Month: June 2021

Ruth Braunstein: ASA Sociology of Religion 2021 Early Career Award

American Sociology Association Logo

Congratulations to Ruth Braunstein, winner of the inaugural Early Career Award from the Sociology of Religion section of the American Sociological Association. This award recognizes an early-career scholar (who may be in any position, not necessarily on the tenure track) who has made an outstanding contribution to the sociological study of religion. Contributions could include but are not limited to, impactful scholarship, teaching, or drawing (inter)disciplinary attention and public interest to the subfield. 

Noel Cazenave: “Accusations about teaching ‘critical race theory’ in Connecticut often lack evidence”

Professor Noel Cazenave was cited in the recent Hartford Courant article, "Accusations about teaching 'critical race theory' in Connecticut often lack evidence, used as a vehicle for broader attacks on equity and inclusion."



Recent outcry over critical race theory is a manifestation of white conservative backlash to the racial justice movement that gained surging support in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, said Noel A. Cazenave, a professor of sociology at UConn.

The furor can also be linked to intense condemnation by conservatives of The New York Times’ “1619 Project” — which examines how slavery shaped America’s founding — and the school curriculum it generated in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

“What we’re seeing today is that no matter what word you use, it’s not going to be acceptable to have a conversation about racism, whether you use the word ‘race,’ ‘critical race theory’ or ‘racism,’” Cazenave said.

As for critical race theory, Cazenave said that its basic assumptions are “the assumptions of systemic racism,” adding that the theory provides a framework for understanding racism as a system of oppression. But critical race theory is also somewhat of a nebulous term, Cazenave said, and has entered the public discourse without a clear definition, thus becoming a vehicle for misinterpretation.

Mary Fischer: Chair Elect of the Community and Urban Section of ASA

Mary Fischer

Congratulations to Mary Fischer, who is the chair elect of the Community and Urban Section of the American Sociological Association! Members of the Section on Community and Urban Sociology explore new social theory and develop empirical research on groups living, working, and communicating across geographical boundaries, including cities, suburbs, and rural areas, as well as electronic communities and other spaces.

Kristen Kirksey: Wood/Raith Gender Identity Living Trust Fellowship

Congratulations to Kristen Kirksey, recipient of the 2021 Wood/Raith Gender Indentity Summer Fellowship!

The Wood/Raith Living Trust is named for Audrey Wood (UCONN class of ‘47) and Edeltraut Raith. Both Wood and Raith earned their Masters in Library Science from the University of Southern California and spent their careers as librarians with the San Francisco Public Library system. They generously gifted the University of Connecticut funds for the study of gender identity under the Wood/Raith Living Trust.