2016 Annual Meeting

My Day Job: Politics and Pedagogy in Academia

While the ESS welcomes submissions, drawing on every methodology, addressing any and all issues of interest to sociologists, the 2016 meeting will have a special focus on the current state of colleges and universities.

For most of us, what we present at meetings like the ESS is our art, our life, our valued work.  And what we do to pay the mortgage, put shoes on the kids, get the money to go to meetings like this, is teach.

Some of us — more and more of us — are doing our teaching as piece work, course by course, and as in pre-union days, without any ‘benefits.’  As courses move online, for some that work –like old style garment industry piecework — is done in our homes, one corner of our living space used for production, providing our own supplies, laptops now rather than sewing machines. For others, luckier, teaching is done as a full time job with full benefits, from a solid college or university base, whether on-line, in person or both, doing our 10 community college courses a year, or our 6 or so undergraduate courses, or even just a lovely one or two doctoral courses, or whatever mix we’ve worked out for ourselves.  But that teaching, our day job, most often slips under the radar when we meet as professional sociologists.

At this meeting, we can and will talk about our interesting publications and our grant-funded research and all of that — but let us also talk about our day jobs.  While papers will be welcomed in all areas of sociology, and mini-conferences will address a range of issues and concerns, the theme of the conference will be our day jobs.  What is happening to universities and colleges as America becomes ever-increasingly corporatized and privatized, as more and more of all work is outsourced, as students and their families become ‘customers’ and faculty are responsible for ‘product’?  How are we managing, coping, and rising above all that?   How do we remain dedicated to our craft of teaching, our vocation of transmitting our sociological imagination?

Although the ESS particularly encourages submissions related to this year’s theme, we welcome submissions on all sociological topics, drawing on all methods and formats, including:

    • Individual papers (please include abstracts of 250 words or less; longer drafts are also  welcome via email to the program committee)
    • Wholly constituted sessions (with names and affiliations of all presenters)
    • Thematic conversations (panels of two or more scholars engaged in debate or exchange)
    • Workshops on specific topics and techniques
    • Special sessions organized around prominent scholars and their work
    • Roundtable and poster session presentations

We particularly encourage the development of ‘mini conferences,’ three or more sessions around a specific theme. Anyone interested in developing a mini-conference should please get in touch with the program committee as quickly as possible with a deadline of August 1.

Paper submissions and session proposals are due by October 31, 2015.

Questions, suggestions, program ideas should be sent to: easterns2016@gmail.com

  • Program Committee: Vilna Bashi Treitler, chair