Liz Holzer: Improving Water and Food Security in Ethiopia through Research

Check out a recent article by the United Nations titled “Improving Water and Food Security in Ethiopia through Research” where they discuss the recent works of Water and Food Security, Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project, with the help of Associate Professor of Sociology and Human Rights, Elizabeth Holzer, who is also one of the leaders of this project.

***Excerpt***

The Water and Food Security PIRE project aims to improve agricultural productivity and water management in low-income agricultural communities in the Blue Nile Basin, in northeast Africa. The main goal is to provide accurate seasonal predictions on farm-scale water availability and the corresponding crop yields during both wet and dry seasons. Local communities rely on the Blue Nile Basin to sustain their crops and in turn sustain themselves, but rainfall and water levels in the area can be unpredictable, causing crop failure and food shortages.

Mary Bernstein: Connecticut’s underappreciated role on the frontline of LGBTQ+ legislation

Mary Bernstein

Check out Professor Mary Bernstein's recent interview for Fox61, "Connecticut's underappreciated role on the frontline of LGBTQ+ legislation."

***Excerpt***

Dr. Mary Bernstein, a professor of sociology at UConn, said the ruling [Goodridge v. Massachusetts] redefined civil unions, not a stepping stone to marriage, but as something legally inferior to marriage. Love Makes a Family used that argument to shift from advocating for civil unions to pushing for same-sex marriage - which was controversial at the time.

"We felt like it did not make sense for us to be pushing for civil unions when we really were there for marriage," Stanback said, "Many of us felt like civil union was insulting, it was a second class at status. It provided all the state rights and protections of marriage. But it did not allow us to then move on to get the federal rights of marriage. But strategically, if we had supported civil unions, our board of directors felt like it... would have been very hard for us to come back with our electoral work, and oppose legislators who supported civil union, simply as a way to take marriage off the table, and unopposed marriage."

Bernstein said: "When something happens like that, it shows that things are possible and all of sudden, for activists that care about this issue or people who never were activists, but for whom marriage was very meaningful, all of a sudden they can get on board with this issue."

Rianka Roy: Precarious Privilege

August 6, 2021

Check out graduate student Rianka Roy's recent article in The European Legacy, "Precarious Privilege: Globalism, Digital Biopolitics, and Tech-Workers' Movements in India."

Abstract

This article focuses on Indian tech-workers’ views on labour and social movements in the context of precarity, digital globalism, and the neoliberal transformations of the culture and economy. Based on interviews of twenty information technology (IT) workers in India, conducted in 2018, I found that they inhabit the liminal spaces between precarity and privilege. I call it the precarity of liminality. This ambiguous status, combined with the assumption of white-collar prestige, prevents tech-workers from defending their labour rights. Indeed, even the trade unions formed exclusively for tech-workers are constrained by their members’ assumption of privilege. I hold that this is the case because the neoliberal market has transformed the local underpinnings of culture into a homogeneous simulacrum and codified performance, so that even the cultural diversity of these workers fails to resist their co-option into the global logic of labour and capital.

 

Roy, Rianka. 2021. "Precarious Privilege: Globalism, Digital Biopolitics and Tech-workers' Movements in India." The European Legacy 26(6). https://doi.org/10.1080/10848770.2021.1962641

Ruth Braunstein: Meanings of Democracy Lab Launched

July 30, 2021

We are excited to announce the launch of the Meanings of Democracy Lab, founded and directed by UConn sociologist Dr. Ruth Braunstein. Several big questions animate how Americans engage in civic and political life: Who counts as a “real” American? What is required of a “good” citizen? Is American democracy flourishing or floundering? In today’s deeply polarized America, the answers to these questions depend on who you ask, but the ways that different people answer them matter for us all.

The newly launched Meanings of Democracy Lab engages students and partners in collaborative research on and discussion about the contested moral and cultural foundations of American democratic life. Current projects focus on the moral meanings of taxpaying and on battles over the roles of race and religion in American identity and history.

If you are interested in participating in or collaborating with the Meanings of Democracy Lab, email Dr. Ruth Braunstein at ruth.braunstein@uconn.edu.

Manisha Desai: A Global Treaty to End Violence Against Women

July 28, 2021

Professor Manisha Desai moderated the webinar "A Global Treaty to End Violence Against Women: Why Now?" on July 28, 2021. The webinar discussed the origins and process that led to the draft of a global treaty to end violence against women, the inadequacy of the current conventions, and the current advocacy and mobilization to bring it to the floor of the UN general assembly.

Flyer for the webinar "A Global Treaty to End Violence Against Women: Why Now?" 28 July, 2021. 1 PM EST. The webinar will discuss the origins and process that led to the draft of a global treaty to end violence against women, the inadequacy of the current conventions and the current advocacy and mobilization to bring it to the floor of the UN general assebmly. Participants: Marina Psiklakova Parker, Jane Hodges, and Antoinetta Elia. Moderator: Manisha Desai,

Alumna Diana Taurasi (2005) Heading to Tokyo Olympics

July 23, 2021

Former Huskies teammates Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm and Diana Taurasi [Sociology 2005] of the Phoenix Mercury will try to win a record fifth Olympic gold medal with USA veterans Tina Charles of the Washington Mystics (2012, 2015 Olympic gold), and Breanna Stewart of the Storm (2016 Olympic gold), along with Olympic rookie Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx. Jennifer Rizzotti, president of the Connecticut Sun and long-time USA Women’s Basketball coach, is an assistant for head coach Dawn Staley of the University of South Carolina, a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

 

Read the full article of all 16 Huskies headed to Tokyo for the Olympic Summer Games in UConn Today.

UConn Named a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars

July 22, 2021

The University of Connecticut is among the top 10 producers of Fulbright Scholars from research institutions this year.

The University has seven Fulbright Scholars on its faculty who will be teaching and performing research around the world in the 2016-17 academic year, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright Program is the government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Scholars are selected for their academic merit and leadership potential, with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program operates in more than 125 countries. The following UConn faculty will be pursuing Fulbright projects abroad:

  • Carol Auer, professor emeritus of plant science and landscape architecture, will lecture and perform research into “Advancing Biosecurity and Bioethics Knowledge in Ecuador” at the University of San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador.
  • Alexis Dudden, professor of history, will lecture about “East Asian Context for Maritime Issues and the U.S.-Korea Alliance” at Yonsei University in South Korea.
  • Kathryn Knapp, associate professor of English, will lecture about “The Contemporary American Bildungsroman in the Age of Decline” at Vilnius University in Lithuania.
  • Engineering Professor Radenka Maric, UConn’s new vice president for research, will research “Durable Cathodes for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) and Hydrogen Separ” at Politenico Di Milano in Italy.
  • Bandana Purkayastha, professor of sociology, will lecture and perform research on “Water, Inequalities, and Rights” at University of Hyderabad in India.
  • Nathaniel Trumbull, associate professor of geography, will lecture and perform research on “Best Practices of Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants in Russia and the U.S.: Regional, Social and Economic Dimensions” at Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University in Russia.
  • Steven Wisensale, professor of public policy, will lecture on “A Comparative Analysis of Japanese-U.S. Policies” at Yokohama City University in Japan.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and the U.S. also provide direct and indirect support.

By: Kristen Cole | Story courtesy of UConn Today

Bench Project

 

Our class, Society and Climate Change is a course designed to shift our thinking from the scientific way that the climate is discussed in our society to a much more emotional context that will truly energize is to make change. This bench project came as a result of our understanding that there is a disconnect between one another as people and if we cannot connect with one another then we cannot connect with the Earth. Our campus did not have any outdoor benches that faced one another. So, we decided that we would make two benches and deliver them to President Tom Katsouleas as a welcome gift and as gratitude for making a statement about his commitment to helping the climate. We split up into three groups, networking, promoting, and building to ultimately achieve the creation of our beautiful benches. Our hope for the future is that our two benches, which we call the Climate Conversation Corner will facilitate deep connections with one another as students as well as with our environment. .