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As I begin my third year as Chair of the Sociology & Anthropology Department, it is my pleasure to welcome you to start of the 2021-2022 academic year.  

As I begin my 13th year in the Sociology & Anthropology Department and my third year as Department Chair, it is my pleasure to welcome you back for the 2021-2022 academic year. Of course, we had hoped that being fully vaccinated would afford us the opportunity to start this year with a “return to normal,” but the events of the past two years have led us to reassess our ideas of normal and seek new ways to support and strengthen our community. While COVID has forced us to reconsider how we connect and support learning across physical distances and diverse experiences of vulnerability, our heightened awareness of systemic racism, anti-Black violence, and anti-Asian hate has led us to take more deliberate actions to expand and sustain our community’s diversity and commitments to equity and inclusion. As we mask up and settle in for another year, I am excited to continue this work with you through our coursework, community building activities, alumni events, and milestone celebrations.

Northeastern’s Sociology & Anthropology Department is proud to offer undergraduate (BA and BS) degrees in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology and many combined majors, as well as a Ph.D. in Sociology. Across our department’s two disciplines, we work together to help students develop a systematic understanding of human societies and cultures. Our faculty also contribute to a range of interdisciplinary undergraduate and Masters programs across the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) and throughout Northeastern University, including Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, International Affairs, and Network Science, among others. In each of these programs, and across levels of study, our students experience a rigorous curriculum involving methodological, theoretical, experiential, and substantive training aimed at enhancing critical thinking, social awareness, and a globally-oriented conception of inequality and justice. Our graduates are prepared for a range of career options, post-graduate educational opportunities, and a life of engaged, democratic citizenship. I encourage you to look through our many programs and reach out to me or the department staff for more information.

We begin the 2021-2022 academic year with a strong community of faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergrads. We begin the year with 29 impressive faculty members working across the fields of sociology and anthropology, and many with joint appointments in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, and the School of Law. At the end of last year, we wished good luck to two of our retiring faculty members. Best of luck to Maureen Kelleher and Alan Klein! Your contributions will be long lasting and your positive impact on students are too numerous to count. After an active year of hiring across the College and University, are joined by three exciting new faculty members: Layla Brown, Danielle Crookes, and Anjanette Chan Tack, two of whom will join us after spending this year on fellowship. Danielle Crookes joins us this fall with a joint appointment in Health Sciences and helps strengthen the department’s focus on social epidemiology and racial disparities in health. Layla Brown, a scholar of Afro-Latin American social movements, Pan-Africanism, and Black feminism, will spend this year at Centre for Global Cooperation Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, and will be on campus next fall as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies. And Anjie Chan Tack, a sociologist doing cutting edge research on racism, casteism, colorism, and intersectionality in the U.S. and Caribbean, will spend this year as a Presidential Fellow at Yale University, but will join us next fall as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy. Meanwhile, we continue to mourn the loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Jeff Juris, whose legacy continues to inspire us to use our scholarship and teaching toward the ends of social justice. Through affiliations and directorships of institutes and research centers across campus, including the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI), the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures, the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research, and the Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy (PHRGE), our faculty and graduate students undertake research designed to help solve the world’s most pressing problems – from health disparities, to the impacts of climate change, to the inclusion, recognition, and dignity of persons marginalized by racism, ableism, sexism, and xenophobia, to growing wealth disparities and labor exploitation, to the full integration of refugees and migrants.

This year, we have the pleasure to welcome five new Ph.D. students. Our graduate student’s successes are helping raise the department’s profile and helping earn us recognition as one of the top sociology programs in the country. Our graduate students continue to receive prestigious fellowships and research grants from the National Science Foundation, Switzer Foundation, and Ford Foundation, and are publishing in top sociology and area studies journals. At a time when Ph.D. graduates across the country are struggling to get jobs, our recent graduates have had strong placements in competitive post-doc fellowships, tenure-track appointments, research positions in think tanks and research institutes, and user experience research positions with top tech companies like Facebook and Constant Contact. See our full list of alumni placements here. If you want to know more about our Ph.D. program, I encourage you to contact of Graduate Program Director, Professor Tiffany Joseph.

Our faculty and students will continue to produce rigorous and relevant research and provide high quality education to students across Northeastern University. Our undergraduate students, particularly those involved with the Sociology and Anthropology Student Association (SASA), have a full slate of extracurricular activities planned to further enhance their learning outside of the classroom. One of our main goals continues to be creating more opportunities for undergraduate research. While many of our undergraduate students already work on independent and faculty-led research projects, we will be working to offer more opportunities for sociology and anthropology majors to develop coveted research skills and help produce solution-based knowledge. Please reach out to our Undergraduate Program Director, Professor Laura Senier, to learn more about these opportunities.

Many of our department events and committee agendas will continue to focus on issues of racial justice, anti-racism, and the decentering of Whiteness in our disciplines, fields of study, and in our departmental culture. After establishing a new faculty and student-supported committee last year to evaluating our teaching and learning on racial justice and racial justice, we will work this year to integrate our lessons learned into the undergraduate and graduate curricula and learning activities. We continue to be inspired by the Black Lives Matter protestors and others demanding institutional change and will heed their call. We remain committed to reflecting inward on ourselves as educators, students, and members of this community and continuing to build an anti-racist department.

I hope you enjoy learning more about our people and programs, and I welcome your questions and communications at

Liza Weinstein
Chair, Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Associate Professor of Sociology