WGSS: “Thank You, Professor Ingrid Semaan!”

July 27, 2020

Ingird Semaan

After fourteen years, Ingrid Semaan is stepping down.

"Ingrid’s Stamford colleagues and students look forward to being able to thank her in person for her enormous contribution to the campus. Until then, we send thunderous, high bandwidth virtual applause and all good wishes for her future projects." Read the full farewell here.

Amy Lawton: “Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless – A Look at Science and Social Science in a YA Sci-Fi Book”

July 22, 2020

Screenshot of the participants in the 2020 panel, "Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless." Top, left to right: Sarah Tarkoff, Andrea Decker, Amy Lawton Bottom, left to right: Samantha Russman, Nicole Henniger
Top, left to right: Sarah Tarkoff, Andrea Decker, Amy Lawton. Bottom, left to right: Samantha Russman, Nicole Henniger

From Wednesday, July 22, to Sunday, July 26, San Diego Comic-Con will be streaming content for Comic-Con@Home (https://www.comic-con.org/cci/2020/athome). Amy Lawton is part of a panel sponsored by the Fleet Science Center: "Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless - A look at science and social science in a YA sci-fi book." The book is about dystopian religion and the panel will be available to watch on Friday, July 24, at 4 pm.

Noel Cazenave Receives Faculty Excellence in Research Award

June 26, 2020

Congratulations to Noel Cazenave, recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity-Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Award!

The Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity Awards are given to individual faculty who have made significant and or creative contributions to a field of knowledge or area of inquiry. These awards recognize research excellence and the highest levels of creativity that enhance the University’s academic and creative reputation. Individuals who are nominated for this award must have a distinguished record of ongoing scholarly and/or creative productivity and must have worked at UConn for at least 10 years.

Noel Cazenave: What do people mean when they call for defunding the police?

June 24, 2020

Read Noel Cazenave’s interview in The Day, “What do people mean when they call for defunding the police?”

“‘It is BECAUSE concepts like defunding and dismantling the police are so contentious and ambiguous that we are now having a much broader and deeper conversation than we did before they was introduced into the discourse,’ he wrote in a Facebook post June 9.

He compared it to how ‘Black lives matter’ was a contentious term three or four years ago, but now corporations and Republicans have joined in saying it, ‘because people pushed the term’ and educated others about it.

Cazenave added that because dismantling police could mean police unions aren’t recognized, unions now have a reason to come to the negotiating table to support other, smaller reforms.

With calls to dismantle and defund the police, Cazenave indicated that people are asking for more than what they think they can get, an important strategy because it leaves room to negotiate, and there need to be people pushing further than liberalism.

When there is conflict, liberals ‘want it to be resolved very quickly, so they tend to be conflict-aversive, so they want nice language,’ Cazenave said. ‘They want a social movement that’s nice. Social movements are not nice. Social movements by definition involve conflict.'”

Laura Mauldin: Disability as an Axis of Inequality

June 23, 2020

American Sociology Association Logo

Laura Mauldin was the lead author on Disability as an Axis of Inequality: A Pandemic Illustration (Disability in Society) as part of the ASA Footnotes special issue on COVID19.

"In summary, based on their social position and taken-for-granted ideologies that they are disposable and less worthy, disabled people are at increased risk for exposure to the virus and decreased likelihood of adequate healthcare. Barriers also emerge as home becomes the new hub of school, work, and family life. In response, disability justice communities have been steadfastly organizing, both before and during the pandemic. For example, groups like the Disability Justice Culture Club in the San Francisco Bay Area and Crip Fund have been providing direct assistance and money to those facing serious needs. Disability rights organizations such as the American Association of People with Disabilities and the National Council of Independent Living have mobilized nationally to advocate for the passage of legislation that ensures that the needs of people with disabilities are included in every aspect of social and political response to the pandemic. The intersectional implications of the COVID-19 pandemic make evident now, more than ever, that any truly rigorous exploration of social inequality requires sociologists to more critically engage disability in their work. We hope this piece helps ignite transformation."

2020 Wood/Raith Gender Identity Living Trust Summer Fellowship Winners

June 16, 2020

Congratulations to Asmita Aasavari, Koyel Khan, and Kylar Schaad, recipients of the 2020 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.

Noel Cazenave: Interview on “Dear No One” with Marceen Burgher

June 9, 2020

Host, Marceen Burgher has open dialogue with her guests on IndignationNecropolitics and The Racial State. With special guest, Dr. Noel Cazenave, author of Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism and Professor at University of Connecticut. He discusses his book and the current racial climate surrounding deaths of George Floyd and others. Also on the Podcast is guest Adam Kaplan, Licensed Clinical Psychologist briefly discussing his thoughts on how to communicate race relations with our children and when.

Listen to Dear No One, Episode 5, "Indignation," with Dr. Noel Cazenave and Adam Kaplan.

In Solidarity and Struggle for Social and Racial Justice

June 8, 2020

Even as we were grappling with the systemic racism laid bare by the COVID pandemic in the disproportionate loss of life in African American, Latinx, and Indigenous communities and the targeting of Asian American communities, we are confronted by the more brutal expression of this enduring racism. These include four police officers murdering George Floyd, two white men killing of Ahmaud Arbery as he was jogging, police murdering Breonna Taylor in her own home, and the killing by police of Tony McDade, a transgender man, among many others. We write to express our outrage and grief, recognizing the renewed pain and trauma to members of our own communities already struggling with the pandemic and the everyday forms of racism and white supremacy.

As Sociologists, we are trained to understand the structural and systemic basis of social relations. Therefore, we bear a special responsibility to recognize, interrogate and dismantle systemic racism. Hence, the faculty of the Department of Sociology commit through our research, teaching, and activism to work in solidarity and struggle with all those working for racial and social justice in our department, on our campus (the hiring of Dr. Tuitt as UConn’s Chief Diversity Officer provides an important opportunity in this regard), in Connecticut, and beyond.  Additionally, our department is dedicated to engaging in everyday anti-racist efforts and holding ourselves accountable.

We will continue to work in collaboration with our colleagues in the Institutes on campus and across the country and our professional organizations (we will continue to post links to statements from on campus and professional associations as they come).

Concretely, in our department we shall:

  • Foster a departmental culture of equity and inclusion, using and refining the steps the faculty and graduate students have discussed earlier, and formulate new ones after intentional reflection on the ways in which we can address systemic racism in the department.
  • Organize a series of workshops/seminars on the work of our colleagues that is directly related to police brutality such as Noel Cazenave’s work on police brutality as mechanisms of racism, to related work of  Mary Bernstein’s Anti-Gun Violence project in CT, Ryan Talbert’s work on mental health impact of police shootings, Fumilayo Showers and Marysol Asencio’s work on health disparities, David Embrick and Matthew Hughey’s work on white supremacy, and Marysol Ascencio and Bandana Purkayastha’s work on structural and everyday racism.
  • Form partnerships through our internships and new Criminology, Law, and Social Justice Club (organized by Darrell Irwin) with local community-based efforts to eliminate the prison-industrial complex.

Relevant Sociology Courses:

  • 1251: Social Problems (offered Fall 2020)
  • 1501: Race Class and Gender (offered Fall 2020)
  • 1701: Society in Global Perspective (offered Fall 2020)
  • 2501: Sociology of Intolerance and Injustice
  • 2503: Prejudice and Discrimination
  • 2509W: Sociology of Anti-Semitism
  • 3501: Ethnicity and Race (offered Fall 2020)
  • 3505: White Racism (offered Fall 2020)
  • 3507: Race and Reproduction
  • 3825: African Americans and Social Protest
  • 5501: Racism: Variable Topics

Noel Cazenave’s Commentary on Vigilante Attacks in Philadelphia

June 5, 2020

Read Noel Cazenave's commentary on vigilante attacks on Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia published in The Guardian, "The armed white men who terrorized Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter supporters."

"'I am absolutely not surprised this happened,' said Noel Cazenave, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut and author of Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism.

‘Race relations have been very intense in Philadelphia,’ said Cazenave, who lived in the city for 13 years. ‘When my family and I drove down to try to find housing in Philadelphia, let’s just say we had some interesting encounters in the north-east.'

…'Chasing someone with golf clubs or what have you – I’d say that is a form of non-lethal lynching that maintains white racial control,' he said. 'It sends a message that states: You’re not supposed to be in this area. It’s justified by the notion that Black people, no matter what they’re doing, are criminals.'"