Colloquium Seminar on Sociological Issues - Spring 2018

serpentine wall

All Colloquia are held 3:30-5:00 pm
with Reception to follow
unless otherwise noted*. Locations listed below.

Schedule subject to change. 
View more info on our Events page.

Spring 2018 Colloquia

January 25, 2018

Sanyu Mojola
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan
Location: Robertson Hall Room 258, *reception to follow in Randall Hall 212

Sanyu A. Mojola is Associate Professor of Sociology. Her research examines how societies produce health and illness. She is especially interested in understanding social processes, mechanisms and patterns of social organization that lead to health inequality related to gender, race/ethnicity, life course stage and socio-economic status. Her past and ongoing work primarily focuses on the HIV/AIDS pandemic as it unfolds in various settings such as Kenya, the United States and South Africa.

Abstract of talk:
In 2009, the US capital had one of the nation’s worst epidemics; 3.2% of residents were HIV positive, and African Americans were disproportionately affected.  In my presentation, I develop a socio-historical explanation for why African Americans in Washington D.C. were particularly vulnerable to HIV.  The study characterizes the creation and operation of an institutionalized disease risk environment in the city, as well as the distinct mechanisms through which it shaped individual vulnerability to a range of illnesses including HIV.  I will conclude with a discussion of my study's contributions to understanding the persistence of racial health disparities in the U.S. 

March 15, 2018

Aldon Morris

Professor of Sociology andAfrican American Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University
Location: Holloway Hall (Room 116 in Bavaro Hall)  *reception to follow*

"W. E. B. Du Bois at the Center: From Science to the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter"

March 22, 2018

Master's Colloquium

Location:  Robertson Hall 258


Colin Arnold
Talking Trade: the Divisive Articulation of Trade in American Politics
Advisor:  Jennifer Bair

Brooke Dinsmore
"Our World and Their World": The Integration of Digital Technologies in Schools through a Cultural Logic of Separation
Advisor:  Jennifer Bair

Alex Sutton
The Composition of Success: competition and the creative self in contemporary art music
Advisor:  Isaac Reed

Bailey Troia      
"But am I a woman?": Dimensions of fluidity among LGBTQ+ young millennials
Advisor:  Andrea Press

March 29, 2018

Loic Wacquant

Professor of Sociology, University of California at Berkeley

Location: Nau 101  

Loïc Wacquant is a sociologist and social anthropologist, specializing in urban sociology, urban poverty, racial inequality, the body, social theory and ethnography.

April 26, 2018

Amy Wilkins
Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
Location: Robertson Hall Room 258, *reception to follow in Randall Hall 212

Amy Wilkins (PhD. University of Massachusetts, 2004) is Associate Professor of Sociology.  Her substantive areas of interest focus on intersectional inequalities (Gender, race, class, and sexuality), identities, youth, and the transition to adulthood.  Her reserarch has appeared in Gender & Society, Signs, and Social Psychology Quarterly, and her book, Goths, Wannabes, and Christians: Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality in Youth Cultures was published in 2008 by the University of Chicago Press.  Her methodological specialties are ethnograhic fieldwork and interviewing.

“Whatever It Takes? Gender and Social Integration for White First-Generation College Students.” 

Abstract: In the contemporary United Stated, four-year colleges are the expected path to middle class adulthood. But race, class, and gender differences in academic and social integration matter for how students experience college life. In today’s talk, I investigate the integration experiences and the identity stories of first-generation white men and women attending a predominantly white four-year public, flagship research university in the interior west that I call Western. I examine each group’s accounts of both high school and college. I ask three questions: First, how did first-generation white men and women create trajectories to college while they were in high school? In other words, how did they get to college in the first place, and how do they explain it? Second, how do race, class, and gender constrain or facilitate first-generation white men and women’s identity strategies once they get to college, and third, what is the relationship between the identity strategies they used in high school and the ones they used in college? I find that the first-generation white men in my study learned to adapt to classed expectations in high school, and that race and gender expectations/dynamics/processes allowed them to do this. I find that first-generation white women’s high school strategy of hard work, in contrast, did not prepare them for the gendered class expectations of college life. I show how the gendered and classed expectation of the university constrain the ability of white first-generation women to mobilize their strategy of hard work, leading to greater isolation and undermining their chosen identities. I think about these processes in relationship to the general expectation that four-year colleges are the expected pathway to middle class adulthood in the United States. I argue that these processes not only lead to differences in the kind of outcomes education scholars typically concern themselves with, but also entail different emotional and psychic costs to self.