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Prof. Hsu’s Essay in China Policy Analysis

By Department of Sociology and Anthropology on February 16, 2017
Thirty years ago, there were almost no NGOs in China. Today, there are over 675,000 legally registered, and millions more that are unregistered. This is happened even though the Chinese political and legal environment has been unfriendly, even hostile. My research looks at how this happened, and how it is transforming the relationship between citizens and the state in the PRC.
When the Western media covers Chinese NGOs, they tend to only focus on the ways that the Communist government oppresses, attacks or punishes them. Although these incidents are important, this focus ignores the ways that NGOs are mostly flourishing in China.  Read the essay here.
Submitted by Prof. Carolyn Hsu

Students in SOAN Prof Alicia Simmons’s “Media and Politics” Course Develop Content Analysis Projects

By Chris Henke on December 12, 2016

This post submitted by SOAN Professor Alicia Simmons

Students in Media & Politics (FMST/SOC 375) recently completed a two-phase project that combines the dual focus of this course: art and of science. Over the course of the semester, they generated original social scientific research and then created short video reports about their findings. Their videos are an example of public sociology, meaning that they make sociological scholarship accessible to a non-academic audience. You’ll find a link to the videos, which cover topics such as Freddie Gray’s death, the Confederate Flag controversy, the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling, and the San Bernardino attacks, at the end of this post.

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Prof. Hsu to speak at Brookings Institution

By Department of Sociology and Anthropology on November 30, 2016
Prof. Carolyn Hsu recently spoke on activism and NGO’s in the People’s Republic of China at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC on December 6, 2016. The talk was open to the public.  Here is a link to the article by Brookings following the event.

SOAN Professor Chandra Russo Writes on the 2016 Election

By Chris Henke on November 28, 2016

SOAN Professor Chandra Russo recently posted on the blog Mobilizing Ideas, with a set of reflections on the role of race and class in the 2016 U.S. elections.  Check out her post at this link.

Sociology Students use Media Content Analysis to Study Trigger Warnings on College Campuses

By Chris Henke on November 11, 2016

This post was submitted by Tim Englehart ’18, Sociology major.

This semester I worked with two other students, Sally Langan ’17 and Valeria Felix ’18, to study the conversation surrounding the use of trigger warnings on college campuses as a project for Professor Henke’s “Media Frame and Content Analysis” course (SOC 251). A trigger warning can be defined as a statement that comes before a piece of writing, a movie, or a speaker or discussion that alerts the audience that the material presented may be stressful or evoke a traumatic response from past experience. Proponents of trigger warnings argue that they protect students from emotionally harmful content and in doing so create spaces in which students can feel safe to engage in critical discussions and learning. Critics of trigger warnings argue that such warnings contradict the ideal of free speech, and that exposure to uncomfortable situations is an experience that facilitates learning and growth—allowing students to avoid discomfort in the classroom detracts from their educational experience.

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Students Gain Archaeological Field Research Experience with SOAN Professor Jordan Kerber

By Chris Henke on November 8, 2016

Post and photos submitted by Professor Jordan Kerber

Students in Professor Jordan Kerber’s course, “Field Methods and Interpretation in Archaeology” (ANTH 253) use a local archaeological dig site as their classroom, excavating artifacts from the Brunk site in Lincoln, NY. The site contains the remains of an Oneida village, dating to the late 1500s or early 1600s and then again during the 1750s. Over the past several fall semesters, ANTH 253 students have found several hundred Native American and European artifacts, including stone chipping debris and tools, pottery, animal remains, glass trade beads, smoking pipe fragments, and metal scraps. Students in the class focus on excavating, processing, analyzing, and interpreting archaeological objects recovered from this site, as seen in the pictures here.

Students in Prof Jordan Kerber's ANTH 253 course work at the Brunk archaeological site, in Lincoln, NY.

Students in Prof Jordan Kerber’s ANTH 253 course work at the Brunk archaeological site, in Lincoln, NY.

Students from Prof Jordan Kerber's ANTH 253 course, Fall 2016.

Students from Prof Jordan Kerber’s ANTH 253 course, Fall 2016.

SOAN Professor Chandra Russo publishes feature article in the journal Race and Class

By Chris Henke on October 7, 2016
Professor Russo's new article is the cover feature in Race and Class.

Professor Russo’s new article is the cover feature in Race and Class.

Our new SOAN colleague, Prof. Chandra Russo, has the cover article in the newest issue of Race and Class.  Prof Russo’s article, “Witness Against Torture, Guantánamo and solidarity as resistance,” focuses on the group Witness Against Torture, a community that has been calling for the closure of the Guantánamo Prison since 2005.  Witness Against Torture is one of three social movement organizations that Prof Russo has studied as part of a larger project examining activism in resistance to US security policies.  Prof Russo notes that while her article focuses on how Witness Against Torture is working to close Guantánamo, she also analyzes how they joined with the Black Lives Matter movement during January of 2015 to link militarism and imprisonment abroad to policing and incarceration within the US interior.  Congratulations to Prof. Russo on this important new publication!

SOAN Professor Alicia Simmons featured in Inauguration Week Panel on 21st Century Media

By Chris Henke on October 4, 2016
SOAN Professor Alicia Simmons

SOAN Professor Alicia Simmons speaking on the topic of 21st century media.

This post submitted by SOAN Professor Chandra Russo.

On September 30, sociology professor Alicia Simmons joined an esteemed cohort of Colgate alumni working at CBS, The Huffington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Moderated by Tim Byrnes, Charles A. Dana Professor of political science, panelists had a vibrant and timely conversation about the role of the media in American civic life. Audience members at the panel, part of the events leading up to Colgate President Brian Casey’s inauguration, included eager faculty, students, alumni, Hamilton residents and Casey himself. Panelists addressed challenges such as the increased polarization of political thought in American society, the lack of diversity in newsrooms, and the obligations of journalists. These matters feel ever more urgent six weeks before the 2016 presidential election, in which, as panelist Howard Fineman described, “one candidate challenges everything that we thought we knew about the American political process.”

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Hailey Biscow’s Summer of ’16 Anthropology Research for Colgate

By Department of Sociology and Anthropology on September 13, 2016
        This summer I contributed to Professor Elana Shever’s research investigating people’s engagements with and interpretations of dinosaurs. Professor Shever’s research project more broadly is examining dinosaurs in an attempt to understand how public scientific knowledge is created within the contemporary United States. Angie Smith’17 and I helped Professor Shever for 8 weeks this summer specifically concentrating on data collection and analysis from sites in Colorado. I was very fortunate to spend 2 out of my 8 weeks doing ethnographic fieldwork in Colorado at various sites featuring dinosaurs. I conducted oral surveys and practiced participant observation during various tours, exhibits, and activities offered at these places. I spent the other 6 weeks at Colgate transcribing the recordings I had taken in Colorado, transcribing and summarizing interviews conducted by Professor Shever, and finally coding the collected information in a qualitative data analysis program called MAXQDA.
Pictured: Angelica Smith ’17, Hailey Biscow ’17, and Elana Shever

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message from the SOAN Chair

By Chris Henke on August 30, 2016
submitted by Professor Paul Lopes, SOAN Dept Chair

Hi SOAN Students!

I can’t believe the summer is over, but the good news is everyone is back at Colgate for another great year. I’m back again as Chair of SOAN. And almost all the SOAN faculty are back and ready to go. So we have a full contingent of faculty this year compared to last year. We also have three new faculty to boot (more on them later). Professor Shever and Professor Levine will be away this year. And Professor Benson will be away this fall.

Now here’s some info for you all:

This summer the fourth floor of Alumni was renovated with new carpet, painting and lighting. Come on up and see the new digs. The lighting is a lot better now in the hall way and in the offices. We have new benches for your comfort. Our new bulletin boards have not yet arrived, so at this point no posters, photos, news, etc. are decorating the walls. Anyway, the lounge is still open to everyone and the computer room as well.

ChoDunkin’ Tuesdays still remain a tradition in SOAN. So don’t forget to pick up a yogurt or donut on that special Tuesday each month – 9/13, 10/18, and 11/15 from 8:15am until noon.

We are planning a SOAN Club Lunch early this semester. It’s set for Thursday, September 22 at 11:30 in Alumni 110. All SOAN (SOCI and ANTH) majors and minors are invited for lunch and a chat. We will be discussing revitalizing the SOAN Student Club and brainstorming on activities and events that SOAN students will enjoy and/or potential majors and minors might enjoy.

This reminds me that we do have one SOAN Student Happy Hour scheduled for Tuesday, October 25 at Donovan’s.

So, SOAN is really excited about the arrival of three new Assistant Professors in our department.

Kristin De Lucia is a new Assistant Professor in Archaeology. Her research interests center on Mesoamerica, household archaeology, political economy, complex societies, gender and identity, ceramics, food production, microanalysis, soil chemistry, childhood, ethnicity, social inequality, historical archaeology and colonialism, and bioarcheology. She is teaching ANTH 102 this fall, so you’ll have to wait to storm her classes. But drop on by to welcome Kristin to Colgate.

Santiago Juarez is a new Assistant Professor of Archaeology. His research interests center on Mesoamerica (Maya Highlands), household archaeology, landscape archaeology, state formation, political economy, identity, gender, ethnicity, social memory, space and place, and social inequality. He is teaching ANTH 103, so you will also have to wait to take his classes. But again, welcome Santiago to Colgate when you have chance.

Chandra Russo is a new Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her research interests center on transnational social movements, solidarity activism, race and racialization, globalization and neoliberalism, political emotions, and social and cultural theory. This fall she is teaching SOCI 222: Power, Race and Privilege, plus SOCI 361: Power, Politics and Social Change. There are still three spaces left in SOCI 361! Once again, when you have a chance give a warm welcome to Chandra.

Finally, I have a new office, Alumni 407. Please come by to just say hi or to chat. My regular office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:10 to 5:30, but you can probably catch me at other times.

We will be sending you a schedule of SOAN and other special events and talks shortly, but for now, WELCOME BACK!

Prof. Lopes