A Conversation w/ new City & Community book review editors Sofya Aptekar & Ervin Kosta

Albert Fu: Sofya and Ervin, first of all, congratulations on your new role as book review editors for City & Community. Can you tell us a little bit more about the new initiative on non-English book reviews?

Sofya Aptekar: Thank you, Albert. We’re pretty excited to be part of the effort of running this journal. The idea of adding reviews of books published in languages other than English was broached to us by the new editor-in-chief Richard E. Ocejo. Both Ervin and I thought it would be great for C&C readership, and have begun the exciting work of tracking down books published across the world.

Albert: Why did you think it is important?

Ervin Kosta: This initiative resonated with us at various levels. City & Community has increasingly become more international in scope, both in authorship as well as coverage, earning a global reputation as an important node of urban research and scholarship. We want to build upon and expand the international reach of the journal by covering, even if in the brief format of book reviews, titles our readers might otherwise miss. We hope this initiative will not only benefit from the expertise of our multilingual scholars, but also bring in voices who might otherwise not see City & Community as their intellectual home to date.

Sofya: In addition, we also want to heed continuing calls within urban studies to expand our categories of analysis such that they pay closer attention to urbanisms that do not neatly map onto the proverbial metropolitan experience of the Global North. Various recent articles and special issues in City & Community on regional cities, small cities, and our March 2021 special issue on Global South, point to the importance of decentralizing and destabilizing analytical categories of research and theorizing of urban studies utilized for most of the twentieth century. We like Garrido, Ren, and Weinstein’s advice that we could “open up” existing concepts such that they are capable of accommodating diverse urban experiences, all the while continuing to engender conversation about and across urban differences. We hope this initiative might bring in perspectives that do just that.

Albert: That sounds great. How are you planning on getting this initiative off the ground?

Ervin: We have started reaching out to people in our networks to identify books to review, as well as multilingual reviewers. One of our hopes is to spark new connections and collaborations for C&C readers that extend beyond the Anglophone world.

Albert: What can we do for you? Any advice for our readers?

Sofya: Yes. We absolutely need the help of the C&C community to make this a success. Please reach out to us to (1) suggest  recently published non-English books that you think would be interesting to C&C readers and (2) suggest multilingual  urban scholars who may be interested in writing book reviews, or better yet, volunteer yourself!  Our emails are Sofya.Aptekar@slu.cuny.edu and Kosta@hws.edu.

New Books (Summer 2021)

Castañeda, Ernesto. 2021. Building Walls: Excluding Latin People in the United States. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498585651/Building-Walls-Excluding-Latin-People-in-the-United-States

Gonzales, Teresa Irene. 2021. Building a Better Chicago: Race and Community Resistance to Urban Redevelopment. New York: New York University Press. https://nyupress.org/9781479813568/building-a-better-chicago/

Hondagneu-Sotelo, Pierrette and Manuel Pastor.  2021.  South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A. New York: New York University Press. https://nyupress.org/9781479807970/south-central-dreams/

Korver-Glenn, Elizabeth. 2021. Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21st Century Urban America. New York: Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/race-brokers-9780190063863

Montgomery, Alesia (2020). Greening the Black Urban Regime: The Culture and Commerce of Sustainability in Detroit. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press. https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/greening-black-urban-regime

Stuber, Jenny. 2021. Aspen and the American Dream: How One Town Manages Inequality in the Era of Supergentrification. University of California Press. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520306608/aspen-and-the-american-dream

Taplin-Kaguru, Nora E. 2021. Grasping for the American Dream: Racial Segregation, Social Mobility, and Homeownership. New York, NY: Routledge.https://www.routledge.com/Grasping-for-the-American-Dream-Racial-Segregation-Social-Mobility-and/Taplin-Kaguru/p/book/9780367075941

Xu, Fang. 2021. Silencing Shanghai: Language and Identity in Urban China. Lanham: Lexington Books.            https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793635310/Silencing-Shanghai-Language-and-Identity-in-Urban-China

Call for Papers: The State and the Covid Crisis

Special Issue in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Editors: Mia Gray, Michael Kitson, Linda Lobao, and Ron Martin

This Special Issue aims to address the big debates about whether and how the pandemic has changed the role of the state at the level of localities and regions. While the state’s role in some nations has clearly shifted dramatically, these changes remain influenced by earlier actions (the reduction in public sector spending, the weakening of regulatory authority, and the overall diversion of resources to the private sector) associated with the promotion of neoliberalism and austerity. To what degree has the response to the pandemic re-shaped the structure, remit, and processes of the state? In exploring the changed role of the post-Covid state, articles might address such questions as the following:

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Interview w/ Jackelyn Hwang: 2020 Addams Award for Best Article

Jackelyn Hwang, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, was the winner of the 2020 Jane Addams Award for best article. Jackelyn’s innovative research agenda examines the relationship between how neighborhoods change and the persistence of neighborhood inequality by race and class in US cities. We reached out to ask her to discuss her research, and we’re including her responses below. Thanks to Jackelyn for participating in our interview series!

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2020 Park Award: Sites Unseen

The winner of the 2020 Robert E. Park Award is Sites Unseen: Uncovering Hidden Hazards in American Cities.  New York: Russell Sage Foundation by Scott Frickel  & James R. Elliott. It is part of the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series in Sociology. Below is a discussion with the winners on industrial waste and its legacy in the urban landscape.

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Interview w/ H. Jacob Carlson – 2020 Graduate Student Paper Award Winner

2021 Winter, Vol. 34, No.1 

H. Jacob Carlson, a postdoctoral scholar at the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University, was the winner of the 2020 Graduate Student Paper Award. Jake’s innovative research agenda leverages the urban and political sociological traditions to address new questions about democracy, housing, and changing cities. We reached out to ask him to discuss his research, and we’re including his responses below. Thanks to Jake for participating in our interview series!

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Chair’s Message (Winter 2021)

Derek Hyra
American University
2021 Winter, Vol. 34, No.1 

Let me start by wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and productive New Year. 2020 was nothing short of a high speed train wreck. The pandemic and continued police brutality brought on immeasurable suffering and loss, exposing once again the dire consequences of systemic racial inequality. Communities of color have been disproportionally affected by this virus and police aggression. Now more than ever our sociologically-informed, community and urban research is greatly needed, and I implore you to position your work to help fuel social justice efforts aimed at ameliorating racial and spatial inequality.

On the social justice front, the CUSS Council has taken action. First, in November 2019, the Council unanimously approved important by-law amendments. This year you will asked to vote on changes that, if approved, would establish a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The DEI Committee, under the direction of an elected chair, will undertake activities to understand and reduce racial/ethnic disparities that exist within our section. The establishment of a DEI Committee would demonstrate our section’s steadfast commitment to fairness. I ask that you vote in favor of this timely and needed by-law change.

Second, while we regretfully cannot meet in person in Chicago this summer, our Council has proposed four themed sessions intended to highlight scholarship on important contemporary urban issues. We will have online sessions on the global uprisings and the Black Lives Matter movement; the pandemic and its impact on cities; emerging urban politics and policies; and critical perspectives on injustice embedded in our urban sociology traditions. My hope is that our 2021 ASA sessions will facilitate meaningful discourses both within and beyond the academy. Be sure to submit a paper for one of these sessions by February 3.

Third, our section’s journal, City & Community (C&C), has made strategic changes intended to advance diversity and inclusion. Richard E. Ocejo, C&C’s new editor, has refreshed the journal’s editorial leadership to include new people and perspectives. Moreover, the journal will implement an exciting professional development program for young scholars. This new program will serve as a systematic support structure, along with our section’s annual meeting mentoring initiative, to advance the next generation of talented urban sociologists.

No question, the pandemic has seriously challenged and tested us emotionally, financially, and physically; sadly, we have lost family members, friends, and colleagues. While we will not be together in Chicago this year to comfort one another (or to celebrate our successes), we should take solace in knowing we are part of a special group that produces knowledge to challenge and change our society for the better. Rest assured, in 2022 in Los Angeles, we will be together and we will lecture, laugh, and libate. Until then stay healthy, motivated, and safe! And do not forget to renew your CUSS membership and nominate your colleagues (or yourself) for one of our annual awards!

2020 Lynd Award: Lessons Learned: A Perspective from Golden Pond

Barrett Lee
Pennsylvania State University
2021 Winter, Vol. 34, No.1 

Being named the 2020 recipient of the Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Lifetime Achievement has been both gratifying and humbling, given the distinguished honorees who preceded me. I was taken by surprise when Kevin Gotham (the Lynd committee chair) first passed along the news last spring. That initial reaction quickly gave way to an appreciation of the award as a collective rather than solo accomplishment. From my undergraduate days to the present, I’ve had the good fortune to learn from and work with many talented and inspiring students, mentors, colleagues, and collaborators.

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What to Expect at City & Community

Richard E. Ocejo
John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
2021 Winter, Vol. 34, No.1 

It is an absolute honor to be the next Editor-in-Chief at City & Community. The journal began publication around when I started graduate school, so there hasn’t been a time when I haven’t known of its existence. Whether from reading its pages, contributing as an author, or assigning its pieces in my courses, it has played an indispensable role in my career. And now getting to run City & Community at this stage in its history, build on the efforts of so many great Editors and scholars, and take it to another level is a dream come true.

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ASA Teaching Award Nominations Sought

From Leonard Nevarez:

As a member of the ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, I’m writing to encourage you to nominate a colleague or yourself for the 2021 award. Here’s the relevant info from the ASA Awards page:

The ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award honors ASA members’ outstanding contributions to the teaching of undergraduate and/or graduate sociology. The award recognizes contributions that have made a significant impact on the manner in which sociology is taught at a regional, state, national, or international level.

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