Projects and Working Groups

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In addition to the work of its research centers, ISSI sponsors projects and working groups on a range of topics related to the study of societal issues.

Collective Reason

Universities are excellent places to do research. Still, they are often difficult places to think collectively, especially for junior faculty. Collective Reason is a gathering of faculty who seek to think about and through our current moment. Drawing on the Caribbean intellectual praxis of ‘reasoning,’ which is a tradition of mutually supportive and intellectually generative discussions and debates, the group pushes our collective thinking on our society’s pressing questions and challenges. Our group takes the diversity of our interests and expertise and applies them to various pressing questions. Through small scale research activities, seminars with invited speakers, the workshopping of papers/manuscripts, and conversations, we take the opportunity of community to think and imagine freely around a series of intellectual themes. The group is currently closed to new members.

Group Members: Jovan Scott Lewis, Department of Geography; Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Department of Art Practice; Desmond Jagmohan, Travers Department of Political Science; Christian Paiz, Department of Ethnic Studies, Eric A. Stanley, Department of Gender and Women's Studies

Interdisciplinary Research Group on Privacy 

The Interdisciplinary Research Group on Privacy is based at ISSI. With funding from the Social Science Matrix, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Center for Long-term Cybersecurity, Center for Technology Society and Policy, the SMART program, and the Graduate Division, this research project seeks to understand the deeper cultural logics inherent in shifting views on privacy in the modern world as well as the evolution of its meaning historically in the US context. The group gives undergraduate students at all stages the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience as research assistants. Students learn in a diverse, supportive, small group environment. Still trying to figure out if graduate school is for you? Students also learn skills relevant and marketable outside of the research space. If you are an undergraduate student seeking more information on volunteering as a research assistant, students interested in being considered for either credit or volunteer positions can apply at the beginning of each semester through the URAP website. The project is called "I Regret To Inform You That Your Private Information Has Been Compromised." Please email Naniette Coleman ( for more information. Deadline for Spring 2021 has been extended to Feb 3.

To make a gift in support of the IRGP, please visit the online giving site and in the "In Honor of:" section list "IRGP.

Scholarly Writing Accountability Group (SWAG)

The Scholarly Writing Accountability Group (SWAG) meets for three hour blocks daily (participants do not have to stay for the whole time). During the pandemic, meetings are virtual. SWAG provides a quiet space for students to work on their dissertation chapters, master’s papers, or other writing materials. We set 50 minute timers and take 10 minute breaks throughout the period. The goal is to teach students how to become disciplined about their writing time and to create a community setting for students to talk about writing blocks and frustrations during our breaks. SWAG is directed by Professor G. Cristina Mora (Sociology) and coordinated by volunteer grad students. SWAG is open to all ISSI affliates and Sociology graduate students, please email for more information.


Visit the center websites for descriptions of the following working groups:

Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies

Right-Wing Studies Working Group

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

Migration and Health in Social Context 

Clinical Ethnography Group

Borders and Bodies Collective

Structural Competency Working Group (Rad-Med)

HEART Research Group (Health Effects Associated with Racism Threat)

Social Medicine Case Series: Bringing Structural Frameworks to Global Public Health and Health Care

Center for Ethnographic Research

CER Writing Group

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
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