2016 Sociology Doctoral Student Conference

2016 Sociology Doctoral Student Conference: Shifting Boundaries, Enacting Change

Friday, March 4, 2016

CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave

Renewing an annual tradition where sociology students showcase their work and become aware of the research being done by their colleagues, the conference will feature papers representing diverse methodologies and sociological issues. A special focus highlighted this year will be research and theory in action. Some thematic questions include: What does it mean to conduct sociological research as an activist? Is there a way to connect methodology to action? What do we learn from doing theory and doing fieldwork that can contribute to significant change in society? How can we make sociology relevant? The 2016 Sociology Doctoral Student Conference gives doctoral students the opportunity to present their research or theoretical work while receiving feedback from, and networking with, peers. (View the entire Call For Papers, now closed, here).

Follow the conference updates, and conference day live-Tweeting with #GCSocConf16.

Child care will be available for conference participants in room 6107.  Please check in at registration (6112) to confirm we have staff coverage.

Schedule of The Day | Program | Registration | Planning Committee | Sponsors
| Conference Pictures

Schedule of the Day

9:30 – 10:00 am Registration & Breakfast (6112)
10:00 – 11:00 am Opening Plenary – City as Methodology
 11:15am – 12:45pm  Session I
 12:45 – 1:30pm  Lunch
 1:45 – 3:15pm  Session II
 3:30 – 5:00pm  Session III
 5:15 – 6:15pm  Keynote – Sociology & Activism
 6:30pm  Reception

Preliminary Program

10:00 – 11:00am Opening Plenary – City as Methodology (Room 6112)

The video-stream for this session can be viewed here.

Colin P. Ashley, Simone Kolysh, and Sara Martucci, three Sociology doctoral candidates from the CUNY Graduate Center will share notes from the field as they discuss their methodological designs, challenges, and unexpected lessons in conducting dissertation research on the streets of New York City.

unnamedColin P. Ashley is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Program at the Graduate Center of CUNY and is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University. His research interests include race, sexuality, queer theory, affect, aesthetics, and space. His dissertation examines the relationship between spatial production (its affects, aesthetics, and neoliberal conflicts) and conceptualizations of communal identity for queer youth of color. Colin is also a community leader and activist within various organizations dedicated to issues of social justice.

Simone Kolysh holds a BA in Biology and a Masters in Public Health from New York University. She is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, with a doctoral certificate in Women’s Studies and a concentration in LGBTQ studies. Her three substantive areas are: Sex & Gender, Sexualities and Race & Ethnicity. She teaches a variety of Women’s Studies and Sociology courses at Brooklyn College, The Fashion Institute of Technology and Lehman College. Her dissertation is a qualitative study of catcalling and LGBTQ-directed harassment on the streets of NYC. Simone is also a mother of three, committed to feminist parenting and anti-racist, social justice work.

1401741_10100188643404082_81875693_oSara Martucci is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology department at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation investigates varied experiences of gentrification based on tenure in a neighborhood. She is the cofounder of the student-run Purposeful Pedagogy Workshop and is currently an Instructional Technology Fellow at the Macaulay Honors College.



Moderated by Chriss V. Sneed, a Sociology graduate student at the University of Connecticut interested in examining the intersections of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in relation to power and inequality in everyday life and on institutional levels. Additionally, Chriss is concerned with the reproduction and legitimating process of knowledge-making and sharing, respectability, and power relations. In their work, special attention is given to the discursive and physical frames, strategies and resistances employed by marginal populations within identity-based communities. Much of their current research focuses on people of color, activism, and identity.

11:15am – 12:45pm Session I

Panel A: Migration, Motherhood, and Labor across the Mexico-U.S. Border (Room 5409)

Isabel Gil Everaert, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Plan Frontera Sur and the New Migration Strategies Crossing Mexico”

Carlos Piñeyro-Nelson, The New School for Social Research, Sociology, “Fighting for a better Household. Domestic Workers in the US and their Struggle to Gain Labor Rights”

Mónica L. Caudillo, New York University, Sociology, “Educational Attainment, Sexual Onset, and Childbearing Among Teenagers in Mexico: Using Month of Birth as a Natural Experiment”

Guillermo Yrizar Barbosa, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Living the dream? Motherhood & Immigrant Illegality in New York and Los Angeles”

Discussant: Sebastián Villamizar-Santamaría, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

Chair: Emily Campbell, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

Panel B: Reconstructing the Family (Room 5414)

Anat Livshits, The New School for Social Research, Sociology, “This is Not What You Get: Agency Among Contemporary Jewish Women Going Through a Jewish Divorce in the United States”

Alli Lindner and Robert Cserni, Stony Brook University, “Paths to Support: Fathers’ Journeys to Acceptance of Their Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children”

Xuemeng Li, CUNY Graduate Center, MALS, “Assimilation and Muslim Marriage: A Study of Hui Minority Young Couples in County D”

Discussant: Kyla Bender-Baird, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

12:45 – 1:30pm Lunch

1:45 – 3:15pm Session II

Panel A: Close Economies: Proximity of Labor (Room 5409)

Abigail Kolker, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Exclusion, Exploitation, and Resistance: A Study of Filipino Caregivers in Tel Aviv, Israel”

Kannaki Bharali, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Bare Bodies, Performance and Identity of life model”

Max Papadantonakis, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Coexistence and Conflict: An Ethnography of Street Market Workers in Athens, Greece”

Oscar Morales, Jr, Texas A&M University, Sociology, “Using Qualitative Methodology to Study the US-Mexico Border: Understanding Barriers and Limitations, and Developing Culturally Competent Solutions”

Discussant: Lynne Turner, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

Panel B: Legal Boundaries of Belonging (Room 5414)

Kyla Bender-Baird, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Medicalization and Claims of Citizenship: Trans People in Title VII Cases”

Scarlett Macias, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “The Kafkaesque Bureaucracy: The Process of Release in Immigration Detention”

Nga Than, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Vietnamese Migrants in Germany: A Parallel History”

Discussant: Hamad Sindhi, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

3:30 – 5:00pm Session III

Panel A: Framing and Agitating for Change (Room 5409)

Amelia Fortunato, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Black Lives Matter to Labor: A New Future for Social Movement Unionism”

Yen-Chiao Liao, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “LGBT Movement and Its Setbacks in an Asian Context: A Case Study in Taiwan”

Kate Ragon, University of Connecticut, Sociology, “Leadership and Structure in an Emerging Social Movement Organization”

Discussant: Darren Kwong, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

Panel B: Race, Place, and the Urban Landscape (Room 5414)

Jonathan J. Zisook, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Religion, Immigration, and the Politics of Race and Ethnicity”

Adam Safer, Stony Brook University, Sociology, “Where Do They Go? Lives of New Yorkers Displaced By Gentrification”

Sebastian Villamizar-Santamaria, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “The Urbanization of Nature: Ex-urbanites and the quest of Nature in Colombia”

Leah Glass, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology, “Trust: Building Strong Relationships to Succeed in College”

Discussant: Maura McGee, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology

5:15 – 6:15pm Keynote Address on Sociology and Activism by Jane McAlevey (Room 6112)

McAlevey_picJane McAlevey is an organizer, author and scholar. McAlevey completed her PhD at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center in the spring of 2015. She is currently a Post Doc at Harvard Law School in the Labor & Worklife program. Her first book, Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell), published by Verso Press, was named the “most valuable book of 2012” by The Nation Magazine. She has served as Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for a union local, as National Deputy Director for Strategic Campaigns of the Healthcare Division for SEIU, and she was the Campaign Director of the one of the only successful multi-union, multi-year, geographic organizing campaigns for the national AFL-CIO. She has led power structure analyses and strategic planning trainings for a wide range of union and community organizations and has had extensive involvement in globalization and global environmental issues. She worked at the Highlander Research and Education Center as an educator (and as Deputy Director) in her early 20’s. As a student, McAlevey was the student body president, and, elected president of the Student Association of the State University of New York, when she served a 15-day jail sentence for taking over SUNY headquarters and advocating for the school’s divestment from apartheid South Africa. She is now a contributing writer at The Nation magazine.

6:30pm Reception


Registration is now closed.

Planning Committee

Kyla Bender-Baird, Rachel Bogan, Simone Kolysh, Darren Kwong, Karen Okigbo, Hamad Sindhi (chair)


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CUNY Sociology Program                         CUNY Sociology Alumni                                      Center for the Study of Women and Society Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies 

Conference Pictures


12512476_10104732310189249_2104652416048407711_nOpening Plenary – City as Methodology

12795439_10104732296212259_5735484236308382222_nSimone Kolysh speaking at the opening plenary session

12814068_10104732295478729_400736805720846455_nSara Martucci speaking at the opening plenary session

12841426_10104732296351979_207936309030804974_oColin P. Ashley speaking at the opening plenary session

12799148_10104732295493699_474122508512560171_nThe opening plenary moderator Chriss V. Sneed (left)

12814232_10104732296811059_8581601694939764512_nSession I, Panel B: Reconstructing the Family. Discussant: Kyla Bender-Baird

12804744_10104732296761159_5816969717890660816_nSesssion II, Panel B: Legal Boundaries of Belonging. Discussant: Hamad Sindhi

12814254_10104732296806069_1896514150478615982_nSession III, Panel A: Framing and Agitating for Change. Discussant: Darren Kwong

12832527_10104732296791099_6782144031236371759_nKeynote Address on Sociology and Activism: Jane McAlevey

12803033_10104732297105469_4637385609702974952_nReception after the keynote address

12801602_10104732296945789_2592515224256164889_nPresenters Colin P. Ashley (left), Simone Kolysh (second to left), and Amelia Fortunato (right), with Professor Frances Fox Piven (second to right)


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