del Oeste: An organization dedicated to empowering communities through collective action and self-determination (autogestión). 
    1. Paypal: (Paste the email in Paypal)
  2. Espicy Nipples y La Sombrilla Cuir (Brigada Cuir): A transfeminist network that supports the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, low-income community, Black community, immigrant community and people with disabilities on the archipelago. 
    1. Paypal:
  3. Campamento de la Comunidad Arenas, Guánica: Community leaders in Arenas, Guánica (an affected area) are collecting funds in order to buy necessary items for this community and other affected areas.
    1. Paypal: ​
  4. Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico (FMPR): The Federation is working with allies to set up a collection center to collect and distribute needed supplies to those most affected by the recent earthquakes. Money donated here will be used to buy the much-needed items, which will be directly distributed to those who need it.
    1. GoFundMe
  5. Emerge Puerto Rico: A grassroots community organization based in Humacao. They will distribute their funds to community leaders and members. Because they are a nonprofit in Puerto Rico, Paypal charges a fee as if we were a business (nonprofits there don’t need to be 501c3 to be tax-exempt under local law so the majority don't have the US status). 
    1. Paypal:
January 23       4-5:30 pm          Rebecca Sandefur, Arizona State University &
                                                    Russell Sage “Civil Justice and Social
                                                    Reception to follow                                                                                                                                     
February 5       11:30 – 1 pm      Anthony Hatch, Wesleyan University
                                                    “Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive
February 12      11:30 – 1 pm     Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College “Move Over,
                                                    Mona Lisa. Move Over, Jane Eyre: Cultural
                                                    Inequality and What We Can Do About It”
                           1-3 pm              Professionalization Workshop: “Fantastic, I
                                                    have a job! Now what?: Making the transition
                                                    out of graduate school”
February 26     11:30 – 1 pm    Ted Mouw, UNC Chapel Hill “Ethnic niches and
                                                   social networks: are native workers displaced? 
                                                   Evidence using matched employer-employee
                                                   data from the LEHD" 
March 5             4-5:30 pm        Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh
                                                   SBS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture
                                                   “Intellectual, Political, and Ethical Challenges in
                                                    the Study of Contemporary White
March 12           10 am              Presentation: Office of Employment Equity
                                                   Students only (Faculty to be scheduled at a
                                                   later date)        
March 18                                   Happy Spring Break!
March 25           11:30 – 1 pm   Pawan Dhingra, Amherst College
                                                  “Hyper Education: Why Good Grades, Good
                                                   School and Good Behavior Are Not Enough”

March 27           10 am               Department Open House: Faculty Introductions
                           11:30 – 1 pm    Colloquium: Faculty/Student Panel
                           1 -2 pm             Lunch: Department Library
April 15             11:30 – 1 pm     Works-in-Progress (WIP) Colloquium: Faculty
April 22             11:30 – 1 pm     Wendy Roth, University of Pennsylvania
                                                   “The Social Impact of Genetic Ancestry Testing”
April 24             10 am – 2 pm    TA Training Session run by UGD
                                                    Seminar Room
April 29             9:30 – 1 pm       Undergraduate Honors Presentations
                                                    Seminar Room, with lunch to follow in Library
May 13              6-8 pm               Undergraduate Major Graduation Ceremony
                                                     Kathleen W. Ludwig Learning Center,
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