Chair’s Message (January 2022)

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year, and welcome to the January 2022 CUSS Chair’s message.

What a time to be studying the importance of place and community! As we begin the new year, please spread the word about our section to people who seem interested in places and communities and who may not realize that CUSS is a home for them within ASA. CUSS membership was 600 in 2019, 552 in 2020, and 640 in 2021. Let’s reach out to our people so that we can connect them to our section (and have as many paper sessions as possible).

Personally, I am starting 2022 with an intention to serve my students, colleagues, and community and to consistently maintain that spirit through the year by keeping my heart and mind open to possibilities. I look forward to working with all of you to help you continue your passion for research, teaching, service, and activism as we collectively deal with the uncertainty and anxiety of the times. I am eager for us to connect and share how the pandemic has affected our approaches to community and urban sociology.

I must take this opportunity to invite you to submit a paper to the 2022 ASA conference. The portal is open for submissions, and the deadline is 11:59 PM on February 9, 2022. Let’s show up (if we can, of course)!

CUSS has five panels and one roundtable:

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,

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