Feminist Salon: “How We Came to Sociology, and Why We Stayed”

When and Where

Friday, November 29, 2019 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
254 Rusholme Road


Guests of honour:  Sharla Alegria, Jessica Fields, and Chris Smith

Location:  254 Rusholme Road (South of Bloor, North of College, between the Dufferin and Ossington Station stops. If exiting at Ossington, take the Delaware exit and cross south at Dovercourt)

In this feminist salon, three faculty members who have joined our department this year reflect on their intellectual journeys: what they research and how they came to it, experiences of mentorship or philosophies of mentorship, intellectual community, and writing process.  We ask them: How would you characterize this moment in the sociology of gender or feminist sociology? Is this an exciting analytical or political moment to be a sociologist?  What are the questions of power and inequality apart from your research that are on your mind currently?

Together they will speak for 30 minutes, guided by graduate students who will each ask a prepared question based on what they know of the scholar’s work. They may also ask questions like, “What’s your favourite band, favourite novel, and if you had to pick another discipline to be in, what would it be?”

We welcome you to come, build community, and get inspired, over great food and wine. Everyone in the department is welcome, and please feel free to invite other colleagues who may be interested in meeting feminist scholars.

Please RSVP to Hae Yeon Choo at hy.choo@utoronto.ca by November 10, so that we can order enough food for everyone (please let her know if you have food restrictions). Food is provided by us, and we kindly ask faculty members to bring a beverage—graduate students can just bring themselves.

Here is a short bio of three scholars we are highlighting:

Sharla Alegria is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research is motivated by a core question – How is that durable inequalities persist around race and gender when organizations and actors at least claim to reject discrimination. Her work primarily examines this question in the context of knowledge and technology work.

Jessica Fields is Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society at UTSC and Professor of Sociology in the U of T graduate faculty. Jessica is broadly interested in what it means to teach and learn about sexuality—the political implications, affective stakes, and intimate possibilities. She is the author of Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality, and (with Laura Mamo, Nancy Lesko, and Jen Gilbert) she co-leads The Beyond Bullying Project, a community-based storytelling project that aims to understand and interrupt ordinary hostility in high schools to LGBTQ sexualities. Fields is currently writing Problems We Pose: Feeling Differently about Qualitative Research, in which she explores emotion as a source of insight and not an obstacle to understanding.

Chris Smith (she/her) is a new Assistant Professor of Sociology at UofT and a feminist criminologist who studies how social relationships and interactions generate inequality. Her new book is on gender inequality in Chicago organized crime during the Prohibition Era. Chris was born in rural Alaska and the first in her family to attend university.

Hope to see many of you at the feminist salon!

Hae Yeon, Judy, and Cynthia.