News & Notes

A. Call for Nominations for CUSS Positions

Section leadership is a great way to get involved in shaping the section’s makeup and direction. The nominations committee is accepting nominations (including self-nominations) for the following positions:

1 Chair (2 candidates, 1-year term)

1 Secretary/treasurer (2 candidates, 3-year term)

2 Council members (4 candidates, 3-year term)

1 Student representation (2 candidates, 1-year term)

2 Publications committee members (4 candidates, 3-year term)

Membership committee chair (2 candidates, 3-year term)

If interested in nominating others or yourself to any of these positions, please contact Zaire Dinzey at zdinzey@lcs.rutgers.edu. Thanks.

B. Call for Submissions, Section Awards

Please see below for calls for four section awards, including updated submission instructions.Community and Urban Sociology Section’s Robert E. Park Book Award

The Park Award (formerly the Park Book Award) goes to the author(s) of the best book published in the past two years (2018 and 2019). To nominate a book for this award: 1) By March 1 send an email nominating the book to Committee Co-Chair Evelyn Perry (perrye@rhodes.edu); and 2) When you nominate the book, you will receive an email with committee members’ addresses and additional instructions for the publisher.  Using those addresses and instructions, books should arrive to committee members by April 1.

Bruce Haynes (UC Davis) – Co-Chair
bdhaynes@ucdavis.edu

Evelyn Perry (Rhodes College) — Co-Chair
perrye@rhodes.edu

Esther Sullivan (University of Colorado, Denver)
ESTHER.SULLIVAN@UCDENVER.EDU

Max Besbris (Rice University)
mb89@rice.edu

Junia Howell (University of Pittsburgh)
juniahowell@pitt.edu
Community and Urban Sociology Section’s Jane Addams Article Award

The Jane Addams Award (formerly the Park Article Award) goes to authors of the best scholarly article in community and urban sociology published in the past two years (2018 or 2019).   Please send electronic copies of the paper via email to all four members of the committee by April 1, 2020.  Email addresses are listed below.

Andrew Papachristos (Northwestern University) – Chair
avp@northwestern.edu

Sara Bastomski (Urban Institute)
SBastomski@urban.org

Meaghan Stiman (College of William & Mary)
mlstiman@wm.edu

Ana Villarreal (Boston University)
anav@bu.edu

Community and Urban Sociology Graduate Student Paper Award

The CUSS Student Paper Award goes to the student author of the paper the award committee regards as the best graduate student paper in community and urban sociology.  Please send electronic copies to all three members of the committee by April 1, 2020. Email addresses are listed below.

Anna Rhodes (Rice University) – Chair
anna.rhodes@rice.edu

Zachary Hyde (University of British Columbia)
Zachary.hyde@alumni.ubc.ca

Watoii Rabii (Oakland University)
wrabii@oakland.edu

Community and Urban Sociology Section’s Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Lifetime Achievement

The Robert and Helen Lynd Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes distinguished career achievement in community and urban sociology.  Nominations are due by April 1, 2020.  Please send nominations to all five members of the committee.  Email addresses are below.

Kevin Gotham (Tulane University) – Chair
kgotham@tulane.edu

Sarah Mayorga-Gallo (UMASS Boston)
Sarah.MayorgaGallo@umb.edu

Kristin Perkins (Georgetown University)
Kristin.perkins@georgetown.edu

Jaleh Jalili (Oberlin College)
jjalili@oberlin.edu

John Eason (University of Wisconsin)
jeason2@wisc.edu

C. Section Sessions at ASA 2020

Thanks to our Conference Planning Committee (Jean Beaman, Maggie Kusenbach and Jessica Simes) for selecting four terrific sessions for the 2020 ASA Conference: “Power, Inequality and Resistance at Work”.  All sessions are open.  See the ASA website for submission deadlines and instructions.

Session 1: Cities and Big Data
Session Organizers: Daniel Silver and Fernando Calderón Figueroa

Session 2: Work, Community, and City
Session Organizer: Rachael Woldoff

Session 3: Theorizing the Renters and Rental Housing in the United States
Session Organizers: Christine Jang, Robin Bartram, and Steven Schmidt

Session 4: New forms of precarious urban labor
Session Organizers: Alexandrea Ravenelle and Sofya Aptekar

Community and Urban Sociology Section Roundtables
Session Organizers: Jennifer Candipan and Alfredo Huante

D. News and Announcements
Orly Clergé announces the publication of her book: The New Noir: Race, Identity, and Diaspora in Black Suburbia (UC Press, October 2019).

Call for Applications: Problem-Solving Sociology Dissertation Proposal Development Workshop

Doctoral students in departments of sociology who have not yet defended their dissertation proposals are invited to apply to a dissertation proposal development workshop on “problem solving sociology.”  Northwestern University will pay for economy-class airfare and accommodation in Evanston, IL, plus meals and transportation expenses, for a one-day workshop to be held on May 21, 2020.  This workshop is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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4th University of Chicago Ethnography Incubator

CALL FOR GRADUATE STUDENT SUBMISSIONS

We are pleased to announce the 4th annual meeting of the University of Chicago Ethnography Incubator. Each year, the Incubator invites four faculty fellows and six graduate student fellows to the University of Chicago to participate in a two-day panel and workshop series. The Incubator is designed to advance ethnographic methodologies, provide hands-on mentorship to graduate student fellows, and build an interdisciplinary community of ethnographers. We invite applications from graduate students in any discipline who are engaged in dissertation-level, ethnographic research. 

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Section Members in the News

Japonica Brown-Saracino‘s work is the New York Times article “How to Find Your Happily-Ever-After City.” Specifically, it references her book How Places Make Us.

Max Holleran has an article in The Atlantic called “The Water Wars are Here.” It looks at the ideological battles regarding water in the United States.

Victoria Reyes has a piece on The ConversationFor some children born abroad, US citizenship has never been a guarantee.” Reyes looks at the history of granting citizenship to some children of parents stationed abroad as employees or members of the U.S. armed forces.

Membership Book Giveaway

Chocolate Cities

CUSS Members and Potential Members! We’re having a book giveaway, alongside our membership drive to reach 600 members, from now through September 30th. We’re giving away two copies of Chocolate Cities by Marcus Anthony Hunter and Zandria F. Robinson and two copies of Manufactured Insecurity by Esther Sullivan, the 2019 CUSS Book Award co-winners.  If you refer a person for section membership, and they become a member, both the referrer and new section member will be entered into a giveaway. However, there is no purchase necessary to win and the chance of winning cannot be increased by making a purchase or multiple referrals either. To participate, please fill out this short form or email Victoria Reyes (vreyes@ucr.edu), Membership Chair by September 30 [subject heading “CUSS Book Giveaway”] and indicate whether you are a new member, a referrer of a new member, and/or someone who wants to be entered into the drawing! 

Editor’s Note (Summer 2019)

William Holt
Birmingham-Southern College
CUSS Newsletter, Vol 31, No 3

This edition of the CUSS Newsletter marks the end of my almost 20 years of serving as an editor. In 2001 I responded to a call for an editor  from then-Chair Barrett Lee. He contacted me on what seemed to be a typical Tuesday morning that I was to be co-editor with  Jennifer Stoloff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

      However, that Tuesday was anything but ordinary. On WCBS the announcers were complaining about how poorly the Giants played in the previous evening’s Monday Night Football Game. Then, during the weather report, the announcer mentioned that there appeared to be a small plane near the  World Trade Center. By the time I walked from my research job with the Yale Medical School to Lindsey-Chittenden Hall to teach Sociological Imagination, the introductory course, to a large lecture hall of undergraduates,  things had changed drastically. The  musicology professor who taught before my class always ran late. So, when I walked into the auditorium,  he had on the overhead with live tv coverages showing the maps of Washington, D.C. I had developed for the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) of the Monumental Core area between the White House and U.S. Capitol.  Secret Service agents ran through the building pulling then-undergraduate Barbara Bush out of L-C. Yale officials asked us to send the undergraduates back to their  residential colleges. They asked us to  volunteer to go over to Yale-New Haven Hospital, a designated center in case of a major disaster  in New York, to assist with triage for what they thought would be incoming  victims. Within hours Yale officials sent us  home since no one would be  arriving for treatments.  We had no idea how significant that day would be on so many levels.

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News & Notes

Announcements

  • Jean Beaman, is joining the faculty in the sociology department at the University of California-Santa Barbara in Fall 2019. She was previously on the faculty at Purdue University.
  • Judith R. Halasz, State University of New York at New Paltz, received the 2019 Research Mentor Award from the State University of New York at New Paltz for her extensive work supervising theses and undergraduate conference presentations. Each year, the interdisciplinary Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Committee selects one faculty member for this honor. Judy is the first sociologist at the institution to receive this award. Judy was also recently elected to chair the Community Research and Development Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems for 2019-2021.
  • Matthew H. McLeskey, University at Buffalo, SUNY, was awarded an Advanced Ph.D. Fellowship from the University at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute for his dissertation project, “Life in a Leaded Landscape: Understanding Housing, Stigma, and Struggle in the Rust Belt.” Lead exposure entails more than physiological and material consequences. Consequently, this dissertation documents the material and cultural processes defining the threat of lead exposure for tenants and landlords in disinvested communities to grasp how this urban epidemic further stigmatizes marginalized neighborhoods in post-industrial cities and contributes to debates on place-based stigmatization processes. Using Buffalo as a case of urban decline, multiple qualitative methods – semi-structured interviews, ethnographic observation, and archival research – are employed to capture the lived experience of “leaded life” in relegated areas.
  • Stacy Torres, University of California, San Francisco, is the 2019 recipient of the William Foote Whyte Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology. The award recognizes a scholar who has made notable contributions to sociological practice and public sociology for the discipline and will be conferred in August at the ASA Annual Meeting in New York City.

Dissertations

Precarious Workers in the Speculative City: The Untold Gentrification Story of Tenant Shopkeepers’ Displacement and Resistance in Seoul

-Yewon Andrea Lee

University of Toronto

University of California, Los Angeles.

Dissertation Committee

-César Ayala (chair)

-Marcus Hunter

-Jennifer Chun

-Stefan Bargheer

Precarious Workers in the Speculative City: The Untold Gentrification Story of Tenant Shopkeepers’ Displacement and Resistance in Seoul demonstrates how the life chances of tenant shopkeepers in Seoul, Korea, have been critically compromised by the displacement and dispossession that accompany Korean-style gentrification. I focus on tenant shopkeepers as self-employed workers whose capacity to organize has been overlooked within both the labor literature on precarious workers and the urban literature on gentrification. The dissertation explores a classic sociological question first articulated by Marx: How and when can the spatial constraints of fragmented work experience of the self-employed be overcome to activate collective identity formation? Through both ethnographic as well as historical comparative research, the dissertation analyzes how spatial precarity—such as tenant shopkeepers’ lack of ownership rights to their shops, their crucial means of production—is transformed into unique spatial leverage in organizing. Especially, the dissertation identifies how the unprecedented commodification of urban space taking place in the Global South is paving the way for new locations of resistance and new vocabularies of rights challenging the status quo.

Publications

  • Dana Kornberg, University of Michigan, announces two new journal articles. First, 2019. “Garbage as Fuel: Pursuing Incineration to Counter Stigma in Postcolonial Urban India.” Local Environment  24(1): 1-17. http://doi.org/10.1080/  13549839.2018. 1545752. This paper explains why local leaders may adopt and promote forms f environmentalism that privilege aesthetic and class-based concerns, displacing environmentalisms of the poor that promote more socially just and sustainable practices. Presenting a case study from Delhi, India, I ask why centralized and mechanized approaches to garbage services, which included incineration or “waste-to-energy,” were promoted over manual recycling systems despite their unproven efficacy and significant expense. I argue that Indian leaders saw incineration as a mechanism for decontaminating garbage, and by association, de-stigmatizing the city’s reputation. Transforming a chaotic cluster of materials – garbage – into a singular object for incineration – fuel – allowed Indian bureaucrats and managers, who tend to be upper-caste men, to claim and profit from materials that are recycled by lower-caste and Muslim informal workers. Second, with Amy Kings and Erin Lane. 2019. “Organizing Under Austerity: How Flint Residents’ Concerns Became the Flint Water Crisis.” Critical Sociology 45(4-5): 583597. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0896920518757053. What might it take for politically marginalized residents to challenge cuts in public spending that threaten their health and wellbeing? Specifically, how did residents of Flint, Michigan contribute to the decision of an austerity regime that was not accountable to them to spend millions to switch to a safe water source? We examine the influence and limitations of residents and grassroots groups during the 18-month period between April 2014 and October 2015 when the city drew its water from the Flint River. We find that citizen complaints alone were not sufficient, but their efforts resulted in partnerships with researchers whose evidence bolstered their claims, thus inspiring a large contribution from a local foundation to support the switch to a clean water source. Thus, before the crisis gained national media attention, and despite significant constraints, residents’ sustained organization—coupled with scientific evidence that credentialed local claims—motivated the return to the Detroit water system. The Flint case suggests that residents seeking redress under severe austerity conditions may require partnerships with external scientific elites.

  • Chris Tilly, University of California, Los Angeles, co-authored with Marie Kennedy “Field education and community-based planning in a worst-case scenario,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, Online First https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X19847725, May 2019. Community-engaged planning education and community-based planning are often uphill battles. This article uses the case of a Mexican village to illustrate a pedagogical model that trains students as participatory planners by immersing them in a community-based planning project, an approach we call transformative learning and community development. We join larger debates on education and participation—arguing that students can and should learn about participatory planning by doing it; that while community participation sometimes reproduces unequal power relations, it can also be structured to challenge them; and that successful planning and teaching require a dialectic between expertise and broad participation.

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