ESS 2021 will be Virtual and Streamlined


August 11, 2020

Dear ESS Members,

On behalf of ESS Program Committee and Executive Committee, we announce that the 2021 Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting will be held in a totally virtual format on February 18 to 21, 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic makes it impossible to plan for a place-based meeting in a way that would allow for a safe and healthy convening of the ESS members. We are currently working closely with the Midtown Hilton in New York City on an arrangement in which they will waive or minimize cancellation fees in exchange for a future ESS meeting to be hosted there.

Looking ahead, we agreed that a virtual and streamlined program with non-synchronous sessions will enable us to maintain the vitality of ESS. In addition, because resources for many are constrained at this time, we are making the ESS 2021Annual Meeting free for all members.

ESS 2021 will have the following sessions, a preview of which you may find here:

1. Robin M. Williams, Jr. Lecture
2. Presidential Plenary Sessions 
3. ESS Awards and Presidential Address
4. Thematic Sessions
5. Author Meets Critics Sessions

Virtual, Streamlined, and Non-Synchronous Sessions
Virtual, streamlined, and non-synchronous sessions are a radical departure from previous ESS programs, but we are facing a radically different time. We are in the midst of a pandemic while learning how to teach effectively on-line while juggling multiple responsibilities, which disproportionately affect parents with young children, single parents, at risk members, as well as members who are facing unforeseen economic and personal challenges. The streamline program can serve as a vehicle to bring together the ESS community during this challenging time.

Thematic Sessions
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the diversity and inequality both in the United States and abroad in nearly every domain of social life, and has also laid bare the discontents. As sociologists, we have much to contribute to understanding the impact of Covid-19, and also much to learn from one another. Therefore, we conceived of thematic sessions designed to shed light on the manifold ways in which Covid-19 has affected our lives, each of which builds on the program theme, “Diversity and Its Discontents in the Wake of Covid-19.”

All ESS members are invited to submit an abstract to one Thematic Session for consideration. These will be selected by the session organizers, and are due on October 15, 2020. We aim to make final decisions by December 1, 2020. You may find instructions about how to submit an abstract for consideration to a thematic session here.

The streamline approach means that we will have limited sessions, and that not all submissions will be accepted for presentation. We recognize that this is a drawback, but also believe that this is a more judicious approach than multiple synchronous sessions with very low audience turnout, or cancellation of the sessions altogether, which is what we are witnessing at other professional meetings.

Professional Workshop on Grant Writing
We are also organizing a professional workshop on grant writing for the ESS members. The aim of the workshop is to help promote greater diversity in the discipline, including racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity. The workshop will be hosted sometime in the fall, possibly in partnership with a foundation.

Thank you
Allow us to end by noting how much we have benefited from the exceptional service and leadership of the members of the Program Committee and the Executive Committee, who have worked tirelessly during this most unusual and challenging time. Their commitment to ESS has been extraordinary.

There is no road map about how to proceed during a pandemic, but we have been guided by our intent to best serve ESS as a community. We thank you for your understanding, patience, and your continued support of ESS.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Lee
President ESS (on behalf of the Program Committee)

Jennifer McAdam
Executive Officer

ESS 2021 PROGRAM COMMITTEE
Maria Abascal                New York University
Delia Baldassarri            New York University
Nina Bandelj                  University of California, Irvine
Aixa Cintrón-Vélez        Russell Sage Foundation
Linsey Edwards              New York University
Amy Hsin                       Queens College, CUNY
Tey Meadow                   Columbia University
Wendy Roth                    University of Pennsylvania
Vondora Wilson-Corzen  Nassau Community College

 

The Benefits of Membership

The benefits of ESS membership include receiving our scholarly journal, Sociological Forum, on a quarterly basis. It has one of the highest impact factors amongst journals of its kind.
Further, members have access to our job search database; an opportunity to serve on our various committees, many of which seek to serve the underrepresented; the opportunity to learn new sociological theories and new application of theories; access to scholarship awards and travel grants; opportunities to improve on their area of expertise and explore new scholarship. Further, Membership affords an opportunity to exercise leadership and make a change by holding office in one of our elected posts.

 

ESS hopes you all are safe and well. Questions about 2021? Email us at: [email protected]
ESS thanks William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ for allowing us to use it as our home office.