Senior Fellows

Senior Fellows are scholars who have entered retirement. Many are still active researchers and mentors. During their careers these individuals have made significant contributions to cultural sociology.

Alphabetical, by last name

Peter Brooks

Yale University

Peter Brooks is Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature Emeritus. He was the Founding Director of Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center (1981-91), and served again as Director from 1996-2001. He also chaired the Departments of Comparative Literature and of French. From 2003-2006, he was University Professor at the University of Virginia, and Director of the Program in Law and Humanities. Following his retirement from Yale in 2009, he taught at Princeton University, where he directed a seminar on “The Ethics of Reading and the Cultures of Professionalism” at the University Center for Human Values.

He has published on narrative and narrative theory, on the 19th and 20th century novel, mainly French and English, and, more recently, on the interrelations of law and literature. He is the author of several books, including Enigmas of Identity, Henry James Goes to Paris, winner of the 2008 Christian Gauss Award, Realist Vision, Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature, Psychoanalysis and Storytelling, Body Work, Reading for the Plot, The Melodramatic Imagination. and The Novel of Worldliness. He is also the author of two novels, The Emperor’s Body (Norton, 2011) and World Elsewhere (Simon and Schuster,1999). He edited Balzac, The Human Comedy: Selected Stories (2014). He co-edited, with Paul Gewirtz, Law’s Stories (Yale, 1996) and, with Alex Woloch, Whose Freud? (Yale, 2000). He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Comparative Literature and Yale Journal of Law & Humanities. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, London Review of Books, Critical Inquiry, New Literary History, Yale Law Journal, and elsewhere. He has held Guggenheim, NEH, and ACLAs fellowships, and received the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

John Carroll

Yale University

John Carroll is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He has degrees in mathematics, economics, and sociology from the universities of Melbourne and Cambridge. His work over four decades has focussed on developing a theory of culture, with special reference to the modern West. The theory is presented in a sequence of books: The Wreck of Western Culture—Humanism Revisited (1993; 2004), Ego and Soul—the Modern West in Search of Meaning (1998; 2008), The Western Dreaming (2001), The Existential Jesus (2007), Greek Pilgrimage: In Search of the Foundations of the West (2010), Land of the Golden Cities: Australia’s Exceptional Prosperity and the Culture that Made It (2017), and On Guilt: The Force Shaping Character, History, and Culture (2020). A book on his work, titled Metaphysical Sociology, edited by Sara James, was published in 2018.

John Carroll is a frequent writer of essays and newspaper articles. He chaired a Panel commissioned by the Australian Government to review the National Museum of Australia in 2003.

Ron Eyerman

Lund University, Sweden

Ron Eyerman, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, and currently a Researcher at the University of Lund, Sweden, received his B.A. from the New School for Social Research, a Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Oregon, and his Doctorate at the University of Lund, Sweden. Ron served as co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale from 2003 to 2019. His most recent publications will arrive in 2019 in the Palgrave Cultural Sociology Series - Memory, Trauma and Identity, and The Trauma of Decolonization co-edited with Giuseppe Sciortino. He is the author of Music and Social Movements (Cambridge, 1998), Cultural Trauma: Slavery and the Formation of African-American Identity (Cambridge, 2002), Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity (with Alexander, Giesen, Smelser, and Sztompka, University of California Press, 2004) and the editor of Myth, Meaning and Performance: Toward a New Cultural Sociology of the Arts (with Lisa McCormick, Paradigm Publishers, 2006). Eyerman’s interests include cultural and social movement theory, critical theory, cultural studies and the sociology of the arts.

J. Nicholas Entrikin

University of California, Los Angeles

J. Nicholas Entrikin is Professor of Geography and Vice Provost of International Studies Emeritus at UCLA, and Professor of Sociology and Vice President for Internationalization Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. At UCLA, he served as chair of the Department of Geography, chair of Global Studies, founding member of the Institute of the Environment, and director of the International Institute. At the University of Notre Dame, he created Notre Dame International, which oversaw international programs and institutes, and the Notre Dame Global Gateways, a worldwide network of teaching and research centers.

Professor Entrikin’s research is in the area of cultural geography and he has written on themes concerning democratic place-making and regionalism. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a CNRS Visiting Director of Research at IRSAM-SET, Université de Pau et Pays de l’Adour in France, and the Association of American Geographers Delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies. He has published numerous articles in international geography and sociology journals and has authored and edited books in human geography including: The Betweenness of Place: Towards a Geography of Modernity; Reflections on Richard Hartshorne’s ‘The Nature of Geography’; Regions: Critical Essays in Human Geography; The Marshall Plan Today: Model and Metaphor; and Envisioning Landscapes, Making Worlds.

Anne Kane

Anne Kane retired as Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Houston Downtown. A founding graduate student member of the “culture club” at UCLA, Professor Kane is a social theorist and historical sociologist specializing in cultural sociology and social movements. Her book Constructing Irish Nationalist Identity: Ritual and Discourse during the Land War, 1879-1882 was published in 2011. She is currently researching the Irish Republican Movement and the Northern Ireland conflict, focusing on the performance of political violence and the construction and processes of counterpublics. Her first publication on the IRA, “The Civil Sphere and Revolutionary Violence: the Irish Republican Movement, 1970-1998.” is a chapter in Breaching the Civil Order: Radicalism and the Civil Sphere, edited by Jeffrey Alexander, Trevor Stack and Farhad Khosrokhavar, Cambridge University Press (2020).

Marshall Sahlins

University of Chicago

Marshall Sahlins is presently doing research focused on the intersection of culture and history, especially as those play out in early-modern Pacific societies. He recently published a book of his anthropological and political essays ranging from the 60s through the 90s, and is working on two others: a set of studies in history and historiography and a multi-volume work on “The Polynesian War,” a history of the great Fijian War, 1843-1855. From time to time he drops these ethnographic particularities for high-flying cultural theory.

Richard Schechner

New York University

Richard Schechner is an artist, scholar, and editor. Schechner specializes in being a generalist, a comparativist, and a performance theorist linking the arts, popular culture, and the sciences. Founder of several theatre groups, he is presently artistic director of East Coast Artists with whom his most recent works are a new play, Yokastas, and a dramatization of Paul Auster’s novel Timbuktu (both co-authored with Saviana Stanescu). Schechner is editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies, on the editorial boards of several other journals, and general editor of two book series, one for Routledge and the other for Seagull Books (co-edited with Carol Martin). He has directed plays, lectured, and conducted performance workshops in Asia, South Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Schechner is an honorary professor of the Shanghai Theatre Academy where he leads the “Richard Schechner Center.” Schechner’s books include Environmental Theater, Between Theater and Anthropology, The End of Humanism, Performance Theory, The Future of Ritual, and Performance Studies – An Introduction, and Over, Under, and Around. Currently he is working on two books: Ramlila of Ramnagar and After the Avantgarde.

Margaret Somers

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Margaret Somers is Professor Emerita of Sociology and History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Professor Somers is a social theorist and comparative historical sociologist specializing in political economy, social change, and historical epistemology, as well as political, legal, and cultural sociology. Exploring and elaborating the work of Karl Polanyi, one of the most important political economists of the twentieth century, has been a through-line of her scholarly career.

Her book Genealogies of Citizenship: Markets, Statelessness, and the Right to have Rights (Cambridge 2008), was awarded the 2009 Giovanni Sartori Award for Qualitative Methods by the American Political Science Association, which honors Giovanni Sartori’s work on qualitative methods and concept formation, as well as on problems of context for concepts in new spatial and temporal settings. The book focuses on how decades of market fundamentalism have transformed increasing numbers of rights-bearing citizens into socially excluded internally stateless persons. With Hurricane Katrina’s racially-inflected catastrophe as a demonstration case, the book warns us that the growing moral authority of the market is distorting the meaning of citizenship from noncontractual shared fate to conditional privilege–making rights, inclusion and moral worth dependent exclusively on contractual market value.

Her most recent book (co-authored with Fred Block), The Power of Market fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique (Harvard 2014,16), is an intellectual archeology of Polanyi’s thought. The book aims to generate a repertoire of concepts, theoretical insights, and a usable social theory that can help to explain why in the 1970s market fundamentalism revived from disrepute in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II, to become the dominant economic ideology of our time. The Power of Market Fundamentalism asks what it is about free-market ideas that give them tenacious staying power despite such manifest failures as dramatically widening inequality, persistently low-growth, and the severe financial crises that have stressed Western economies over the past forty years.

She is currently working on a new book, The People and the Law: The Making of Modern Citizenship Rights, a work of comparative historical sociology with a focus on English legal, social, and economic history.

Kenneth Thompson

The Open University, UK

Kenneth A. Thompson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Open University. He teaches and researches in the areas of culture, media and identities; cultural governance; ethnicity; and French social theory. Professor Thompson is an associate member of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, Open University/Manchester University; and the Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University. His recent publications include ‘Globalization and Religion’ in Alexander et al, The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology, Oxford University Press, 2012, 471-83; ‘Cultural Trauma and Moral Panic: 9/11 and the Mosque at Ground Zero Affair, in C. Krinsky (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Moral Panics, Ashgate, 2013, 387-400; ‘Moral Regulation: Beyond Janet Jackson and The Passion’ in I. Reed and J.C.Alexander (eds.), Meaning and Method: The Cultural Approach to Sociology, Paradigm, 2009, 63-76.

Robert Witkin

University of Exeter, UK

Robert Witkin is Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter, UK. He was formerly Professor and Head of Sociology at Exeter. His major research focus has been the Sociology of the Arts and his published works include The Intelligence of Feeling, originally published by Heinemann, 1974 and currently being revised for publication in a new edition; Art and Social Structure, 1995 (Polity Press), Adorno on Music, 1998 (The International Library of Sociology, Routledge); Adorno on Popular Culture, 2001 (The International Library of Sociology, Taylor Francis). He has also published in the field of Organisational Culture and is a founding member of The Standing Conference on Organisational Symbolism (SCOS).