Areas of Interest
Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Knowledge, Sociology of Culture, Comparative Historical-Sociology, Feminist Theory, Transnational Feminisms, Social Theory, Social Inequalities in Local, Regional, and Global systems, African Studies, (Post) Colonial Studies and Modernities
In her award-winning book The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses (University of Minnesota Press, 1997), Oyeronke Oyewumi makes the case that the narrative of gendered corporeality that dominates the Western interpretation of the social world is a cultural discourse and cannot be assumed uncritically for other cultures. She concludes that gender is not only socially constructed but is also historical. Furthermore, she points out that the current deployment of gender as a universal and timeless social category cannot be divorced from either the dominance of Euro/American cultures in the global system or the ideology of biological determinism which underpins Western systems of knowledge.
Born in Nigeria and educated at the University of Ibadan and the University of California at Berkeley, Oyewumi has been widely recognized for her work. The monograph Invention won the 1998 Distinguished Book Award in the Gender and Sex Section of the American Sociological Association and was a finalist for the Herskovitts Prize of the African Studies Association in the same year.
She has garnered a number of research fellowships, including Rockefeller Fellowships, a Presidential fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant. Oyewumi's most recent research support was a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship on Human Security (2003/2004), managed by National Council for Research on Women. (NCRW).
Gender Epistemologies in Africa: Gendering Traditions, Spaces, Social Institutions, and Identities, edited. Palgrave Macmillan (2010)
|This book brings together a variety of studies that are engaged with notions of gender in different African localities, i nstitutions and historical time periods. The objective is to expand empirical and theoretical studies that take seriously the idea that in order to understand gender and gender relations in Africa, we must start with Africa. If gender emerges out of particular histories and social contexts, we must therefore pay attention to the histories of genderings as wel as the continuous ways in which gender is made and remade in everyday interactions, and by institutions. In this sense then, “gender” is actually more about gendering—a process—rather than something inherent in social relations.|
African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood, edited. Africa World Press, Trenton: New Jersey (2003).
The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis: Minnesota (1997).
Selected Book Chapters
“Colonizing Bodies and Minds: Gender and Colonialism” in Postconialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism, Gaurav Desai and Supriya Nair (eds). Rutgers University Press (forthcoming 2005).
“Translation of Cultures: Engendering Yoruba Language, Orature and World Sense” in Women, Gender and Religion: A Reader, Elizabeth Castelli (ed). Palgrave,: New York (2001)
“Multiculturalism or Multibodism: On the Impossible Intersections of Race and Gender in White Feminist and Black Nationalist Discourses” in Black Studies:
Current Issues, Enduring Questions, Claudine Michel and Jacqueline Bobo (eds). Kendal Hunt Publishing Company (2001).
“Alice in Motherland: Reading Alice Walker on Africa and Screening the Color Black,” in African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood, Africa World Press, Trenton: New Jersey (2004)
News & Events
|• Michael Schwartz, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. and our alumnus Josh Murray (Vanderbilt University) have won the outstanding article award for the ASA Marxist Sociology Section for their paper, "Moral Economy, Structural Leverage, and Organizational Efficacy: Class Formation and the Great Fling Sit-Down Strike, 1936-37." Critical Historical Studies|
|• Tiffany Joseph (with co-author Helen Marrow) has received the Donald W. Light Award for the Applied or Public Practice of Medical Sociology. The award was received for their paper, "Excluded and Frozen Out: Unauthorized Immigrants' (Non) Access to Care after Healthcare Reforms." Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies
|•Carrie Shandra has been awarded a grant under the Department of Labor Scholars Program for a project on Job Characteristics and Job Retention of Young Workers With Disabilities|
|• Jennifer Heerwig (with collaborator Brian McCabe) has been awarded a seed grant from
Georgetown's McCourt School Massive Data Institute for their project,
"The Seattle Voucher Experiment: Using Big Data to Enhance Local Democracy."
|• Arnout van de Rijt with our Alumni Eran Shor (McGill University) was awarded the bests paper award from the Communication, Information Technology and Media Studies section of the ASA for their co-authored paper (Eran Shor, Arnoug van de Rijt, Alex Mitsov, Vivek Kulkarni, and Steven Skiena), "A Paper Ceiling: Explaining the Persistent Underrepresentation of Women in Printed News." American Sociological Review
|• Carrie Shandra was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Publication in the Sociology of Disability Award from the ASA Section on Disability and Society for her paper "Benefactors and Beneficiaries? Disability and Care to Others" forthcoming in the Journal of Marriage and Family
|• Rebekah Burroway has received an "Outstanding Author Contribution" from the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence for her paper "Empowering Women, Strengthening Children: A Multi-Level Analysis of Gender Inequality and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries" published in Advances in Gender Research|
|• Amy Hsin, Queens College, Department of Sociology, May 3rd, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403,"The Effects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on the Educational Outcomes of Undocumented Students: Evidence from a Large Public University."
|• Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Assistant Professor Tiffany Joseph, Wednesday, April 19th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "The Growing Citizen-Noncitizen Divide: Life along the Documentation Status Continuum."|
|• Transforming Sociology (program), Sociology Graduate Student Conference, March 31, 2017, Center for Global Studies at Stony Brook University
|• Deborah Carr, Rutgers University, Department of Sociology, March 29th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Do Marital and Kin Support Enhance (or Undermine) Older Adults' Well-Being? New Evidence from the DUST Study."
|• Nicholas Hoover Wilson selected as a Faculty Fellow at the Humanities Institute of Stony Brook University for 2017-2018.|
|• Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Ph.D. student Helena Darwin, Wednesday, November 30th, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Doing Genderqueer"|
|•Chandra Muller, University of Texas, Austin, Department of Sociology, November 14th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Education and the Transition Through Adulthood to Midlife in the New Economy."
|• Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Assistant Professor Jason Jones,
Wednesday, November 2, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "An Audit Study of Public School Principals: Evidence for Selective Response."
|• Mindfulness and Diversity: Mind-Body Approaches for Enhancing Awareness and Well-Being, Friday, October 28th, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. For information and to register, please go to
•IHSS will present Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University, Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, October 26, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N318, "Governmentality in the East."
•Stewart Hoover, University of Colorado-Boulder, Director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, October 24th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Does God Make the Man? Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity"
•Josh Pacewicz, Brown University, Department of Sociology, October 10th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Partisans & Partners: The Politics of the Post-Keynesian Society."
Department of Sociology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700