This week, Around the O’s email newsletter includes a UO Sociology alumnus!
Adam Markle (BA ’03) is an Emmy-winning cinematographer and documentary filmmaker whose latest film, 34 Seconds, is due to premiere this fall. He talked to Around the O about the importance of his background in sociology to his career today:
“My sociology courses taught me to look at the world from different perspectives and ask critical questions. What I learned at the university shaped the kind of stories I wanted to tell—and how I wanted to tell them.
“I produced a documentary about migrant farm workers in Southern Oregon, and I chose to make it 80 percent of my grade. I ended up spending 15 hours a day in the editing room—and realized I was enjoying it.”
Read the full story on Around the O’s website.
Dr. Kari Marie Norgaard, professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, was recognized as a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) for her recent book Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Colonialism, Nature, and Social Action (2019, Rutgers University Press).
The C. Wright Mills Award, established in 1964, is awarded annually by SSSP. Consistent with Mills’ dedication to a search for a sophisticated understanding of the individual and society, books nominated and selected as finalists: 1) critically address an issue of contemporary public importance, 2) bring to the topic a fresh, imaginative perspective, 3) advance social scientific understanding of the topic, 4) display a theoretically informed view and empirical orientation, 5) evince quality in style of writing, 6) explicitly or implicitly contain implications for courses of action.
Congratulations to Dr. Norgaard for this recognition of her powerful and critical work!
Citing specific examples from the field, UO Sociology doctoral candidate Sarah Ahmed explains why women left behind remain close to the very families that confine and monitor their movement, and why, in some cases, women left behind turn a blind eye toward their husband’s second or third marriage, in her recent article published in Gender & Society titled “Women Left Behind: Migration, Agency, and the Pakistani Woman.” The article can be found on their website, here.
In times like these, critical sociology is more valuable than ever, and the Department of Sociology at the University of Oregon is proud to be recognized for our durable legacy in the development and continued application of critical sociology. While we were unable to celebrate our 125th anniversary this past March as we had hoped, the department is honored to be featured in the “Around the O” newsletter this month. We invite you to read the whole story here on their website: https://around.uoregon.edu/legacies-critical-sociology-125-years-uo
Dear alumni, colleagues and friends,
It is with heavy hearts that I must announce several cancellations that folks were undoubtedly looking forward to. Many of you already learned that the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA) decided to cancel their annual meeting in Eugene (https://www.pacificsoc.org/2020-conference-information). Acknowledging our collective role in stemming the rate of infection of a new and deadly virus was the responsible thing for PSA to do to protect our communities, especially those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID19. In the same spirit, we have decided to cancel our departmental events celebrating 125 years of UO Sociology. This includes our alumni reception at Ninkasi scheduled for Saturday, March 28th and our Alumni-Student Networking Dinner for March 29th (https://sociology.uoregon.edu/student-alumni-networking/).
So many of you responded to our call to join us here in Eugene for not only what was sure to be an amazing PSA meeting, but to also commemorate and celebrate 125 Years of UO Sociology (https://sociology.uoregon.edu/legacies-in-critical-sociology/). You signed up for our reception at Ninkasi Brewing (a special thanks to Jamie Floyd, co-founder of Ninkasi and UO SOC alumni), but also to our Student and Alumni Dinner. Many of you sent updates on your life since graduating from UO Sociology. Some of you sent personal notes and updates that kindled memories or kindly corrected errors on our timeline. You responded with donations to our excellent program and to our new Graduate Student Research Award in Critical Sociology. You responded sincerely, generously and thoughtfully. For all of this, I thank you on behalf of everyone here at the UO Department of Sociology. I am truly sorry we do not get to celebrate in person, but I thank you for participating in the sentiment and the intention.
Please stay in touch. We hope to re-schedule an alumni and student event in June or the Fall. We will keep you posted on those details.
Michael Dreiling, Professor & Department Head
Department of Sociology
University of Oregon
Congratulations to all our winners of Fall Graduate School awards!
“The Graduate School administers a range of fellowships and research awards annually. These awards, most of which are donor supported, range from $500 to $20,000 per year and, in some cases, include tuition support.”
In addition to cash, these awards confer recognition of the dedication and success of our graduate students, and we couldn’t be more proud to call them members of our department. Below are a list of award winners and descriptions of their awards.
First Year Fellowship – Bex MacFife
The purpose of a First Year Fellowship is to recruit talented top graduate students to doctoral programs. This award ensures a full year of graduate school funding to allow these students to use their first year at UO to make headway on their research and academic activities.
Betty Foster McCue Fellowship – Katie Warden & Diego Contreras Medrano
In honor of the lifetime of teaching and administrative service by Professor Emerita Betty Foster McCue, this award supports doctoral students with interests related to human development and performance. Winners of this award are students with dissertation interests that primarily revolve around topics related to human development and performance. Related fields include but are not limited to Counseling Psychology, Human Physiology, Special Education, Education, Sociology, Human Biology, and Psychology.
UO Doctoral Research Fellowship – Sarah Ahmed
For students in any UO PhD program, this fellowship is awarded to the most outstanding doctoral student as determined by a faculty selection committee. Dissertations to be considered can be on any topic and are judged on the quality of the written proposal and the potential impact of the research both within and beyond the student’s field.
Kimble First Year Teaching Award – Ashley Woody
The Kimble First-Year Teaching Award, named in honor of professor emeritus Dan Kimble, is jointly sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and administered by the Teaching Engagement Program. The award recognizes outstanding teaching by graduate student instructors who have demonstrated a commitment to professional development and reflective practice.
Sandra Morgen Public Impact Graduate Fellowship – Lola Loustaunau
The purpose of this fellowship (formally known as the UO Public Impact Fellowship) award is to recognize and support the work of up to two graduate students whose research has the potential to have a significant impact on society. Examples of relevant research include that which makes a contribution to improving economic opportunity and well-being, social justice, political participation, cultural engagement, and scientific and technical solutions to pressing social issues.
Promising Scholar Award – Timothy Haverda and Christine Capili
The purpose of the Promising Scholar Award is to recruit highly qualified incoming graduate students from diverse backgrounds who add to the academic and scholarly excellence of the university. The award is administered by the Graduate School in partnership with departments, schools and colleges, the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation, the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and the Office of the Provost to leverage our collective resources in support of our shared goals to increase the number of outstanding UO graduate students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
While in Tokyo, Japan working on his next documentary project on peace movements and the contested Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, Dr. Michael Dreiling was invited to Senshu University to give a lecture and screen his first feature-length documentary, A Bold Peace. This event was the first presentation at Senshu’s new Institute of Humanities and drew an eager crowd of 70 university patrons including faculty, students, and other interested Tokyo-ites.
Read more at: https://www.senshu-u.ac.jp/news/20190610-03.html (Japanese only)
Professor John Bellamy Foster was selected for the 2019 Outstanding Career Award at the University of Oregon. This award powerfully acknowledges John’s outstanding career and highlights the important work done in Sociology. As stated in the announcement letter from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, “this is the UO’s highest university award for faculty to recognize and celebrate a deep and distinguished record of scholarship and research on our campus.”
Over the last 35 years, Professor Foster has made numerous contributions to Marxist theory and its application to contemporary capitalism and he has made distinguished strides in growing the field of environmental sociology by introducing classical social theory to interdisciplinary environmental studies. International recognition of his work has made UO Sociology one of the top departments in the country for studying environmental sociology.
The impact of his work is measurable, in part, by his extraordinary citation record. According to Google Scholar, with nearly 22,000 citations, he is one of the 10-15 most cited current faculty members at the University of Oregon. He is the most highly cited sociologist at the UO and is one of the most highly cited among those on Google Scholar in his fields. His writings have been translated into at least thirty-three languages. He presents his work at a wide range of conferences world-wide, including many international keynote addresses. Guided by his mentorship, many of his former graduate students enjoy productive and accomplished careers.
Congratulations John! We are deeply grateful for all of your contributions across your many years of outstanding service, teaching and research.
The first time UO sociologist Eileen Otis walked into a Walmart, she was far from home—Kunming, China, to be exact. She was immediately struck by how greatly the Chinese version of the massive retailer differed from its American counterpart.
For starters, she was surrounded by a vast array of fresh local foods, including aquamarine tanks full of turtles and other sea life, open vats of fresh whole fish, and large barrels brimming with great varieties of rice—inventory she wouldn’t expect to find on the shelves in America.
Then there was the store’s location in Kunming, the modern capital city and transportation hub of China’s southern Yunnan province. The Walmart was integrated into a shopping mall, instead of a stand-alone “box” store like Walmarts on US soil. The marketing appeared to target middle-class shoppers rather than lower-income ones, because Walmart is unable to compete with prices set by locally owned discount stores in China, says Otis.
But most interesting to Otis was the composition of the store’s workforce. Dozens of energetic vendors, all hawking different products, crowded the main floor. She describes the scene as reminiscent of the sample carts scattered through the aisles at Costco, except with dozens more vendors. She discovered that, unlike Costco, the sales agents were employed by different companies—none of them Walmart—to drive sales of everything from shampoo to cosmetics to holiday decorations.
The firms that sell products in Walmart hire and dispatch sales workers to the store’s aisles and the sales floors of other big retailers. The firms pay Walmart a nominal sum to accept their promoters. Their supervision is the responsibility of department managers—many of whom are overworked, with little time to oversee the sales agents.
Read more about Dr. Otis’ work on Around the O.
Jenna Lilley, a UO Sociology major and honors program participant, has been featured in the Register-Guard for her amazing accomplishments as a student athlete. She’s a stellar softball player and even made the US Olympic team! We couldn’t be more proud to call her one of our own.