WELCOME TO THE STONY BROOK INITIATIVE FOR HISTORICAL SOCIAL SCIENCES (IHSS)
We are a working group comprised of historians and sociologists who meet regularly to discuss various themes in the historical social sciences.
The group came into existence during the 2006/2007 academic year, thanks to a FAHHS Research and Interdisciplinary Initiatives Fund from the Office of the Provost at Stony Brook University. FAHSS is an initiative to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, research, and teaching, in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and lettered Social Sciences at Stony Brook. Stony Brook hosts a significant cluster of historical sociologists, across both the Departments of History and Sociology and perhaps even beyond. The working group — which currently consists of 25 members, half of them faculty members and the other half advanced graduate students — has the potential to emerge as a leading site of innovation in the field, with palpable effects on graduate recruitment and training, and research orientations and funding.
Our long-term objective is to work towards the creation of a cross-disciplinary graduate and research program in what we term the “New Historical Social Sciences.” Historical Sociology in the United States had its formative era during the 1960s-80s when pioneers such as Charles Tilly and Theda Skocpol articulated its goals for use of historical evidence and long-term analysis to historicize, test or nuance modes of social analysis. There are still many practicing historical sociologists scattered about, producing rich works, but the field has not been revamped for the twenty-first century. Historians and sociologists have tended to regress to their own corners of the field–historians into archives and textual analysis, sociologists to refining theory, cases and comparison.
Yet since the 1990s both History and Sociology (as separate disciplines) have absorbed the retreat and return of “grand theory,” the Cultural and Interpretive turns, and new relational and reflexive paradigms, and globalization as fact and theory, which all necessarily impact the problems and sensibilities of Historical Sociology. Now, calls for “eventful sociology” and the “historical turn” are resonating again across the human sciences. It is time, we believe, to renovate this venerable intellectual project, and precisely on the basis of rarely-seen close collaboration between working historians and sociologists.
In addition to exploring cross-disciplinary dialogue between working historians and sociologists about the historical social sciences, one central objective of the working group is to develop specific proposals for joint seminars and integrated graduate training between the departments. A fair portion of the two departments’ graduate students are drawn to problems in historical social sciences. The History department’s thematically-restructured doctoral program has pushed faculty and students to rethink classical themes such as “nations and states,” “capitalism and modernity.” The new global thematic in Sociology also intensifies historical awareness and fieldwork, in a growing convergence with History.
News & Events
|•IHSS will present Rick DesRochers, Long Island University-Post Campus, Department of Theatre, October 14, 2:30 PM, SBS N403, "The Family Act Goes to School - The Marx Brothers, Vaudeville, and Americanization."|
|•Michael Kimmel and Gloria Steinem co-author New York Times opinion piece on consensual sex on college campuses entitled "Yes Is Better Than No."
•Kristen Shorette receives ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award for her project, "Freedom from Discrimination as Human Right? The Global Human Rights Regime and the Diffusion of Affirmative Action since 1965"
•Carrie Shandra selected as a Fellow of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's Switzer Research Program
•Nicholas Wilson, Yale University, September 29, 2014, 1:00 PM, SBS N403, "Corruption and the Making of Modern Bureaucracy: Evidence from the British Empire in India."
•IHSS will present Steven Skiena, Stony Brook University, Department of Computer Science, September 18, 2:30 PM, SBS N403, "Who's Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank.
|•Suzan Walters was named a 2014 Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award Recipient by SAGE.|
|•Cathy Marrone receives the Sister Margareet Ann Landry Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stony Brook Student Life Awards Ceremony|
•Study by Arnout van de Rijt and Michael Restivo published in PNAS and featured in The Economist
•Brooke Ellison, Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management at Stony Brook University, was selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Global Leader.
|•Tarun Banerjee receives Sociology Department's Judith Tanur Dissertation Research Award.
•Crystal Fleming receives Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
•IHSS will present Lawrence Frohman, Stony Brook University, Department of History, February 12th, 11:30 AM, SBS N320, "Surveillance, Security, Divinity"
Department of Sociology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700