Noël A. Cazenave
Professor of Sociology
Post-Doctoral Study, 1989, University of Pennsylvania
Post-Doctoral Study, 1977-1978, University of New Hampshire
Ph.D., 1977, Tulane University
M.A., 1971, Social Psychology, University of Michigan
B.A., 1970, Psychology, Dillard University
I am interested in sociology, as well as numerous other social sciences and academic disciplines, largely for what they offer as instruments of liberation from social and economic oppression and for the realization of our full potential as human beings.
In addition to being a Professor of Sociology here at the University of Connecticut, I am also on the faculty of the Urban and Community Studies Program of the UConn Hartford Campus and am a faculty affiliate with UConn’s: Africana Studies Institute, Department of Philosophy, American Studies Program, Humanities Institute, and Sustainable Cities Program. My recent and current work is in the areas of: racism theory, U.S. poverty policy, political sociology, urban sociology, criminal justice, the sociology of emotions, and what I call kindness theory.
In addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, and other publications, I coauthored Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card against America’s Poor, which won five book awards; and have since then published Impossible Democracy: The Unlikely Success of the War on Poverty Community Action Programs; The Urban Racial State: Managing Race Relations in American Cities; and Conceptualizing Racism: Breaking the Chains of Racially Accommodative Language. My most recently published book is Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism.
I was selected as the 2020 winner of the University of Connecticut Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity-Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Award.
The goal of my current book project, Kindness Wars: The History and Political Economy of Human Caring, is to develop a large, robust, and politically-engaged conceptualization of kindness; one which I hope will restore kindness to its rightful place in serious social and political discourse and debates about human nature and possibilities, more in keeping with the important philosophical debates of the Enlightenment-era, that all too often pitted, self-interest against the common good. To that end, Kindness Wars uses a conflict theoretical perspective to examine the history of the kindness-theory-focused struggles over opposing notions of our true nature and possibilities and what the lessons of that history and those battles suggest for the building of kinder societies.
I teach at the Storrs campus each fall semester and in the Urban and Community Studies Program at the UConn Hartford Campus each spring semester. Courses taught include: White Racism, African Americans and Social Protest, Sociological Perspectives on Poverty, the Social Construction of Happiness, and a sociology and human rights variable topics course that focuses on Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism. I also currently teach graduate seminars on Racism Theory and Systemic Racism. I received a Northeast Magazine Connecticut Bloomer award for contributions to the quality of life of the state for developing and teaching my White Racism course. The story of how the initial opposition to that course was defeated is featured in Joe Feagin, Hernan Vera, and Kimberly Ducey’s Liberation Sociology. As a consultant I have provided staff training sessions in understanding systemic racism.
I am a proud father of a wonderful daughter, Anika Tene Cazenave, and greatly enjoy being the grandfather of Graciela-Celestina Cazenave. My personal interests include hiking, enjoying nature, listening to jazz and the blues, African-American theater and film, reading, eating gumbo and other foods from my native New Orleans, and expanding my consciousness through meditation and other forms of spiritual practice. I am proud to have had a small speaking part in the made-for-television movie “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.”
My life goals can be summed up as “Liberation through Struggle” and “Serenity through Practice.”
2016. Conceptualizing Racism: Breaking the Chains of Racially Accommodative Language. Rowman and Littlefield.
2011. The Urban Racial State: Managing Race Relations in American Cities. Rowman and Littlefield.
2007.Impossible Democracy: The Unlikely Success of the War on Poverty Community Action Programs. SUNY Press. Honorable Mention. 2008 Gustavus Myers Book Award.
2001. Kenneth J. Neubeck and Noel A. Cazenave. Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card against America’s Poor. Routledge. The winner of five book awards.