Read the CFP for the third annual graduate student conference sponsored by the SSA, Narrating the Social.
Author Archives: Sociology Students Association
The following resolution was passed by the executive committee of the Hunter College PSC chapter today (October 19, 2011):
The executive committee of the Hunter College chapter of the Professional Staff Congress condemns the widespread spying on Muslim students and campus clubs by the New York Police Department that has been revealed in an on-going investigation by the Associated Press. The clandestine operation goes back at least to 2003, according to the reports.
Among the groups and campuses targeted were those at several colleges of the City University of New York, particularly Brooklyn College. At Hunter, as well as Queens College, City College and La Guardia, documents uncovered by AP reports say the police used “secondary” undercover agents, raising the possibility that other agencies or planted informants were used to infiltrate student associations.
The NYPD’s spying, infiltration and racial, religious and anti-immigrant profiling target our students and violate the basic democratic rights of all of us who work and study at Hunter and throughout the City University of New York. They are a fundamental violation of academic freedom, the effect of which can only be to chill and intimidate inquiry and discussion.
Such fishing expeditions violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protecting freedom of speech and association. The secret spying operation may also be in violation of a 1992 memorandum of understanding between the NYPD and the City University prohibiting city police from entering CUNY campuses in non-emergency situations without permission of university officials.
Despite CUNY officials’ denials that they knew of the spying operation, in some cases NYPD detectives were reportedly given access to student records, which would place CUNY in violation of the 1974 federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. According to that law, this could mean that all federal funding to the City University would be cut off, including research funds, Pell Grants and federal student loans.
The Hunter College chapter of the PSC joins with the Brooklyn Faculty Council in protesting this outrage, demanding that the police infiltration of City University stop, and calling on CUNY officials, including the Hunter administration and Public Safety Department, to detail their knowledge of or involvement in the spy operation, and to inform any groups or individuals targeted of the fact of the surveillance and the nature of the information gathered.
Furthermore, we urge appropriate individual plaintiffs to submit a Freedom of Information Act request requiring the City University, the NYPD and other agencies (including CIA and DHS) to turn over any documents concerning intelligence gathering at CUNY. Any employees or officials of the City University who participated in, cooperated with or knew of this illegal operation should have their employment terminated forthwith.
This must all stop now. The NYPD and all police/spy agencies must get off and stay off our campuses.
Barbara Bowen in the New York Times:
Tony Kushner gets it right, again. The most important thing to emerge from the controversy about his being honored by CUNY is the need, as Mr. Kushner elegantly says, for “vigorous and consequential debate” about the conduct of one trustee and the board of trustees as a whole.
The country’s most important urban public university deserves better than a board packed with political appointees chosen without regard for their understanding or even commitment to public higher education. A board with the authority that comes from deep knowledge of academia would have been less likely to remain silent in the face of Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld’s abuse of his position.
Let this embarrassing episode be the occasion for a rethinking of the process through which CUNY trustees are chosen. Mr. Wiesenfeld, who has repeatedly damaged the university with his disregard for academic freedom and disrespect to the faculty, should step down immediately, and Albany should pass legislation to reform the selection process so that CUNY gets the imaginative, independent trustees it sorely needs.
From the CCNY sociology department:
We are pleased to present two symposiums on race in America. The first one on April 8th is entitled “Race and Science: New Findings and Challenges.” The panelists are Gabriel Haslip Viera (CCNY), Alondra Nelson (Columbia), and Ann Morning (NYU).
The second panel on April 15th is entitled, “Race and Categorization: Changing Terrains.” Its panelists include Jungmiwha Bullock (US Census/Department of Commerce), Angelo Falcon (National Institute for Latino Policy), Imani Perry (Princeton), and Stephen Steinberg (The Graduate Center).
Both events will be from 2–4 pm in the Dominican Studies Institute Library and Archives (North Academic Center 2/202). A reception will follow in the Faculty Dining Room (Amsterdam Room).
These events are supported with generous funding from the Office of the CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico.
Please e-mail lpaik[at]ccny.cuny.edu if you have questions, need directions, etc.
CUNY contingent workers in the Adjunct Project drafted this solidarity letter:
To Our Fellow Graduate Students, Students, Professors, Teachers, Workers and Protestors in Wisconsin,
Education workers and students of Wisconsin, you are not alone. The Adjunct Project, the organization that works on behalf of contingent workers of the City University of New York, stands with you in your protests.
Wisconsin has historically been a home of leaders of the labor movement. This week, your protests proves that you are still more than worthy of that legacy. When faced with a bill that would destroy the ability of working people to protect themselves — for that is what Governor Scott Walker’s so-called ‘budget-repair bill’ would do — you have stood up and said ‘no’. We in New York say ‘no’ with you!
This attack on the power of educators and students in Wisconsin is, unfortunately, one of many attacks on working peoples around the country. Here in New York we face governor Andrew Cuomo’s openly-stated antagonism to unions in addition to bearing the injuries of past attacks, such as the New York state Taylor Law, which prohibits the use of strikes by public sector unions.
But the Wisconsin education strike, founded on the unity between educators and students and between educators and other workers, shows that education cannot go forward when educators and public workers are threatened.
Our struggles for a decent workplace and schools, in which students can get the best education and which encourages teachers and professors to teach to the best of their abilities, are deeply interconnected despite the miles between us. While this vision may now seem far off, it is not beyond our grasp; to get there we will need to support and learn from each other.
Educators, workers and students of Wisconsin: keep on fighting and you will win!
From John Mollenkopf in the Center for Urban Research:
Applications are solicited for ten Graduate Center students to participate in a two-week intensive seminar in Berlin, Germany, exploring urban change in Europe, with a focus on the role of neighborhoods in the processes of gentrification, inclusion/exclusion, diversity, and immigrant integration as well as the impact of various urban policies directed at these issues.
Program is from Sunday June 12 (depart NYC the previous evening) through Saturday, June 25, 2011.
Hosted by Professor Talja Blokland, Chair of Urban and Regional Sociology at Humboldt’s Social Science Faculty, the seminar is conducted in English. It will feature lectures from outstanding social scientists from Humboldt and other Berlin universities, collaborative development of research designs with local doctoral students, and site visits to key Berlin locations where these processes may be observed. HU students, including former exchange students at the GC, will help orient you to Berlin and assist your research. A key goal of the seminar will be to work in a bi-national group to formulate a comparative research question and take the initial steps to explore its feasibility.
The program will include background on Berlin city politics, patterns of social exclusion in Berlin and New York, the transformation of Berlin in the wake of unification, urban policy in Germany, and the situation of Turkish and other immigrant groups. While the emphasis will be on group collaboration and discussion, we will also visit gentrifying and immigrant neighborhoods, former socialist model housing developments, and suburban Potsdam.
This is a remarkable opportunity to learn more about one of Europe’s most interesting cities. In at least one instance, participating in this exchange has led to a highly successful dissertation project.
The group will hold several preparatory meetings to discuss background readings on Berlin and comparative urban research, formulate preliminary research projects, and get to know one another.
Cost: Participants will pay for their own transatlantic transportation costs and local meals. The exchange program covers the costs of instruction, housing, health insurance, and local excursions. Housing will be arranged in a local hostel with shared rooms and other facilities.
To apply: Send an email by Friday, March 4, to Professor John Mollenkopf. In your application, please include:
- Your name, home address, telephone, email address
- Your doctoral program and level
- Your dissertation topic or research interests
- A short statement about why you would like to participate in the Berlin program
Successful applicants will be notified promptly to confirm attendance and arrange for a preparatory meeting.
The Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and Work just announced its spring 2011 colloquium series, “Technology and Subjectivity”:
Technology is now the most ubiquitous signifier of global progress. In peace and war, economic development, education, health, the hard and social sciences and the arts, the technological fix has become the universal prescription. That technology pervades every aspect of social life is indisputable. If we have become partly or wholly identical with our instruments, has the traditional category of subjectivity any significance? Or are there new forms of subjectivity in which the physical, the biological and the instrumental are reconfigured without subjectivity being consigned to historical, metaphysical ideology? At issue is the force and shape of politics in this age of ubiquitous computing. What should be the aims of rethinking technology and politics? What might be an intervention into politics in these technologically inflected times?
Social Media and Politics Friday, February 25 at 4:00pm
Jack Bratich (Rutgers – Media Studies) and Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Political Science)
Student respondent: Andrew Mckinny (Sociology)
Labor, Technology and Value, Friday, April 1 at 4:00pm
Jonathan Beller (Pratt – Humanities & Media Studies) and Patricia Clough (CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College – Sociology)
Student respondent: Christina Nadler (Sociology)
History of Science and Design Technology, Friday, April 29 at 4:00pm
Orit Halpern (New School for Social Research – History) and Astrid Schrader (Sarah Lawrence College – Science, Technology, and Society)
Student respondent: TBA
Reflections on the Series, Thursday, May 7 at 6:30pm
Stanley Aronowitz (CUNY Graduate Center – Sociology)
The first issue of the SSA-sponsored journal Formations is now available. We are happy to have a wide range of contributors in our inaugural issue.
Read Abe Walker (sociology, CUNY Graduate Center) on the Anderson–Thompson debate in relation to historical–comparative sociology, Haj Yazdiha (sociology, Brooklyn College) on hybridity and cultural identity, Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo (anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center) on Porteña fashion in Argentina, Nolen Gertz (philosophy, The New School) on psychoanalysis and the trauma of killing in times of war, and Alan Bourke (sociology, York University) on urban renewal in Ireland. You’ll also find a commentary piece by three Graduate Center sociologists on the supposed comeback of the culture-of-poverty discourse in the United States, and a guest editorial by Graduate Center and Queens College professor of sociology Patricia Clough, excerpted from her keynote address at our first annual graduate student conference last year.
We hope you’ll agree that it’s an admirable start. Please consider submitting your work for our second issue, slated for spring 2011.