Chair’s Message (December 2021)

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Dear CUSS Members,

Happy Holidays! Welcome to the December Chair’s message.

In terms of CUSS membership, we have 640 members (174 student members and 431 regular members). Please encourage students and colleagues to join!

Please consider submitting a paper to the upcoming ASA conference. The 2022 Annual Meeting portal is open for submissions. The deadline to submit is February 9, 2022, at 11:59PM.

To better support our student CUSS members at this difficult time, Council voted to provide a one-time travel grant to CUSS student members whose papers are accepted for presentation to any session or roundtable. Applicants must be active members of the section, but they do not need to present on a section session or roundtable. We will offer up to five awards of $300 to offset travel costs. If the conference is virtual, we will pay the student registration fee. We will prioritize students without access to other travel funds. The application deadline will be March 15, 2022. We are still finalizing details and will send additional information on the application process.

We will have five open panels and a roundtable session. Below, please find the panel topics, descriptions, and organizers for this year’s CUSS Sessions. Please contact the organizers or Theo Greene (tgreene@bowdoin.edu) with questions.

Unlearning Core Concepts in Urban/Community Sociology

This session explores how growing scholarly attention to decolonizing sociology calls for new perspectives that question, challenge, and unsettle foundational concepts, frameworks, and debates within Urban and Community Sociology.  We invite submissions that draw on various socio-spatial contexts from diverse geographic locations to offer a critical and reflexive exploration of the field’s epistemic and methodological limitations and suggest new approaches for investigating a range of topics, including (but not limited to) the city/suburb/rural divide, community, urbanism, segregation, local community membership, gentrification and renewal, insecurity (housing, food), displacement and dispossession, and local activism.  We especially encourage submissions that focus on contexts outside the Global North, that deploy intersectional and antiracist approaches, and those that center on the agency of marginalized populations.

Co-Organizers:

Zachary Levenson, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (zachary.levenson@uncg.edu)

Demar Lewis, Yale University (demar.lewis@yale.edu)

Migrations: Forced, Temporary, and Voluntary

This panel investigates the various approaches to studying migration in the twenty-first century.  We invite submissions that consider the impact of such factors as the pandemic, environmental disasters, ​violence, and the ongoing housing crisis in cities on the voluntary, forced, or temporary geographical movement of populations.  Topics might include, but are not limited to, the ecosystems of immigration, forms of out-migration driven by COVID-19 to lower density areas, Black, Latinx, and other communities of color out-migration from the central cities to lower-income suburbs or rural areas, and political refugees.  Papers may also consider the implications of out-migration from cities, how patterns of migration force a reimagining of spaces and places, and the placemaking strategies of migrant communities arising out of these patterns.  We especially encourage submissions that focus on contexts outside the Global North, that deploy intersectional and antiracist approaches, and those that center on the agency of marginalized populations.

Co-Organizers:

Teresa Irene Gonzales, University of Massachusetts-Lowell (teresa_gonzales@uml.edu)

Cheryl Llewellyn, University of Massachusetts Lowell (cheryl.llewellyn@gmail.com)

Homelessness, Unsheltered Populations, and Housing Precarity

This panel explores the various ecosystems of homelessness and housing insecurity.  We invite submissions that consider how the pandemic and the ongoing housing crisis have expanded or complicated our understanding of homelessness and those who fit that category.  Topics include, but are not limited to, (re)conceptualizing homelessness, unsheltered populations, and housing precarity, community, government, and media responses to homelessness and housing insecurity, policies around containment and displacement, criminalization and policing of homeless and housing insecure populations, and people’s efforts to mobilize on their own behalf. We especially encourage submissions that focus on contexts outside central cities and the Global North, that deploy intersectional and antiracist approaches, and those that center on the agency of marginalized populations.

Co-Organizers:

Christine Jang-Trettien, Princeton Unviersity (cjj3@princeton.edu)

Kesha S. Moore, Thurgood Marshall Institute (kmoore@naacpldf.org)

Urban Futures: Cities after COVID-19

This panel engages how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the future of cities.  We invite submissions that consider how the pandemic reshapes community and urban citizenship, population density and distribution, transportation and infrastructure, work, technology, urban cultures, leisure and urban nightlife, spatial justice, and urban movements.  We also welcome submissions that highlight how the pandemic exposes new urban problems and inequalities confronting our cities.  We especially encourage submissions that focus on contexts outside central cities and the Global North, that deploy intersectional and antiracist approaches, and those that center on the agency of marginalized populations.

Co-Organizers:

Krista E. Paulsen, Boise State University (kristapaulsen@boisestate.edu)

Youbin Kang, University of Wisconsin-Madison (ykang62@wisc.edu)

Queer Placemaking Beyond the Gayborhood

This panel explores strategies of placemaking and community by LGBTQ+ populations beyond the metronormative and post-gay subcultures and representations within iconic gay neighborhoods.  We invite submissions that center the spatial expressions and experiences of LGBTQ+ people across various geographic contexts, including, but not limited to, suburbs, rural areas, “ordinary cities,” online and virtual spaces, and geographies hostile to LGBTQ+ rights.  We also welcome submissions that explore how marginalized LGBTQ+ communities might refashion and reimagine spaces and places within iconic gay neighborhoods.  We especially encourage submissions that focus on contexts outside central cities and the Global North, that deploy intersectional and antiracist approaches, and those that center on the agency of marginalized populations.

Co-Organizers:

Greggor Mattson, Oberlin College (gmattson@oberlin.edu)

Mahesh Somashekhar, University of Illinois-Chicago (msoma@uic.edu)

CUSS Refereed Roundtables

Co-Organizers:

Paige Ambord, University of Notre Dame (paige.ambord@gmail.com)

Grigoris Argeros, Eastern Michigan University (gargeros@emich.edu)

Thank you to all the organizers and to everyone who volunteered to organize panels for this year. We are very excited about this year’s panels, and we look forward to seeing you at ASA!

Warmly,

Rachael A. Woldoff,

Chair, Community and Urban Sociology Section

Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, West Virginia University

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