In this episode we are joined by Dr. Matthew Clair, an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Law at Stanford University. In our conversation, Matt introduces us to the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, discusses how Du Bois is one of the rare scholars who transcends sociology and the academy, and helps us understand how Du Bois’s approach to theory, relationship to sociology, and understanding of politics shifted across his career. Matt also introduces us to his own research on the experience of criminal defendants to illustrate the value of a Du Boisian approach.

In this episode, we are joined by Shamus Khan, professor in and chair of the sociology department at Columbia University. Shamus discusses his approach to teaching the sociological canon, the importance of focusing on moments of racist and colonial discourse as central to, rather than in spite of, the core theories, and the value of directly linking the learning of methods and theory.

In this episode we are joined by Dr. Saida Grundy, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Boston University and author of the forthcoming book Manhood Within the Margins: Promise, Peril and Paradox at the Historically Black College for Men. In our wide-ranging conversation, Saida discusses how the 1899 Du Bois classic, The  Philadelphia Negro, provided a model for studying race and a model for how to do sociological research, what it means to center Du Bois as a founder of sociology, and his relationship to black women scholars of the time. Saida also reflects on the value of Du Bois for her own work on black masculinity, reactive respectability politics, hierarchies from within the veil, and racialized rape culture.

In this episode, Dr. Angela Jones joins us to read from The Souls of Black Folk, the 1903 W.E.B Du Bois classic work of social theory.

This is the first of a new type of Give Theory a Chance podcast where contemporary social theorists introduce us to the specific passages that inspired them and help us make sense of the text. When possible, I will include a link (the link) to a pdf so the listener can follow along.

I hope this offers a useful aid for people first encountering these important ideas and hope it offers others the perfect chance to re-connect with favorite readings from the past.




In this episode we are joined by Dr. Angela Jones, Associate Professor of Sociology at Farmingdale State College, State University of New York and author of the recently published book Camming: Money, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry. Angela discusses the importance of recognizing W.E.B. Du Bois as a founder of the discipline, his under-appreciated methodological contributions, and the clarity of his prose. Angela also reflects on the value of Du Bois for her own work both as a scholar and as an activist.

In this episode we are joined by Ricarda Hammer, a PhD candidate in Sociology at Brown University and a Graduate Fellow at Brown’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. Her work has been published in Sociological Theory, Sociology of Race and EthnicityPolitical Power and Social Theory, and Teaching Sociology.

Ricarda discusses the powerful insight Stuart Hall provides on a wide-range of sociological areas of inquiry including culture, identity, race, and rethinking the relationship between the metropole and the colony. Ricarda also reflects on joys and transformative experience of engaging with Hall’s work.

In this episode of Give Theory a Chance, we speak to Alex Manning, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College. Alex explains how his work builds on and complicates Annette Lareau’s writings on class reproduction and parenting. In particular, Alex explains his own work on elite youth sport and a form of concerted cultivation employed by parents of color across the economic spectrum. We also discuss how Lareau provides a model of how do theory in a manner that is intellectually impressive and impressively accessible.