Tag Archives: Newsletter

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.

NEW COVER: City & Community

Kyle Galindez
University of California, Santa Cruz

Steven Schmidt
University of California, Irvine

Interview with Deirdre Oakley, Editor-in-Chief, City & Community

CUSS Newsletter, 2019 Spring, Vol. 32, No 2

-City & Community recently debuted a new cover for the March 2019 volume. What motivated the redesign?

When I became editor in 2018, the original cover design was 16 years old and I thought it was time for a new look. I also found out that Wiley, our publisher, would work with me and my on-site editorial staff on a new design free-of-charge. At the time, the Section’s Chair (Miriam Greenberg) and Publication Committee’s co-chairs (Heather MacIndoe and Japonica Brown-Saracino were supportive of the idea), as was ASA.

-Can you tell me about your editorial vision for the new cover?

There is a form of cityscape art called original line/pencil illustration or rendering. I was familiar with British Illustrator Abi Daker’s work (http://www.abigaildaker.com) and found it inspiring. This is because, symbolically, the contributions to City & Community ‘draw’ cities and the communities within them (both past and present) to reveal unique visions of previously uncovered productions.

One of the urban themes I learned when I was pursuing my master’s degree in geography in the early 1990s was that of the city as a palimpsest. This historic word originally referred to the reuse of parchment for the written word during the 1500s. Basically, with parchment, the previous text — while erased – bled through the new text. We could liken this practice today to what happens with graffiti. But back to history, the term palimpsest began to be used more broadly in the realm of urbanism to illustrate the multiple layers of the city, whether it’s about changes over time, the way different groups perceive their city, placemaking and de-placemaking, infrastructure, inequality (ethnic, racial or socioeconomic), as well as how such aspects of the urban environs are imagined. While it’s virtually impossible to convey the city palimpsest surface in a static cover design, that’s the foundational idea behind our new cover: a rendering of some generic city in line/pencil illustration form, which fades into the distance representing the present, past and future. Fortunately, we had the option for two colors to distinguish the journal title from the artwork.

The Wiley design team is confined to working with stock art (no this is not Daker’s work!), so it took some back and forth to get the image in line with what I wanted it to convey. They did a great job, for which we are all very appreciative. I am also grateful for the quick turn-around time for cover redesign approval by our Section leadership as well as the ASA.

On behalf of the entire on-site GSU Editorial Team, I’ll just say we hope you all like our new cover!

Chair’s Message (Spring 2019)

Rachel Dwyer
Ohio State State University
2019 Spring, Vol. 32, No 2

This spring has brought me occasions to reflect on mentoring and public engagement as a bedrock of our activities as scholars and, when done well, a source of great meaning, connection, and fulfillment. One of those occasions has been the energy around mentoring in the Section. I’m proud to be part of the Community and Urban Sociology tradition of strong mentoring. We have several initiatives this spring that reflect and build on this tradition. Recently, a call went out to continue our highly successful mentoring meetings, initiated two years ago. We encourage senior volunteers to mentor junior scholars at the upcoming ASA meeting in New York, and we encourage all junior scholars interested in making mentoring connections to sign up to be matched with a more senior scholar. We are planning mentoring activities at the preconference, with more information to come this summer.

We are also proposing an amendment to our bylaws to create a formal “Mentoring Committee,” in order to further support and develop the work of the section. This proposal was developed under Chair Miriam Greenberg’s term, and as a result of research done by the Membership committee and an ad hoc Mentorship committee. The proposal to put the bylaws on the ballot was approved by the 2017-2018 Section Council and at the 2018 section business meeting at the ASA. I encourage all members to vote yes to the bylaw amendment to create a Mentoring Committee to continue to build on the energy and commitment to mentoring in our section. This initiative supports our current members, draws in new members as a major recognized benefit of this section, and builds community by connecting members to each other.

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News & Notes

CUSS Newsletter, 2019 Winter, Vol 32, No 1


Several CUSS members received the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) 40 for 40 Fellowship. CUSS members receiving fellowships include: Prentiss A. Dantzler, Colorado College; Jacob Faber, New York University; Michael Gaddis, UCLA; Philip Garboden, University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Eva Rosen, Georgetown University. A full list of fellows is available at the website: http://www.appam.org/meet-the-recipients-of-the-40-for-40-fellowship/

●Jeni Cross, Sociology, and Deana Davalos, Psychology, Colorado State University, and their research team received the inaugural Emerging Community Engagement Scholarship Award from the Office of Engagement and the Office of the Provost. The Emerging award celebrates a new initiative that has shown potential for long-term impact, achievement and scholarship. The BSHARP program is a community engagement effort launched in 2015 that provides dyads (persons with dementia {PWD} and their caregivers), tickets to attend five Fort Collins Symphony Masterworks concerts and social hours. The study explores factors such as the impact of the program on cognition in PWD, relationships with caregivers, and the degree to which participants feel supported by the community. Our collaboration has led to emphasizing facets of the concerts that participants endorse having the greatest impact (the appreciation of the Maestro’s recognition at the concerts) and understanding the course of change in the participants.

●Jerome Krase, Brooklyn College CUNY co-led with Małgorzata Bogunia-Borowska and Anna Sarzyńska a Graduate Visual Sociology Workshop, “Seeing Krakow Change: 1997-2018,” at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (May 7-10). Subsequently, during his Fulbright Specialist Scholarship Assignment in Prague, at the Charles University (May 11-25) he was honored to give the Ernest Gellner Nationalism Seminar, Sponsored by the Czech Association for Social Anthropology and the Czech Sociological Society, in Cooperation with the Institute of Sociological Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. With his daughter Kathryn Krase he published “Undermining Governmental Legitimacy at the Grass Roots: The Role of Failed Promises and Inflated Expectations of Community Accountability,” In Legitimacy: Ethnographic and Theoretical Insights, edited by Italo Pardo and Giuliana B. Prato, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2019: 169-92. When he returned in the Fall, he was elected Vice-President, City University of New York’s Academy of Humanities and Sciences.

●Meghan M. O’Neil is Social Science Research Fellow with University of Michigan Law School, Postdoctoral Fellow Affiliate with Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research, and Faculty Expert at Poverty Solutions. O’Neil is co-investigator on over $2.7 million in grants to conduct empirical legal research to increase access to justice for vulnerable Americans and better understand the economic barriers facing people who interact with the criminal justice system. She is the lead investigator for the State of Michigan on a mixed methods multi-state study of fines and fees assessed for parolees on Community Corrections Fines and Fees sponsored by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. O’Neil led a team of students and won two INNOVATE awards in a public service pitch campaign for her study, Removing Barriers to Recovery: Community Partnering for Innovative Solutions to the Opioid Crisis while completing her dissertation earlier this year. O’Neil has obtained support from seven courts, two treatment centers, and a tech-startup to provide no cost legal tools to 10,000 community members seeking recovery from addiction services over the next year. Echoing Desmond and Western (2018), she acknowledges that poverty is multidimensional and is a matter of “justice,” not merely economics. Her scholarship relies upon empirical evidence to improve our understanding of American poverty and help identify paths to overcome the challenges of achieving intergenerational mobility, especially for minority families. Her recent work is forthcoming in Law and Contemporary Problems and a special issue of Phylon sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and WEB Du Bois.

●Diane M. Sicotte (P.I.), Associate Professor of Sociology, Drexel University, and Kelly A. Joyce (co-P.I.), Professor of Sociology and the Center for Science, Technology and Society, Drexel University, were awarded $345,270 from NSF through the Science, Technology, and Society program for a three-year project, titled “Societal Aspects of Energy Infrastructure Expansion.”Through interviews, fieldwork and content analysis, the research team will examine the opinions of labor union leaders and members on efforts to develop and expand gas infrastructure versus renewable energy sources. The technical and scientific expertise of unionized workers will be studied in order to understand how, and if, such expertise impacts technology design and use, or is used in political claims-making and policy formation.

●Michael Timberlake, former CUSS secretary/treasurer and past North American editor of Urban Studies, retired at the end of June from the University of Utah.  Though retired, he is still working on three projects: Chinese cities in the world system of cities (collaborative with John Stevens and Xiulian Ma); urban transformation in Seoul in global perspective (with K. Shin), and race and the persistent under-development of the lower Mississippi Delta.  Now living in Seattle, he would enjoy meeting other social scientists doing related work living in the area and hearing about their research.  Mike can still be reached at timber@soc.utah.edu

Editor’s Note (Winter 2019)


William Holt
Birmingham-Southern College
CUSS Newsletter, 2019 Winter, Vol 32, No 1

The CUSS Newsletter starts its 32nd year, with

Three new assistant editors: Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, assistant professor at the University of New Mexico; Kyle Galindez, a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Steven Schmidt, a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine. They will be developing new features and articles for the CUSS Newsletter for the 2018-19 editions. 

Check out Kyle and Steven’s interviews with the 2018 ASA CUSS Award recipients on pages 12-17 as well as a Q & A session with Deidre Oakley, the new editor of City & Community, on page 4.

Following a suggestion by Lily Hoffman when she served as chair, the CUSS Newsletter’s first edition each year always includes a feature on the Lynd Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Please look at page 1 to read Nancy Denton’s reflection as the 2018 recipient.

Please see the 2019 CUSS Awards Call for Nominations. Contact information is on page 7 for each award which all have a common April 2, 2019 deadline.

On page 10 you will find Jerry Krase’s scenes from his team taught Graduate Visual Sociology Workshop with his visual studies students at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

This edition includes regular sections such as   New Books, New Publications, and New Dissertations. Look in the News & Notes section for news from other CUSS Members. The Announcements include calls for two conferences as well as the 2019 CUSS ASA Pre-conference on page 22.

As always, please contact me at wholt@bsc.edu with ideas for editions.

Q&A with City & Community editor, Deirdre Oakley

New CUSS Newsletter Assistant Editor, Kyle Galindez, University  of California, Santa Cruz, interviewed Deirdre Oakley about her new role as City & Community editor.

What motivated you to pursue the C&C editorship?

Not many people know this, but I started my career in magazine publishing right out of college – moving to New York City from Brunswick, Maine.  I worked for Vanity Fair and Fortune before I went to graduate school. While academic peer-review journals clearly have different audiences and expectations, as well as typically non-glossy and four-color (except for Contexts), I’ve always been interested in eventually becoming an editor in the academic world.

City & Community is also near and dear to my heart because the journal was launched while I was in graduate school and the first article coming from my dissertation was published in C&C. I have been a loyal reader and reviewer since its inception. When the call went out for a new editor in 2017 I thought about applying, was on the fence for a while because it’s an enormous responsibility to take on, and I was in the middle of writing a NSF grant (ultimately not funded). I finally decided that it’s now or never. My rationale: I’m a full professor so I don’t have to worry about promotion (because trust me, being editor has slowed down my productivity significantly); it would be a great opportunity for some of my grad and undergraduate students; and an opportunity to make a different kind of contribution to my field.  In short, my inner-self concluded I should go for it (and so did my husband).

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