Social Sciences Blog

For recent updates and events, please check out our Division of Social Sciences Blog!

Scholarship and Research

Promoting knowledge of social and cultural behavior across many different societies and eras, research and scholarship produced by professors within the Division is a central component of Brandeis’ core mission as a liberal arts research university.

Social scientists at Brandeis have pioneered new ways of seeing and understanding social problems, both in their historical and contemporary, and local and global, dimensions. Our unit is exemplary in its many courses and experiential learning opportunities devoted to exploring such varied social issues as cultural diversity, identity, social inequality, globalization, health and communication.   

Our multifaceted research into the causes, manifestations, and possible remedies of inequality, conflict and intolerance help build a foundation for our many social sciences departments and programs that enjoy national prominence.

Social sciences professors also foster future scholars by working with undergraduate students, incorporating them into ongoing research. For instance, In the Health, Science and Social Policy program, Daniel Liebman ‘12 turned his summer undergraduate research into a published article in the professional, peer-reviewed journal Clinical Toxicology.

Recent publications and awards in the social sciences at Brandeis:

  • Associate Professor of the Practice in the Environmental Studies Program, Laura Goldin, was awarded the Mass Service Alliance: 2013 Massachusetts Service and Volunteerism Award in Higher-Education Community Service Champion, Honorable Mention, and her article, "Indoor Air Quality Survey of Nail Salons in Boston," was recently published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.
  • Professor of History Michael Willrich received the William H. Welch Medal, for his book POX: An American History on May 18th, 2013. "The William H. Welch Award is awarded to one or more authors of a book (excluding edited volumes) of outstanding scholarly merit in the field of medical history published during the five calendar years preceding the award."

  • Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies, Wendy Cadge, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2013.

  • Sociology Assistant Professor Sara Shostak and Ph.D. candidate Dana Zarhin co-authored an article based on research on epilepsy and genetic testing, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, titled “What’s at stake? Genetic information from the perspective of people with epilepsy and their family members,” published in Social Science & Medicine.

  • Anthropology Associate Professor Elizabeth Ferry examined the 2010 Chilean miner rescue through the lens of Anthropology in “If the Miners had been Mexican…” The Chilean Mine Rescue as Mexican ‘Politics Machine’” Anthropology Today 27(4): 15-18.

  • American Studies Assistant Professor Maura Jane Farrelly’s book, "Papist Patriots: The Making of an American Catholic Identity" was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press.

  • Economics Associate Professor Jens Hilscher won the Harry M. Markowitz Award - Journal of Investment Management Best Paper Award (2011) for the paper "Predicting financial distress and the  performance of distressed stocks" (with John Campbell and Jan Szilagyi).

  • History Professor Michael Willrich won the Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American cultural history, "Pox."