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Social Science Reckonings


On October 4, 2021, the Social Science Research Council will convene the institutions of the College and University Fund for the Social Sciences for a virtual conference centered on the theme of “Social Science Reckonings.”

In the past year, the social sciences have been extraordinarily active in furthering understanding of the multiple upheavals we have all experienced – a pandemic, a US electoral crisis, and a racial reckoning sparked by police violence but with deep historical and structural roots. At the same time, the historical and structural roots of racism and exclusion within the social sciences (and elsewhere in the academy) are now foregrounded in ways that call for recognition and action. This conference will be a forum to openly and critically discuss and debate the need for reckonings in social science, and to investigate paths forward for making the social sciences more inclusive.

Conference Program

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Anna Harvey, SSRC President

Panel Conversation: Reckoning with the Canon
Darrick Hamilton
The New School for Social Research

Shose Kessi
University of Cape Town

Aldon Morris
Northwestern University

Panel Conversation: Reckoning with Research Methods and Ethics
Jill A. Fisher
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Farhana Sultana
Syracuse University

Deborah Thomas
University of Pennsylvania

Panel Conversation: Reckoning with Institutional Practices and Incentive Structure
Ryan Cecil Jobson
University of Chicago

Christopher P. Long
Michigan State University

Kimberly Mealy
American Political Science Association

Next Steps
Anna Harvey, SSRC President

The conference agenda was developed in coordination with the 2021 conference planning committee:

Ed Balleisen – Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies
Duke University

Bill Maurer – Dean, School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine

Melissa Nobles – Chancellor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Raka Ray – Dean, Social Sciences Division
University of California, Berkeley

Amanda Woodward – Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences
University of Chicago

Held every other year, the College and University Fund Conference provides a rare opportunity for academic leaders to devote a full day to collectively considering shared opportunities and challenges facing the social sciences and related fields. The 2019 conference focused on the present and future of transregional and global research. Highlights and recommendations from the 2019 event are available here.

For more information about the College and University Fund for the Social Sciences Conference, please contact us at CUF@ssrc.org.