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
|•Ph.D. student Suzan Walters receives the 2015 Outstanding Student Paper Award in the ASA section, Disability and Society, for her paper, "Caregiving and HIV: Accounts of Resisting Individualism, Privatization, and Cuts in Social Spending."
•Jennifer Heerwig and Josh Murray (Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt and SBU Sociology alumni) awarded $33,000 grant by the Russell Sage Foundation to support their project entitled "Partisanship, Unity, and Inter-Corporate Networks: Political Donations of the Corporate Elite, 1980 - 2014."
|•Sociology Brown Bag series presents Professor Ian Roxborough, Wednesday, April 22, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Human Aspects of Military Operations: Intra-Organizational Debate and Spontaneous Sociology."
•IHSS will present Miriam L. Kingsberg, University of Colorado; ACLS Ryskamp Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, April 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, “Fieldwork, Ethnology, and Empire: the Making of Japan's ‘Transwar Generation’ of Social Scientists” - Co-sponsored by the History Department
•Sociology Brown Bag series presents Associate Professor Timothy P. Moran and Ph.D. student Sofia Boutillier, Wednesday, April 8, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Saying Happiness While Doing Inequality: Wealth, Neoliberalism, and the New York Times."
|•Philip Kasinitz, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, March 25, 2015, 1:00 PM, SBS N403, "Immigration, Diversity and Citizenship: The Changing Terrain of Racial Justice."
•Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, March 12, 2015, 4:00 PM, SBS N403, "Immigration and the Remaking of New York."
•IHSS will present Shobana Shankar, Stony Brook Department of History, March 11, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N320, “Curbing Religious Freedoms for State Security: The Old Cities of Northern Nigeria in the Era."
of Decolonization” - Co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Department
|•Sociology Brown Bag series presents Ph.D. student Carolyn Coburn, Wednesday, February 18, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Water, Sanitation, and Female Secondary School Enrollment: A Cross-National Analysis of Sub-Saharan African Nations."|
|•IHSS will present Paul Gootenberg, Stony Brook Department of History & Sociology, February 18, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N320, “From Teonanácatl to Miami Vice: Latin America’s Contribution to World Drug Culture” - Co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center|
|•Sociology Brown Bag series presents Assistant Professor Kristen Shorette, Wednesday, February 4, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Global Institutions and the Persistence of Cross-National Health Disparities across the Global South."|
|•Florencia Arancibia has been awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council for her research project, "Social movements and knowledge intermediaries: participatory methods for inclusive innovation."|
|•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.
Department of Sociology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700