Past Events

All events were sponsored by the Department of Sociology (co-sponsors are noted).

2018

Social Position and the Complexity of Schemas for Cultural Objects
Omar Lizardo, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame
Beneath the China Boom: Citizenship, Welfare, and the Making of a Rural Land Market
Julia Chuang, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston College

2017

Genetic Options: The Impact of Genetic Ancestry Testing on Ethnic and Racial Identities

Wendy Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia

Beyond Expectations: Second Generation Nigerians in the United States and Britain

Onoso Imoagene, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania

2016

When Protection becomes Punishment: Policing the Public (Schools) in an Unequal City

Carla Shedd, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Columbia University

The Tumbleweed Society

Allison Pugh, Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Virginia

Natasha Warikoo, Associate Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Contentious Public Sphere in China: Law, Media and the Dilemma of Authoritarian Rule

Ya-Wen Lei, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Harvard University

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Arlie Hochschild, Emerita Professor of Sociology at UC Berekely

Summoned: Identification and Religious Life in a Jewish Neighborhood

Iddo Tavory, Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University

Two Pluralisms: Toward a New Paradigm for Modernity and Religion

Peter Berger, University Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, at Boston University and the founder and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs

Cooking Your 'Self': Emotions, Identities, and Collective Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Culinary Culture

Rafi Grosglik, Post Doc Visiting Scholar in the Sociology Department

Cultural Rights: The New Human Rights Frontier?

Helle Porsdam, Professor of American Studies at the University of Copenhagen

2015

Tianamen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China

Rowena He, Lecturer, Department of Government, Harvard University

Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work

Kimberly Hoang, Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Boston College

2014

Racial Formation Theory Today

Howard Winant, Professor of Sociology at the University of California and founding director of the University of California Center for New Racial Studies (UCCNRS)

1914-1918: The War Within the War

Adam Hochschild, Acclaimed Author, Journalist, and Lecturer, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism

2013 and earlier

Governing Immigration in Advanced Welfare States: The Scandinavian Case

Grete Brochmann, Professor of Sociology, University of Oslo

Co-sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies, Department of Politics, International Global Studies, Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Unemployment Experiences: Why Americans Blame Themselves and Israelis Blame the System

Ofer SharoneSociologist and Assistant Professor, Institute of Work & Employment Relations, MIT Sloan

Day Labor Agencies and The Neoliberal-Parasitic Economy

Gretchen Purser, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Syracuse University

Co-sponsor:The Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturer Fund

The Cultural Foundations of Mental Illness

Liah Greenfeld, Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Anthropology, Boston University

Co-sponsors: The Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund and the Department of Psychology

How the Right Usurped the Queer Agenda: Frame Co-optation in Political Discourse

Mary Bernstein, Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut at Storrs, Leading Scholar in Queer Politics

Co-sponsors: The Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund, The Women's and Gender Studies Program

So SoHo So What? Branding, Identity, and the Spatial Structure of Boston's Visual Arts Worlds

Matthew Kaliner, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, Harvard University (Brandeis University ’00)

Co-sponsor: The Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund

Seeing Society: The Long and Winding Road

Doug Harper PhD ’76, Professor of Sociology, Duquesne University

Pride of Place: Queer Female Identities and Communities in Four Small U.S. Cities

Japonica Brown-Saracino, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston University

Co-sponsored with the Interdepartmental Program in Women's and Gender Studies

Sexual Health as Buzzword: Competing Stakes and Proliferating Agendas

Steve Epstein, John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern University

Co-author of Three shots at Prevention: The HPV vaccine and the Politics of Medicine's Simple Solutions

Co-sponsored with the Interdepartmental Program in Women's and Gender Studies

Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex


Amy Schalet
, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

So You Think You Can Dance? Lessons on Distorted Public Valuation from the US Private Equity Bubble

Catherine Turco, MIT

Medicalization and the Epidemic of Side Effects from Prescription Drugs: The Risk Proliferation Syndrome

Professor Donald W. Light Rutgers, UDMNJ-SOM

Sponsored by: Department of Sociology, Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund, and Heller School of Social Policy and Management

Covered: Activists, Journalists, and News in a Shifting Media Landscape

Professor Sarah Sobieraj, Tufts University

Sponsored by Department of Sociology and Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund

The Bog and the Beast: Museums, the Nation, and the World

Professor Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College, Senior Research Fellow

Sponsored by: Department of Sociology and Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund

No Family History: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer

Professor Sabrina McCormick, Science and Technology Fellow, AAAS

Sponsored by: Department of Sociology and Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund, Environmental Studies Program, and Health: Science, Society, and Policy Program

Big Dreams in Lean Times: How Families Navigate Mobility and Reproduce Inequality

Professor Tom Shapiro

Sex Cells: Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm

Professor Rene Almeling

Responses to Discrimination and Social Resilience under Neo-Liberalism: The Case of Brazil, Israel and the United States

Professor Michele Lamont

Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite

Professor Shamus Khan

Biomedical Markets: An Economic Sociologist’s Perspective

Professor Ayla Guseva

Understanding the Increased Prevalence of Autism

Professor Peter Bearman, Jonathan Cole Professor of Social Sciences Director of Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences at Columbia University

Tell My Story: Racial Appraisals and Black Women’s Experience of Rape

Professor C. Shawn McGuffey

Visualizing Health: A Sociological Analysis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Professor Kelly Joyce, The College of William and Mary

How Do Different Types of Democracy Cope with Ethnonational Conflicts?

Professor Sammy Smooha, University of Haifa

Disposable Ties and the Urban Poor

Professor Matt Desmond, Harvard University

When and How did Spirituality Become Autonomous

Professor Courtney Bender, Columbia University

Weighing the Motherload: Security Expectations and the Mother-Child Relationship

Dr. Ana Villalobos, PhD, University of California at Berkeley

Visiting Research Associate at the Department of Sociology, Brandeis

Connecting the Personal and the Sociological: Reflections on the '7-UP' Documentary Film Series

Professor Barrie Thorne, PhD’71

The Department of Sociology presents Professor Barrie Thorne, Brandeis Sociology PhD ’71, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, UC Berkeley. Professor Thorne is an eminent alum and a first rate ethnographer of children who recently finished fieldwork on "California Childhoods," funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Futures of the Left in an Age of Globalization

Zinner Forum, Heller school

"Left" political parties have been the major pole of opposition in capitalist market societies and the bearers of progressive change since the industrial revolution. They have insisted that governments assume responsibilities for correcting inequality, insecurity, market failures and externalities, and skewed opportunity structures. They have been fundamental in making democracy a mass phenomenon. They have promoted the expansion of rights from civil into political and social realms. They have provided people with visions of alternative social orders.

The collapse of actually existing socialism in the end of the Cold War made market societies the only game on the planet and discredited historical Left transformational utopias once and for all. Globalization has already made permeable many of the borders behind which Lefts felt able to pursue their programs. One consequence of all these changes is that socialist dreams, along with the word socialism itself, have disappeared.

It is deeply significant that in the media and professional political analysis what up until recently was called "the Left" is now widely labeled the "Center-Left." The political space and options of the political parties of the Left and Center Left that seek to govern have been narrowed and they have large new problems of connection with voters and constituents.