Ph.D. 2011, Harvard
(on leave until Fall 2015)
Areas of Interest
Race and Ethnicity, Cultural Sociology, Collective Memory, Qualitative Methods, Sociological Theory and Comparative Sociology
I am currently completing my first book "Resurrecting Slavery: Race and Remembrance in Colorblind France". This project is an extension of my doctoral thesis (Harvard '11), which won the 2012 recipient of the Georges-Lavau Award for the Best Dissertation on Contemporary French Politics awarded by the American Political Science Association.
At the heart of the book is a puzzle: How does a nation that officially frames itself as blind to race make sense of its racist and racial past? To answer this question, I draw upon two years of qualitative fieldwork in the Paris region to assess how a variety of stakeholders -- white French politicians, a multi-ethnic sample of activists and members of the French Caribbean public -- interpret transatlantic slavery and contemporary race politics in France. Using over 100 in-depth interviews, participant observation at cultural events and content analysis of political speeches, the book focuses on the emotional templates, conceptual frameworks, and racial logics deployed by the French to grapple with the slavery past. In particular, I draw attention to the role of ethnic and racial movements in (re)constructing the collective representations of colonialism while challenging the boundaries of citizenship and belonging in France.
The project moves beyond a narrow focus on 'collective memory' to argue for a cultural sociology of "ethnoracial temporality", uncovering how social actors imagine the unfolding of ethnic and racial processes and projects through time. I also explore the factors that foster or impede the ability of the French public to make connections between the ethnoracial past, present and future. Overall, I argue that the suppression of colonial history and the ideology of colorblindness make it difficult for the French to imagine links between past and present racism. These historical blindspots, in turn, threaten to undermine the ability of minorities and allies to mobilize for a more just racial future.
My newest line of research bridges my interests in diversity, spirituality and well-being by examining the participation of three groups (African Americans, women and LGBT minorities) in mindfulness and contemplative practices, including yoga and meditation.
2012. “White Cruelty or Republican Sins? Competing Frames of Stigma Reversal in French Commemorations of Slavery”, Ethnic and Racial Studies (35:3), pp. 448-505.
2012. “Varieties of Responses to Stigmatization: Macro, Meso, and Micro Dimensions.” (with Michèle Lamont and Jessica Welburn). Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. 9(1): 43-49.
2012 “African Americans Respond to Stigmatization: The Meanings and Salience of Confronting, Deflecting Conflict, Educating the Ignorant and „Managing The Self..” (with Michèle Lamont and Jessica Welburn). Ethnic and Racial Studies 35(3): 400-417.2011.
2011 “The Educational Experiences of Caribbeans in France”, pp. 79-98 in Kassie Freeman, Ethan Johnson and Kelvin Shawn Sealey (Eds.), Education in the Black Diaspora. London and New York: Routledge.
2011. "Academic Conferences and the Making of Philosophical Knowledge" (with Neil Gross), in Camic, Charles, Neil Gross and Michèle Lamont (Eds.) Social Knowledge in the Making, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2007. "Black Cultural Capitalists: African American Elites and the Organization of the Arts in Early Twentieth-Century Boston" (with Lorraine Roses), Poetics (356), pp. 368-387.
2005. "Everyday Anti-Racism: Competence and Religion in the Cultural Repertoire of the African-American Elite and Working Class" (with Michèle Lamont), The Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race (2:1), pp. 29-43.
News & Events
|•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