Author Archives: kyle

Samira Kawash on Candy

This week we are joined by Samira Kawash to discuss her book Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. Samira is a professor emerita at Rutgers University. During our conversation we discuss the important but ignored place candy has occupied in the American conscious, the many shifting meanings attached to the sugary treats, and what can be learned from the increasingly blurred line between food and candy. You can read more of Samira’s work at www.CandyProfessor.com.

Download Office Hours #88

Kathryn Henne on Sport, Sex Testing, and Fairplay

Today we are joined by Kathryn Henne. Kathryn is a Research Fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network, a research center housed at the Australian National University and also a fellow of the Research School of Asia and the Pacific. Kathryn joins us to talk about her article “The ‘Science’ of Fair Play in Sport: Gender and the Politics of Testing”, which will appear in the forthcoming issue of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. We discuss the shifting models of sex testing used by the International Olympic Committee, efforts to enforce the male female binary, and assumptions about fair play and the natural body.

Download Office Hours #86

Knowledge Production and Public Engagement (a Panel Discussion)

Nicholas Kristof’s recent critique of sociology, political science, and the humanities for effectively isolating themselves from larger and more public discussions of social issues has resulted in a myriad of academic responses. In this episode of the office hours we share the audio of a recent panel of faculty at the University of Minnesota including co-founder of the The Society Pages’ Doug Hartmann, responding to Kristof’s essay.

*If you are interested in hearing the question and answer session that followed this discussion, please follow this link to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs website.

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David Schalliol on Sociologically Informed Urban Photography

Today we are joined by David Schalliol. David is currently in the sociology program at the University of Chicago. His work focuses on the processes that facilitate social organization and disorganization in urban context. David is the author of the photography book Isolated Building Studies. His recently published, photography filled essay “Debt and Darkness in Detroit” can be found on The Society Pages. David joins us today to talk about the relationship between sociology and photography, and his use of both to understand the built environment.

Download Office Hours #84

Jennifer Rutherford on Zombies and a Cultural Obsession That Simply Won’t Die

Zombies have taken a special place in our cultural imaginary—appearing in countless cult classics, B-grade horror movies, best selling literary novels (and retellings of best-selling literary novels), record breaking television shows, and are the inspiration for themed parades and pub crawls around the globe. In this episode, Jennifer Rutherford, sociologist, literary scholar, and Deputy Director of the Hawke Research Institute at the University of Southern Australia, helps us understand what can be learned from the cultural obsession. We discuss the power of the zombie as metaphor, the unrestrained drive of the undead, and the allure of becoming zombie at gatherings and celebrations.

Download Office Hours #82