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Chair’s Welcome

As I begin my first year as Chair of the Sociology & Anthropology Department (and 11th year as a member of the faculty), it is my pleasure to welcome you to our website – and to welcome our faculty, students and staff back to campus for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Northeastern’s Sociology & Anthropology Department is proud to offer undergraduate (BA and BS) degrees in both Sociology and Anthropology and 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 many 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 thus 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 2019-2020 academic year stronger than we have been. We have 30 faculty members working across the fields of sociology and anthropology, and many with additional departmental appointments including Criminology and Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, and the School of Law. Embedded in interdisciplinary networks and committed to experiential knowledge, we are well positioned 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 race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality, to growing inequality and labor exploitation, to the full integration of refugees and migrants. Our faculty are affiliated with institutes across campus developing knowledge to address these challenges, including the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research, the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures, and the Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy. Our faculty have also been recognized in recent years with numerous fellowships and research grants, including those from the Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation, among others. Books written by our colleagues, meanwhile, have received numerous book award prizes, including Doreen Lee’s award of the 2019 Harry J. Benda Book Prize of the Association for Asian Studies for Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia; and Sara Wylie’s award of the 2018 Diana Forsythe Prize from the Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing, and listing as a finalist for the Association of American Publishers 2019 PROSE Award (Anthropology, Criminology, and Sociology section). This year, we welcome anthropologist Zoltán Glück to our department (jointly appointment with International Affairs). Dr. Glück’s research on security, development, cities, capitalism and activism in East Africa, further contributes to our college’s and department’s strengths in security studies, international development, and global urban studies.

This year, we have the pleasure to welcome five new graduate students into our pride-inducing Ph.D. program. 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. This year alone, our Ph.D. students/alums have received top honors from the American Sociological Association, including the 2019 ASA Best Dissertation Award, and section dissertation and paper awards from Collective Behavior and Social Movements; Peace, War, and Social Conflict; and Environmental Sociology. Our graduate students have also received fellowships and research grants from the Switzer Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation, IJURR Foundation, and the Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies. Meanwhile, our students are publishing in top sociology and interdisciplinary journals, with 2019 and 2018 publications in Mobilizations, Interface, Communication & Society, and the Social Studies of Science. 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.

As we return to campus for another enriching year, our students and faculty 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. Meanwhile, one of our main goals for the year will be to create 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 director, Dr. Steve Vallas, if you want to learn more about these opportunities.

I hope you enjoy learning more about our people and programs, and I welcome your questions and communications at l.weinstein@northeastern.edu.

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