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Colloquium Schedule

UC San Diego’s Sociology Colloquium Speaker Series offers the opportunity to learn about the latest research from leading scholars in sociology and closely related fields. Presentations are followed by Q&A.

Under normal circumstances, colloquia are held Thursday in SSB 101. All events whether In Person or Zoom are scheduled from 12:30pm - 1:50pm. 


Spring 2023

April 13, 2023


Speaker: UC Provost Kathy Newman & Dr. Elisabeth Jacobs

Title: Moving the Needle: What Tight Labor Markets Do for the Poor

Abstract: Most research on poverty focuses on the damage caused by persistent unemployment. A central implication from sociologists and other social scientists is that labor market participation plays a seminal role in building ladders to opportunity for poor workers, families, and communities. But what actually happens when jobs are plentiful and workers are hard to come by? Moving the Needle examines how very low unemployment boosts wages at the bottom, improves job quality, lengthens job ladders, and pulls the unemployed into a booming job market. Drawing on over seventy years of quantitative data as well as interviews with employers, jobseekers, and longtime residents of poor neighborhoods, Katherine S. Newman and Elisabeth S. Jacobs investigate the most durable positive consequences of tight labor markets. They consider the downside of overheated economies, which can fuel surging rents and ignite outmigration. And they draw on the evidence to offer a call to implement policies and practices on behalf of those workers who have for too long been shut out of opportunity to thrive.

April 25th, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Michael Burawoy – UC Berkeley Title: Race, Class and Capitalism: The Changing Views of W.E.B. Du Bois

Abstract: How should we think about the relations among race, class and capitalism? Does racism drive capitalism or capitalism drive racism? Can one end racism under capitalism? Or does one first have to vanquish capitalism? W.E.B. Du Bois’ sociology offers a succession of answers to these questions as he wrestled with a life of public and political engagement that spanned the world.

April 27th, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Paige Sweet – Univ. of Michigan
Title: Paradoxes of Survivorhood: Becoming Legible after Domestic Violence
Abstract: For women who have experienced domestic violence, proving that you are a “good victim” is no longer enough. Victims must also show that they are recovering, as if domestic violence were a disease: they must transform from “victims” into “survivors.” Women’s access to life-saving resources may even hinge on “good” performances of survivorhood. In this talk, I focus on how domestic violence victims make themselves legible as “good” survivors in the increasingly medicalized institutions surrounding domestic violence. Victims face pressure to attend therapy – and demonstrate psychological recovery – in order to access state resources like child custody and visas. I then highlight the strategies that women develop to become legible as “survivors” in powerful institutions, such as performing survivorhood through “respectable” motherhood and sexuality. More generally, I use an intersectional lens to uncover how “resilience” and “survivorhood” can become coercive and exclusionary forces in women’s lives. As such, this project wrestles with questions about the gendered nature of the welfare state, the unintended consequences of feminist mobilizations for anti-violence programs, and the women who are left behind by the limited forms of citizenship we offer them.

May 11th, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Robert Manduca – Univ. of Michigan
Talk Information Forthcoming

May 18th, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Amelia Glaser – UCSD
Title: Our Newsfeed is a Gallery of Loss': Translating and Archiving Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry
Abstract: Our newsfeed is a gallery of loss,” writes Halyna Kruk, a poet living and writing in Ukraine. In this talk, Amelia Glaser, a translator and scholar of Ukrainian poetry, will discuss how Ukrainian poets have responded to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainian poets have long used social media, in particular, Facebook, as an archive to share and store their work. Prof. Glaser will share a database that she has been compiled with her students from Ukrainian poets’ Facebook posts. This kind of archive of contemporary poems posted over the last decade, helps to better understand shifts in language, themes, genres, and networks among East European poets. It also offers a new method for scholars to combine the practices of “close” and “distant” reading to better understand the relationship between significant political events and the literary arts.
o Amelia M. Glaser is Professor of Literature at UC San Diego, where she holds the Chair in Judaic Studies. She is the author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands (Northwestern U.P., 2012) and Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine (Harvard UP, 2020). She is the editor of Stories of Khmelnytsky: Literary Legacies of the 1648 Ukrainian Cossack Uprising (Stanford U.P., 2015) and, with Steven Lee, Comintern Aesthetics (U. Toronto Press, 2020). She translates from Yiddish, Ukrainian, and Russian. Most recently, she translated, together with Yuliya Ilchuk, a book of collected poems by the Ukrainian poet Halyna Kruk, A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails. She is currently writing a book about contemporary Ukrainian poetry

May 25th, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Catherine Tan – Vassar College
Title: White Shaman: Healing Cultural Banality through Non-Western and Indigenous Practices
Abstract: Those who claim to be 21st Century Western healers offer a range of services—they venture into the underworld to find lost souls, they retrieve messages from deceased ancestors, they send healing energy to the sick. Clients consult with them in hopes of alleviating stress, trauma, mental illnesses, and chronical illnesses (like autoimmune conditions and cancer). Healers incorporate and blend practices from multiple traditions outside of their own cultural heritage, including Peruvian shamanism, Native American shamanism, Scandinavian shamanism, Dagaran practices, and Japanese Reiki. I ask, how do they claim authority and legitimacy as healers? How do they understand their relationship to these traditions that they are deploying? How do they negotiate and identify cultural boundaries? Participants, particularly those who are White, detailed the importance of their practice’s non-Western and Indigenous roots and long history; yet, paradoxically, they noted that these practices belong to everyone, thereby justifying their own use and monetization. Critiquing the shortcomings of conventional/Western medicine, healers gerrymander traditions across the globe in effort to legitimize their practice. And in this process, they lean on their work to enrich their cultural identity.
o As part of a larger, ongoing ethnographic project on healers working outside of conventional medicine, this study draws from a subset of 22 interviews with self-identifying shamanic, spiritual, and energetic healers across the United States. Ten participants identified as White, five as multiple races (three of these participants are White-presenting), three as Asian, three as Latino/a, and one participant indicated “no answer.” Interviews were conducted both in person (in New York and California) and through video conferencing.
o This presentation explores my early findings. First, I examine participants’ critique of conventional medicine and their perceived relationship to medical professionals. Second, I illustrate how participants described their training and unique curation of non-Western and Indigenous healing traditions. Participants highlighted the differences between these traditions and Western medicine and sensibilities. Despite their expressed admiration, I note how participants reproduced ideas about the primitive other. Third, I describe how participants claimed cultural richness through their work as healers, mitigating the blandness they associated with Whiteness and Western Christianity.

June 1st, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Ryon Cobb – Rutgers University
Talk Information Forthcoming