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With funds provided by the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Endowment, Larry Isaac and the Department of Sociology have initiated the “Social Movement & Social Change Distinguished Lecture Series” to bring to Vanderbilt annually a distinguished scholar working in these fields.  Scholars are selected for their contributions to the fields of social movements and/or social change and are expected to showcase sociological imagination, novelty and significant insights through their past and ongoing research.  The visiting Lecturer delivers a university-wide lecture and meets informally with sociology faculty and graduate students.

Past and present Distinguished Social Movement & Social Change Lecturers include:

2017Elisabeth S. Clemens
William Rainey Harper Professor of Sociology and the College, University of Chicago.
“When Do Marches Matter?  How Protest Does (or Does Not) Make Politics.”


Roberto Franzosi
Professor of Sociology and Linguistics, Emory University
“Only Another Negro1 Racial Violence in Georgia (1875-1935)”
1 “Only another negro”, Savannah Tribune, 1/20/1917


David Snow
Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of California—Irvine
“Bringing the Study of Religion and Social Movements Together: Toward an Analytically Productive Intersection”


Aldon Morris
Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University
“Fate of a Scientific Movement: W.E.B. Dubois and the Birth of American Sociology”


Doug McAdam
Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
“The Relationship between Neighborhood Religious and Civic Life in Chicago, 1970-2005”


Frances Fox Piven
Distinguished Professor of Sociology & Political Science, City University of New York-Graduate Center
“Class War in 21st Century America: Can Occupy Wall Street Beat Back the Corporate Assault?”


Mayer N. Zald
Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology, Management, and Social Work, University of Michigan
“From Appalachia to Rome: Towards a Comparative Framework for the Study of Profiles of Collective Action Potential”