In early November, we published an update on our website to make sure that anybody who was interested would be kept in the loop. We’ll do this every time we have news, and today we’d like to expand further on those plans, and on our progress so far.
Most recently, we held our first ever Sociological Review Annual Lecture event on Friday February 20th in Manchester. Dr. Imogen Tyler of Lancaster gave a fascinating paper entitled Classificatory Struggles: Class, Culture and Inequality in Neoliberal Times, which examined the ways in which we talk about and represent socioeconomic class.
We will be making this available on our website and our SoundCloud account very shortly. Notably, the audience at the annual lecture, which was a free event, was completely mixed – there were people of all ages and backgrounds there, and from both inside and outside of academia. This is very much the model that our future events will follow, and underscores our belief that the benefits of learning about sociology are for everyone.
On the subject of early career researchers, we’re also proud to have launched a conference funding program back in December to support unfunded PhD researchers who wish to attend conferences that will help them develop their work. The program covers both travel expenses and conference fees. Demand for this support has been overwhelming, with over 140 applications, and it is something we hope to continue supporting on an ongoing basis.
To strengthen our insights into the experiences of ECRs, we have also added three new ECR board members - Juliette Hallaire (Keele University), Brigit McWade (Lancaster University) and Jenny Thatcher (University of East London).
We’re also excited to continue supporting Sociological Review Fellowships. Fellows will have the opportunity to develop their PhD research for publishing.
We have two conferences at planning stage. Our first European conference will be held at the University of Helsinki on October 23rd, 2015, and is organised by our European editor, Sarah Green. It will bring together anthropologists and sociologists in conversation about ‘Relations and Dependencies’.
Our Australian editor, Mike Michael will be organsing our next conference in Sydney for 2016. Further details will follow, as soon as we have them.
Our monograph series has two new titles imminent for release: Gender and Creative Labour, edited by Bridget Conor, Rosalind Gill and Stephanie Taylor, and Radical futures? Youth, Politics and Activism in Contemporary Europe, edited by Hilary Pilkington and Gary Pollock. In January, we also published Violence and Society: Toward a New Sociology, edited by Jane Kilby and Larry Ray.
The competition for the 2016 monographs has just been completed and following Chris Shilling’s retirement from the board, Steve Brown has taken over. Steve and the editorial board selected the next monographs to be on 'Care and Policy' by Vicky Singleton, and another on 'Reconfiguring Anthropology' by Cathrine Degnan and Katharine Tyler.
The Special Issues competition has also recently completed, and a new set of procedures were established to cope with the high demand and the process was led by Mike Michael. Rebecca Coleman and Richard Tutton will publish on 'Futures' for the 2016/7 SI. The Great British Class Survey Elite special issue and a special section on Habitus are currently in preparation for 2015/6.
Our events series is set to expand, with debate themed events around the UK that will address specific aspects of public life and culture. The success of our annual lecture last week and the animated discussion which followed it shows why this is so important, and goes right to the heart of our submission that sociological questions pervade much of our daily life. Expect more details on this soon.
In the same vein, and particularly with the impending general election in May, we’re also planning a major campaign to draw attention to the role of sociology in public life. For now, this is all I can say, but this is going to be big, and we can’t wait to share more with of this with you soon.
We will continue to funding all these activities from our trust fund, which will be used charitably to promote sociology and social anthropology, not just to academics but to a wider public.
Finally, and on that note, we’d really like to thank each and every person for the ongoing enthusiasm and support we’ve received so far. Every email offer of assistance, every retweet, every “like,” every purchase of our t-shirts, or sharing of a link to something on our new blog vindicates our conviction that what we have an extraordinary and unprecedented opportunity to make sociology truly public and open to all in new ways, and we could not undertake this work without this kind of support. Thank you, and stay tuned for more updates.
Professor Bev Skeggs, Editor in Chief and trustee, The Sociological Review, on behalf of the trustees of The Sociological Review Foundation.