Authors and Editors
Angela Barian taught sociology for over fifteen years to classes as small as four and as large as four hundred. She designed courses on the sociology of the body, food culture, and cannabis in American society, just to name a few. These days, her research and writing interests center on the decline of monoculture in the modern world and the search for communal pop cultural experiences. A professional singer since the age of sixteen, you may find Angela playing sad songs on her baritone ukulele around smaller Madison, Wisconsin venues. She once won an award for her Swedish meatballs. Her PhD in sociology is from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Maia Cucchiara teaches urban education at Temple University in Philadelphia. She studies urban educational policy with a particular focus on communities and schools. She is also interested in the relationship between education and urban policy and wrote Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities: Who Wins and Who Loses when Schools become Urban Amenities about the costs and benefits of efforts to recruit middle-class families to urban public schools. Originally from the Washington, DC area, Maia worked as a community organizer in Louisiana—where she learned to eat hush puppies, pralines, and crawfish—and a teacher in Camden, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. She likes to run and do yoga and loves living in the city.
Judith Halasz teaches sociology and film studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She specializes in urban life, culture, labor, and social theory. She was a child actor in the award-winning performance group The Squat Theatre. Her experiences in the downtown creative scene inspired her ethnographic and historical study of bohemian life in New York’s Lower East Side, The Bohemian Ethos: Questioning Work and Making a Scene on the Lower East Side. Judith is currently researching advanced gentrification and recent cultural changes in Brooklyn, New York, using qualitative and quantitative methods. In her spare time, she enjoys running, swimming in the ocean, taking photographs, and supporting her family and friends’ creative endeavors.
The late Peter Kaufman, formerly a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at New Paltz, passed away in November of 2018. An announcement of his death and a description of his life and work can be found here. At SUNY-New Paltz, he taught introduction to sociology, sociological theory, social interaction, education and society, and senior seminar. He recently co-authored his first book, Teaching with Compassion: An Educator’s Oath to Teach from the Heart. Since 2011, he was a regular contributor to the Everyday Sociology Blog, writing posts on a wide range of contemporary topics. In his spare time, Peter enjoyed cycling, swimming, and walking his greyhound, Billy. He also played the drums for Questionable Authorities—an all-faculty, punk-rock cover band that was together longer than The Beatles.
We all consider ourselves extremely lucky to have been able to work with Peter, a truly inspiring teacher and person.
Shamus Khan is professor and chair of sociology at Columbia University in the City of New York. He researches and writes on culture, inequality, gender, and research methodology. As a teenager he attended an elite boarding school and returned, years later, as a researcher. Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School, his ethnographic study of the school, sought to better understand and explain the culture of the American elite. He is currently co-leading a quantitative and qualitative research project on the sexual lives of students at Columbia, with a focus on experiences of sexual assault. When not writing and teaching, Shamus enjoys playing music with friends and cooking. He worked through school as a cook, co-founding the Underground Food Collective in Madison, Wisconsin. You should check it out if you’re ever in Madison!
Rashawn Ray is associate professor of sociology and director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland. He is also a co-editor of Contexts magazine. Ray’s research addresses racial and social inequality and ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Publishing over 40 scholarly works and op-eds, Ray is the author of books on How Families Matter and race relations. Ray has written for a series of mainstream outlets including The New York Times and appeared on MSNBC, HLN, Al Jazeera, NPR, and Fox, and MSNBC. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, bike riding, watching Matlock, and playing Fortnite with his boys.
Fabio Rojas is professor of sociology at Indiana University. He has a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago. Fabio teaches introduction to sociology, social theory, network analysis, the sociology of organizations, social movements, and public sociology. He is the author of From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline and Theory for the Working Sociologist. He is co-author, with Michael T. Heaney, of Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11. He is a co-editor of Contexts magazine and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other venues. Hailing from the Jersey Shore, Fabio enjoys jazz, visual arts, and role-playing games.
Todd Schoepflin is associate professor of sociology at Niagara University in Lewiston, NY. He has a PhD in sociology from Stony Brook University. The courses he teaches include introduction to sociology, social psychology, social stratification, and sexuality & gender. He is author of Sociology in Stories: A Creative Introduction to a Fascinating Perspective. His research interests are writing stories to interpret the social world and the scholarship of teaching sociology. He’s a proud western New Yorker: He grew up in Niagara Falls, roots for the Buffalo Bills, likes to show visitors the local architecture, and eats a lot of chicken wings.
Patrick Sharkey is professor and chair of the sociology department at New York University, where he teaches courses on crime and violence, urban inequality, and statistics. He has written books on the long-term consequences of neighborhood poverty and on the changes that have taken place in cities as violence in the U.S. has fallen over the past few decades. He recently returned from a year living in Nepal while on sabbatical, where he finished his latest book while being entertained by the monkeys tearing through his backyard. He now lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.
Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology and associate vice provost for academic initiatives at Nevada State College, a public teaching college with a diverse, largely first-generation student body. She is a displaced farm kid and the first in her family to attend college. She has taught introduction to sociology, gender, sexuality, urban sociology, race & ethnicity, and pop culture. Gwen’s current research focuses on the experiences of first-generation college students and how colleges and universities can better support their success. She lives in the Las Vegas area with her dog and three cats.
Patricia Tevington is a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation at Montclair State University. Her research interests include social class and inequality, religion, and the family. In particular, she studies how class and religion affect young people’s transitions to adulthood. Outside of her research and teaching, Patricia is passionate about rescue dogs of all shapes and sizes, exploring new places, and sampling ice cream flavors.
Melissa J. Wilde is a sociologist of religion whose research focuses on how religion intersects with key social structures, especially, race, class, and gender. Her first book, Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change, examined votes from the Vatican Secret Archive that no researcher had ever seen before to explain the outcome of the Council. Her second book, Birth Control Battles, demonstrates that American religious groups were indelibly shaped by the white supremacist eugenics movement of the early twentieth century. Melissa’s current research explores the relationship between religion and political views, with a particular focus on intersections of religion and class. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit and any manner of outdoor activities, especially in the Adirondacks.
After playing bass for a touring band, Jonathan Wynn used that backstage pass to inform a study of how music festivals shape city culture, eventually writing Music/City: Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Newport. He also wrote a book about tourism in New York City after 9/11. Wynn blogs at Everyday Sociology, connecting sociology with movies, sports, and whatever Netflix show he’s watched lately. On campus, he’s the co-chair of the UMass Amherst Common Read Committee, which means he gets to read a lot of non-sociology books every summer and helps to select the one that will be read by all incoming first-year students.