Welcome to UIC Sociology

This year UIC Sociology is thrilled to welcome 4 new faculty to the department. The diverse research interests and commitment to teaching are a core strength of UIC Sociology, and we are excited to have these faculty in our department. Each day this week we will feature one of our new faculty, so you can get to know them and the unique skills and interests they bring to our community. For our final feature, we are catching up with another familiar face in the department, Clinical Assistant Professor, Kevin James!


Kevin James

What’s new in your role?

In the Spring, I’ll be teaching a SOC 290 course which is basically an orientation to the major and various opportunities. So when students select sociology as a major or minor, they can participate in this course to get an overview of research opportunities, service learning opportunities, what sort of expectations various courses will have, and even begin to think about where their future career opportunities will take them after UIC. So it really is that chance to say, before they’re a senior and say “Oh, you know, I wish I would’ve known about x, y, and z” to really get them jumpstarted on the front end.

How did you get into Sociology?

When I was in high school my guidance counselor told me to major in anything except sociology. Seriously. So I went to college and I started out as a music education major, history, psychology, business entrepreneurship, something I can’t remember right now, and then sociology because I thumbed through the catalog and I thought “I’ll be here forever.” You know, I was going into my junior year and I had to settle on a major, I mean I was changing majors at the beginning and end of the semester. Sociology was the one major that would accept all of my other credits and I thought “They’ll take all of this jumping around that I did?” and so, I was like “I’m majoring in sociology now.” And when I showed up for my first class it was Social Problems, and I loved it I couldn’t stop talking about it and it just kind of hasn’t stopped since.

What do you like to do outside of UIC Sociology?

I enjoy road trips, this is the most beautiful time to take one I think. And I love thrift shopping, I just love rummaging through and seeing all the different shapes, styles, colors, and it’s like therapeutic almost. Things come from so many different places and experiences that I think when I travel, I want to have that awakening, I want to see something unique and I get to kind of get a little of that I think in thrift stores.


If you want to learn more about Kevin’s research and teaching interests, read on in his UIC Sociology faculty profile!


Welcome to UIC Sociology, Kevin!


Events to check out on April 24

Departmental Awards & Graduation Celebration
Monday, April 24th
12 – 1:30pm @ BSB 4105

Join the Sociology Department as we announce our departmental awards and celebrate our B.A, M.A, and Ph.D. graduates! Lunch will be provided. (RSVP to: socstudentworker@gmail.com)

Not only will we be celebrating graduates at all three levels of our program, we will be honoring 6 individuals with excellence in sociology. Awards include:

  • David P. Street Dissertation Prize in Engaged Sociology
    • For an outstanding dissertation completed since August 2015 that directly addresses engaged sociology
  • David P. Street Masters Paper Prize
    • To recognize an excellent Masters paper completed since August 2015
  • Patrick Juris Memorial Undergraduate Student Award
    • To recognize a senior who has achieved academic excellence in sociology
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award
    • To recognize a graduate student who excels in teaching
  • Rue Bucher Memorial Award for Qualitative Studies in Social Process
    • To recognize graduate students using qualitative or field methods in their research
  • R. Stephen Warner Faculty Award
    • To recognize a faculty member who has achieved excellence in teaching sociology 

Web Scraping Webinar (free)
Monday, April 24th
4 – 5:30pm @ BSB 4102

Do you use social media in your research? Do you study culture? Are you interested in big data? If so, you may benefit from a webinar being offered by the American Association for Public Opinion Research on how to use R to extract data from the internet (“web scraping”).

We will be showing a free recording of the webinar in our department, generously sponsored by our local AAPOR member! For more info, follow this link (but ignore the date on the site, since we’ll be watching a recording). 


Events to check out this week, April 10-14

Reclaiming Latina Feminism: Reproductive Justice and the Puerto Rican Woman
Tuesday, April 11th
Student Center East White Oak Room AB

UIC Sociology professors, Dr. Lorena Garcia and Dr. Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, along with Dr. Elena Gutierrez, will discuss the lasting impact of the sterilization of Puerto Rican women in the early 20th century on the community today and how it relates to more recent calls for reproductive justice among Latinx.

This is part of The 23rd Annual Pa’Lante Conference: Celebrating Chicago’s Puerto Rican Community and Scholarship, April 10-14, presented by The UIC Union for Puerto Rican Students and co-sponsored by UIC Sociology.

Colloquium with Prof. Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz, Northwestern University
Wednesday, April 12
12-1:30pm @ BSB 4105 

White Demographobia: Race, Media, and the Statisticalization of Latino Threat

“Building a Career with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology”
Friday, April 14
2:00-3:30pm @ BSB 4105

Join us to screen this webinar together, followed by a conversation with Sociology faculty about what to do with a Sociology degree. Pizza and beverages provided!


Events to check out this week, April 3-8

UIC Student Research Forum
Monday, April 3, 2017
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm (Judging and Presentations)
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm (Reception and Prizes)
UIC Forum
725 W. Roosevelt Rd.

Research presentations are accompanied by a poster or other visual display that captures the spirit of the research work and/or highlights key features of the project. The environment is friendly, and students will have a chance to win a cash prize.

Three Awards Applications due
Deadline: April 5, 2017

David P Street Dissertation Prize in Engaged Sociology 2017
David P Street Master’s Paper Prize 2017
2017 Patrick Juris Memorial Undergraduate Student Award

Wednesday, April 5
2 – 4pm @ BSB 4105
“Un-Veiling Curricula: An Exercise into the Pedagogy of the Denied”

Friday, April 7
6pm @ The Silver Room
1506 E. 53rd St., Chicago
Gallery Opening & Book Launch: Neoliberal Apartheid by Andy Clarno

Clarno - NA - Photo Exhibit 2
19th annual Chicago Ethnography Conference
Saturday, April 8
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Student Center West
828 S Wolcott Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

This annual graduate student conference provides an opportunity for graduate students to share their ethnographic scholarship with one another and get feedback from faculty and other graduate students based in the Chicago area and beyond.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes
Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University and a Faculty Fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research and Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Nadine Naber
Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago


Gallery Opening & Book Launch on April 7: Neoliberal Apartheid by Andy Clarno

Clarno - NA - Photo Exhibit 2On the evening of April 7, The Silver Room will host an exhibit opening & book release event for our very own, Assistant Professor Andy Clarno! The exhibit will consist of 30 original prints.  

Andy has been traveling to Palestine/Israel since 1996 and to South Africa since 2002 as a scholar and an activist. While conducting interviews and ethnographic research, Andy has taken more than 5000 photographs to document the changing landscapes of marginalization and securitization in Johannesburg and Jerusalem.  

The purpose of the exhibit is to create opportunities for people to engage with the issues and ideas explored in his book, Neoliberal Apartheid: Palestine/Israel and South Africa after 1994 (University of Chicago Press 2017). The photographs offer a window into the conditions produced by the combination of neoliberal capitalism and shifting forms of racial domination in South Africa and Palestine/Israel today. The exhibit will raise awareness about these conditions while also encouraging critical discussions of settler colonialism and neoliberal racial capitalism more generally.

One Department One Book: Un-Veiling Curricula

Wednesday, April 5
2 – 4pm @ BSB 4105
“Un-Veiling Curricula: An Exercise into the Pedagogy of the Denied”

We are writing with great excitement to invite you to participate in this informal symposium. We believe there are so many reasons you should not miss this event.

1) This is just an open conversation. You do not have to be an expert on Du Bois. You do not have to prepare for any thing.

2) The focus of the discussion is a topic that is very dear to our hearts, pedagogy.

3) The topic of the ODOB overall and this session specifically touches upon the spirit of UIC sociology, with its focus on public sociology and critical sociology.

4) We have three exciting themes as the focus of conversation in the symposium. What does a syllabus on one of the following topics look like:

A) Du Bois’ sociology (substance & methods)
B) scholars denied in sociology
C) Du Bois and scholars denied in the street and engaged sociology

5) This is our final ODOB event this semester. We had three extraordinary reading group sessions, in which we had very stimulating discussions between faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, staff and even interested visitors from the general public. We would like to keep this wonderful momentum and end in a good note.

6) MOST IMPORTANTLY, we do hope this event will be a good step towards the process of producing critical syllabi on the above three topics. The credit of making this project will be attributed to the collective of UIC sociology. How cool is that?

PLEASE let us know if you can participate in this event. To RSVP email Jennifer at (jmichals@uic.edu), and kindly CC us (atefsaid@uic.edu and tadkin2@uic.edu). If you RSVP, you will receive a small reading packet. Again, feel free to show up if you missed to RSVP and also we will have the reading packet ready for all during the event.

On behalf of the ODOB organizing committee,
Timothy Adkins and Atef Said Event Facilitators

Events to check out this week, March 27-31

3.27 Sergio Pacheco transparent

Monday, March 27
11:30am – 1pm @ BSB 4102
Homes for people, not for profit!
The struggle to build autonomous community power with Vida Digna

UIC’s Neighborhoods, Housing and Urban Sociology reading group will be Skyping with 20-year housing rights activist from Mexico City, Sergio Pacheco, to discuss his work with the Tlanezi Calli Urban Housing Cooperative and the lessons we can learn from this project.

It has been 10 years since the second worst housing crisis in US history and we are still far from out the woods. Major cities are experiencing the overbuilding of luxury housing, a dearth of affordable and public housing, mass displacement, and even the re-emergence of redlining. At the root of the foreclosure crisis and these ensuing crises is housing policy that privileges the profit of developers and financiers over and above people and a place to live. Finding alternatives that value housing as a human right is necessary in order to avoid and alleviate the adverse consequences of our current policy.

Sergio’s talk will be a chance to learn from the example of the Tlanezi Calli Housing Coop, which responded to crisis (the 1985 Mexico City earthquake) with a project of solidarity and community building, not profit and developer giveaways.

Please RSVP with Chris Poulos (cdpoulos@gmail.com)

Wednesday, March 29
12 – 1pm @ Student Center East, Illinois Room
Reverend Jesse Jackson, “Trump’s America”