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."|
|•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"
|Michael Schwartz named Distinguished Teaching Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees|
|• Professor Adam Possamai, University of West Sydney, to speak on "Contemporary Religion and Australian Aborigines", Wednesday, October 30th, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, sponsored by the Dept. of Sociology, SBU Institute for Global Studies, and International Academic Programs and Services
•Memory in the Disciplines Workshop welcomes Professor Suparna Rajaram, Stony Brook University, "Collaborative Memory: A Cognitive Perspective", Wednesday, October 30th, 2:30 PM, SBS N403
•IHSS co Sponsored with the Department of History presents Patrick Weil, CNRS and Yale Law School, October 30th, 4:30 PM, SBS N320, "From Emma Goldman to Edward Snowden: How Denationalization of "Radical" Americans Reshaped American Citizenship
•IHSS presents Robert Chase, Stony Brook History Department, October 22nd, 2:30 PM, SBS N320, "Slaves of the State Revolt: The Prisoners' Rights Movement and the Construction of the Carceral State"
|•Arnout van de Rijt wins $275k NSF grant for in vivo experimental research on arbitrary social inequality
•Screening of the film, ESCAPE FIRE, Tuesday, September 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS N403
•IHSS presents Clayton Fordahl, Stony Brook Sociology Department, September 24th, 2:30 PM, SBS N405, Imperium in imperio: Martyrdom, the Roman Empire, and the Creation of Christian Sovereignty"
Department of Sociology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700