6/11: Happy to say that’s my signature on an advance contract from Stanford for a book based on my dissertation research!

4/28: Later this week I’ll be at the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology’s annual conference, where I’ll comment on papers by Andy Cohen and Håkon Larsen. See you there.

2/22: Heading to Easterns this week. I’ll be presenting on a great panel with talks by Steven Dubin, Cara Zimmerman, Anne Bowler, and myself and comments from Vera Zolberg on Saturday at 3:30. Hope to see you there.


2/2: First day of work – for the next couple of years I’ll be a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University. The ceiling outside of my office is International Klein Blue, which I choose to accept as a sign of good things to come.

1/4: A while back I made a webpage for new writing, old writing, paywalled writing. It was simple. I put a title on it: Open Book. I thought that over time that would be what I would aim for: my academic production as an open book, easily accessible to all. I thought of it as a set of pamphlets for print and web: something simple.

I’m attracted to little books, cassette tapes, zines. Why wait for a perfect binding? All of these traditions come out of one urge – the urge to say something, do something – an urge that I think many of us understand, and that the academic publishing model actively works to suppress.

A little book can be a pamphlet, full of spit and vinegar. But it can also be a zine, or a comic, or a 7” lathe-cut. Or a snapshot.

At the American Sociological Association’s annual meetings this year there were two moments, in two rooms, when I wished I could have invited some friends to join me. The first, at the Junior Theorists Symposium, was a full room and a small panel of young theorists with short remarks on Theory with a capital T. The second moment, at ASA proper, was the Coser Memorial Lecture. These talks together were at the heart of my experience at ASA this year, were what I wanted to take away with me, to share. I wanted a snapshot of those talks.

Why bother with a snapshot? Snapshots are quickly made and just as often quickly forgotten. They’re fast and dirty and deteriorate quickly. But some last, and they’re the reminders we turn to again and again. Portraits tell of an era, but snapshots tell us about a specific time and place, and they do it in the vernacular.

So here it is, to all and anyone. I asked the speakers in those two rooms if I could reproduce their talks, and they have graciously agreed. It’s a snapshot, for you.

Keep reading.

12/12: Skinny Puppy has billed the US Department of Defense for back royalties after finding out from a former guard that their music had been weaponized to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. They’re not the first musicians to justifiably freak out about their music being used in this way – a few years back Trent Reznor wrote, “It’s difficult for me to imagine anything more profoundly insulting, demeaning and enraging than discovering music you’ve put your heart and soul into creating has been used for purposes of torture”, and then joined the fight to close the prison – but are probably the first to use the language of intellectual property and royalty rights to do so. In an interview with CTV, Cevin Key said that the band was alerted to the use of their music by a former guard who wrote to the group. He said, “I am affected by it in the sense that… I mean under the conditions, what I’ve heard, we don’t think anyone would want to be subjected to any overly loud music for six to twelve hours at a time without a break and forced to endure those conditions.” Their first instinct was to make an aesthetic statement, saying that they had “based an album concept… at first we were going to make an album cover that was based on an invoice for the U.S. Government for musical services for what they had done. They had actually done it without our permission.” When they realized that they could bring a suit against the DoD for illegally using their music, they sent a note directly to the Department instead: “We did send them an invoice for our musical services, considering they had gone ahead and used our music without our knowledge.”

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12/7: Anna Lund and Stefan Lund deserve special thanks for all their work organizing a great conference on Cultural Sociology and Education at Linnaeus University. And yes, it was at a castle.


11/17:  The first issue of the new Berkeley Journal of Sociology finally arrived in beautiful black and white. Their editorial team deserves congratulations and more amazing submissions. The BJS: bringing print back since late 2014.

11/16: Nice (and very flattering) write-up of our weekend in Houston here. Thanks again to everyone who participated and especially to Carrie Schneider and Jennie Ash for all of their work and both of their minds. Hope to see you all again soon.


10/27: I’m headed to Houston next week (November 8-9) to talk and listen and do along with some pretty amazing folks at charge. It’s a two day practicum to platform and convene artist led alternative models, open up conversations around equitable compensation of artists, and consider artists’ work in the larger economy. Open to all, but you need to register. See you then and there.