We begin the second half of the academic year with renewed energy and anticipation of another exciting and productive semester. I want to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce our new Program Assistant, Cynthia Alvarez, and faculty affiliate, Kris Gutiérrez (Graduate School of Education).
I invite you to learn more about the new and ongoing research that is happening at the Institute. In particular, there has been a considerable amount of work coming out of our Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, in addition to the innovative research being engaged in by affiliated faculty, students and visiting scholars from our other centers. Many of our past events were video-recorded and can be accessed from our webpage.
We have a full calendar of events planned for the spring, including colloquia, workshops, and a symposium on "Innovations in Ethnographic Research" sponsored by ISSI's Center for Ethnographic Research. So please join us, and if you would like to keep track of the events we are sponsoring, please sign up for our listserv here or follow us on Facebook.
David C. Turner III, ISSI Graduate Student and a member of Black Liberation Collective's steering committee, helped plan the #StudentBlackOut day of action on December 3rd uniting students from over 37 colleges and universities in activism to challenge white supremacy on campus. David was featured in an NBC News article about the event.
The newest faculty member in residence at ISSI is Kris Gutiérrez, Professor, Graduate School of Education. We recently spoke with Professor Gutiérrez about her latest research project, Connected Learning Research Network, which is funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This new project on Latino families' everyday uses of new media stems from Gutiérrez's distinguished research career, which has utilized social design experiments in education in an effort to "foreground equity and rupture oppressive structures."
In her previous academic appointments at UCLA and the University of Colorado, she created afterschool programs that linked undergraduates with youth from "non-dominant populations." These programs promoted "organic mentoring" between the undergraduates and the younger students and helped youth learn new skills, get into college, and view themselves as "designers of their own futures." The programs also served as laboratories for her research into learning. In her design-based research, she was able to investigate how learning took place. For example, in her article "Polylingual and polycultural learning ecologies: Mediating emergent academic literacies for dual language learners," Gutiérrez analyzes how educational settings that develop children's home languages lead to expanded linguistic repertoires.
Valuing the home languages and cultures of students was central to all three of the programs that Gutiérrez developed, but in each of these projects, her research site was the educational program. In her new project she is excited to research "how tools and practices travel between home and school and back again." She and her team of eight Graduate Student Researchers are studying hundreds of hours of video taken of 13 Latino families in the home setting to gain an in-depth look at families' media usage and to make comparisons across the families. She has found great ingenuity in new media practices, with parents strategically accessing information to map out safe walking routes for their children and to help their children with homework, for example.
Another finding is that in families, several people will engage with one device, which enriches interaction and learning. This finding calls into question the practice of equipping classrooms with enough devices so that each student has their own. Fortunately, Professor Gutiérrez advises both industry leaders and policy makers, in order to help translate her research findings into improved educational outcomes. Her many contributions to policy include serving on President Obama's Education Policy Transition Team, and she is on the board of the Learning Policy Institute.
When asked why she joined ISSI, Kris Gutiérrez responded, "The scholars. Many of my role models, people whose work I have read and admired, are here. And the graduate students are outstanding. It's a gift to be part of such a vibrant community."
While only in its third year, the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine is already making a big splash, with groundbreaking community work, award-winning faculty, and a major conference planned for this spring. The Critical Social Medicine Working Group met bi-weekly throughout the fall, bringing together scholars, health care professionals, patients, and community members to design innovative ways of addressing inequities and inequalities in clinical medicine.
The fall saw new books and accolades for BCSM faculty affiliates. Kelly Knight's (UCSF) book addicted.pregnant.poor was published by Duke University Press. Charles Briggs and Clara Mantini-Briggs (UC Berkeley) are among the six co-authors of the new book Una enfermedad monstruo: Indígenas derribando el cerco de la discriminación en salud (A Monster Disease: Indigenous Peoples Breaking Down the Wall of Health-Based Discrimination) (Lugar Editorial). Professor Briggs also received two awards, the Cultural Horizons Prize from the Society for Cultural Anthropology for his article "Dear Dr. Freud," in Cultural Anthropology, and the Américo Paredes Prize from the American Folklore Society, recognizing excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies. Faculty affiliate Lochlann Jain (Stanford University) won the Fleck Prize from the Society for the Social Study of Science for her book Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us (University of California Press, 2015). UC Berkeley's Seth Holmes was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in the School of Public Health.
This spring, BCSM is sponsoring a major conference, Circulating Health: Mediatization and the (Im)Mobilization of Medical Subjects and Objects, to be held May 5-6. This interdisciplinary, international conference features scholars from Canada, Singapore, the UK, Germany, and the USA. The conference explores intersections between health and media, including how health news shapes conceptions of the body, life, death, race, health, disease, and health care and ideas about what constitutes knowledge about health, who has it, who needs it, and what sorts of rights and obligations it engenders.
ISSI and its research centers sponsored colloquia and conferences throughout the fall semester, and many of them are available for viewing here. If you would like to be notified as soon as we upload a new video, please subscribe to the ISSI YouTube channel!
This fall ISSI welcomed visiting scholars from the UK, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany. Among them was Torsten Heinemann, who shared the following about his experiences so far at ISSI, "The past year at ISSI has been very exciting and productive. The ISSI faculty members and staff made me feel very welcome from the first moment and supported me in every aspect of my research. They helped me to get in touch with scholars at the institute and other departments at UC Berkeley. I was able to discuss my research with world-leading scientists, get invaluable feedback on my project and build a network for future collaborations."
All of ISSI's international visiting scholars who were here in the fall are listed below:
Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez, Professor, Centro Universitario de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad de Colima, Mexico
Rebecca Fan, Ph.D., University of Essex, UK
Torsten Heinemann, Professor of Sociology, University of Hamburg, Germany, and Marie Curie Fellow
Femke Kaulingfreks, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Tereza Kuldova, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Norway
Inger Måren, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Norway
Paola Suárez Ávila, Post-doctoral Fellow, UC Mexus-CONACT
More visiting scholars will arrive in the spring, and we will feature them in ISSI's weekly update throughout the semester.
Many in the ISSI community were moved and inspired by Sarah Ramirez, winner of the 2014 Yamashita Prize awarded by the Center for Research on Social Change. We're pleased that Dr. Ramirez's work is continuing to receive accolades. Harvesting Hope, a program she started, received a "Golden Bell" award from the California School Board Association meeting. What started out as a community service effort by a local grassroots organization ("Be Healthy Tulare") has turned into a highly effective service-learning experience that has created a movement of more than 300 high school students to fight hunger in Tulare County. Their "Harvesting Hope" program has picked over 80,000 pounds of fresh fruit for the food bank.
Christyna Serrano, Ph.D. Student in the Graduate School of Education and CRSC Graduate Fellow, is part of a team of four instructors who were recently awarded the Randi A. Engle Innovation Grant Award for ED 190 (Critical Issues in Education), where they have implemented Participatory Action Research as a pedagogical framework for, and methodological approach to, the field work component of the course.
Sean Tanner, Ph.D. Candidate in the Goldman School of Public Policy and ISSI-affiliated Graduate Student, was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in Social Science for his project, "External Validity in U.S. Education Research," a meta-analysis of education research.
Cole Hansen, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Anthropology and CRSC Graduate Fellow, received the award for best graduate student paper from the Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group of the Society for Medical Anthropology for his paper "Seeking Care in the Carceral Shadow: An Ethnography of Community Reentry."
This fall saw new articles by ISSI affiliated faculty and students:
Neil Fligstein and Alex Roehrkasse. "The Causes of Fraud in Financial Crises: Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Industry," American Sociological Review.
Nadia Gaber and Anthony Wright. "Protecting Urban Health and Safety: Balancing Care and Harm in the Era of Mass Incarceration." Journal of Urban Health.
Claire Kunesh & A. Noltemeyer. "Understanding Disciplinary Disproportionality: Stereotypes Shape Pre-service Teachers' Beliefs about Black Boys' Behavior." Urban Education.
Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana and Ariel H. Bierbaum. 2015. "Qualitative Spaces: Integrating Spatial Data for a Mixed Methods Approach." The International Journal of Qualitative Methods.
The Center for Ethnographic Research will host a symposium on Innovations in Ethnographic Methodology on Friday, March 4th. The symposium will bring together scholars who are pushing the method in new directions, and the papers will later be published in a special issue of Ethnography so that others can engage with their ideas as well.
At ISSI's holiday party in early December, ISSI affiliates brought toys, canned goods, and coats for the Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland. Thank you to all who donated!