Sociology Colloquia Series

The overarching goal of the Sociology Colloquia Series is to build intellectual engagement and community in our department for faculty and graduate students alike. 

For the 2019-2020 academic year, the colloquia committee will focus on the following three types of events: those in which we share our own research; those in which we invite outside speakers whose work is related to the research interests of the department; and brown-bag professionalization workshops for graduate students.

Suggestions for hosted events can be submitted using this online form, emailed to the department assistant or

Unless otherwise noted, department events run from 12-1:15pm and are located in RCC 301.

    Winter Quarter

  • Ananya Roy on Sanctuary Spaces: Reworlding the West in the Age of White Nationalism

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    Time: 12:00 - 1:15pm
    Location: Rachel Carson College Red Room 

    At a time of resurgent white nationalism and organized right-wing violence, sanctuary jurisdictions have emerged as an important terrain of struggle. This talk undertakes a critical interrogation of sanctuary and thereby of philosophies of Western humanism and humanitarianism that underpin the terms of protection for racial others. Attentive to colonial relationalities, the talk foregrounds multiple histories and formations of fugitivity, refuge, and rebellion that make possible a reworlding of the West as the space of sanctuary.

    Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also serves as inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy. Along with colleagues at UCLA, Ananya leads a Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on Sanctuary Spaces. More at:

    Sponsored by the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation and the Departments of History of Consciousness, Politics, and Sociology.


    Mark Warren on Lift us up Don’t push us out! Movement-building for racial equity and educational justice

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    Time: 12:00 - 1:15pm
    Location: Rachel Carson College 301

    In an era in which national politics has increasingly descended to the level of tabloid journalism and national education policy is in increasing disarray, remarkably successful and inspiring efforts to pursue educational reform and justice through grass-roots politics mainly go unnoticed by the national media. Mark Warren, a sociologist concerned with the revitalization of American democratic and community life, collects and reports on many of these efforts in his recently published Lift Us Up Don’t Push Us Out! In his campus talk, Warren will discuss the need for a grassroots movement to transform public education, led by people most affected – parents and students from low-income communities of color – along with educators and allies from other social justice movement. He will provide examples from the book of organizing and alliance building efforts and discuss the challenges to building a broader and more intersectional social justice movement with racial and educational justice at its center.

    Mark Warren is Professor, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, McCormack Graduate School. Mark is a sociologist concerned with the revitalization of American democratic and community life. He studies efforts to strengthen institutions that anchor low-income communities— schools, churches, and other community-based organizations—and to build broad-based alliances among these institutions and across race and social class. Mark studies and works with community and youth organizing groups seeking to promote equity and justice in education, community development, and civic engagement. He is committed to developing a new approach to scholarly work that is engaged and collaborative with practitioners and community and institutional leaders.

    Co-Sponsored by the Education Department.


    Aliya Saperstein on The Opioid Epidemic and Racial Classification on Death Certificates

    Thursday, February 27, 2020

    Time: 12:00 - 1:15pm
    Location: Rachel Carson College 301 

    Previous research has highlighted not only the existence of individual racial fluidity in censuses and surveys, but also inconsistency in racial classification across U.S. vital statistics systems, including stereotypical associations with specific causes of death. This, in combination with what some have called the “whitewashing” of the current opioid epidemic, raises the question: are decedents more likely to be classified as white if opioid use was listed as a contributing cause relative to decedents whose deaths were not deemed opioid-related? To provide an answer, we draw on recently released restricted-use data from Mortality Disparities in American Communities (MDAC), which links respondents from the 2008 American Community Survey to death records through 2015. We find that respondents previously recorded as nonwhite who later die of opioid overdoses have significantly greater odds of being (re)classified as white, all other measured factors being equal. Odds of such reclassification are lower in states hit hardest by the epidemic or with low death certificate drug data quality, suggesting error is not a primary explanation of the results. Instead, the patterns suggest that racialization of the recent opioid epidemic as a public health emergency disproportionately affecting white Americans may be shaping the data used to track racial disparities in mortality.

    Aliya Saperstein is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. Saperstein received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California-Berkeley. Her research focuses on the social processes through which people come to perceive, name, and deploy seemingly immutable categorical differences —such as race and sex—and how such processes create and maintain social inequality.

  • Spring Quarter

  • Brandi Summers

    Thursday, May 14, 2020

    Time: 12:00 - 1:15pm
    Location: Rachel Carson College 301

    Description TBD

    Brandi Summers is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, and the Global Metropolitan Studies program at UC Berkeley.