Department of Sociology


  • Job Opening: Tenure-track Assistant Professor in the area of the environment.
  • WATCH: Interview with Wilma Dunaway conducted by Rhiannon Leebrick and Andrew Gunnoe (April 11, 2015)
  • Interview with Victor Ray airs on new national radio program on "post-racial America."
  • Victor Ray has letter to The New York Times published.
  • Distinguished Alumna Wilma Dunaway speaks on "My Journey: Appalachia, Civil Rights Activism and Revisionist Scholarship" (April 13, 2015)
  • Michelle Brown wins the  Theoretical Criminology Best Article Prize for 2014 for her article "Visual criminology and carceral studies: Counter-images in the carceral age".
  • Lois Presser's book Why We Harm (Rutgers University Press, 2013) is named a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title.  The highly selective list appears in the January 2015 issue of Choice Magazine, published by the American Library Association.
  • Michelle Brown has assumed the North American editorship for Crime, Media, Culture, criminology's leading journal on media.
  • Asafa Jalata has received a Fulbright grant for the 2014-2015 academic year to teach and conduct research on the evolution of democracy in Botswana. He will teach Sociology of Development at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Botswana, Gaborone, and he will engage in research to write articles and a comparative book entitled Cultural Capital and Democracy in Botswana and Ethiopia.
  • Professor Robert Durán's book, Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider's Journey (Columbia University Press, 2013) was awarded an Honorable Mention by the Association for Humanist Sociology in their 2014 book competition.
  • Andrew Gunnoe (Ph.D. 2012), Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, published " The Political Economy of Institutional Landownership: Neorentier Society and the Financialization of Land" in Rural Sociology in July. DOI: 10.1111/ruso.12045 or link to Rural Sociology's website here.
  • Doctoral candidate Shannon William's recent paper (with Andrew Kliman) which was published online in September 2014 in Cambridge Journal of Economics here (doi: 10.1093/cje/beu033) is now available in a more "public sociology" format on LSE's American Public Policy blog here.
  • Baker Scholar Attends UK Conference
  • LISTEN: WUOT Interview with Dr. Lois Presser on her newest book, Why We Harm
  • WATCH: Daniel Lai, Sociology doctoral student, featured in Tennessee Crossroads.
  • Alumni Wins Eastern Kentucky University's Highest Honor
    Dr. Kenneth Tunnell (Ph.D. 1988), Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, received its 2014-2016 Foundation Professorship, the highest honor that the University assigns. 
  • Elizabeth Conner won the Arts & Sciences Extraordinary Academic Achievement Award for 2013-2014
  • Valerie King won UT’s College of Arts & Sciences Extraordinary Professional Promise Award for 2013-2014
  • Stephanie Bohon won the Southern Sociology Society's 2014 Martin L. Levin Distinguished Service Award
  • Eric Dixon won UT's 2014 Torchbearer Award, the highest award for an undergraduate student
  • Valerie King, receives the Division of Student Life's Courage to Climb Award for April 2014.
    She is the second of our majors to win this award this year.  Valerie has an amazing academic record and has worked tirelessly to build social justice opportunities for UT undergraduates on campus and in the community.
  • Jon Shefner won the Southern Sociology Society's 2014 Distinguished Lecturer Award.
  • Lo Presser won UT's 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Sociology Graduate student Sylvia Duluc-Silva to speak about Food Justice
    Sociology Graduate student Sylvia Duluc-Silva is speaking about Food Justice tomorrow night at 7 pm as part of the Human Rights Week events. All of the Human Rights Week events are co-sponsored by Sociology Department. More details are available on UT's Events Calendar and on the Facebook page of the UT Amnesty International chapter here.
  • Welcome new faculty members Fall 2014
    The Department of Sociology at UT welcomes Victor Ray and Robert Duran as new faculty members this fall.
  • Carolina De La Torre Ugarte received the Division of Student Life's Courage to Climb Award for January 2014
  • The UT Sociology graduate program ranked #10 in the nation in 2014
    UTK’s Department of Sociology graduate program moved from #15 in the nation in 2013 to #10 in the nation in 2014 on student satisfaction according to We are committed to our students’ education and it shows.
  • Erica Davis accepted to the Virginia Tech StREAM Lab program
    Congratulations to sociology undergraduate major in the environment program. Erica Davis was accepted to the Virginia Tech StREAM Lab program and will be spending the summer in Blacksburg doing research with the dynamics of water and societal systems. This interdisciplinary program involves investigating complex, systems-level interactions within a watershed, as well as communicating findings with various stakeholders and the general public. She will also be attending the 2014 American Ecological Engineering Society Conference as part of this opportunity.
  • Jenna Lamphere chosen to participate in the Science, Technology and Society summer research-training program
    Congratulations to PhD student Jenna Lamphere who has been chosen as one of 15 fellows out of over 40 applications to participate in the Science, Technology and Society summer research-training program funded by NSF at Vanderbilt University. This one-week summer training seminar for Ph.D. students will examine topics related to environmental sociology, social movements, public participation, technological transitions, and the science-public interface.
  • Shefner and Stewart win ASA PEWS section Best Article Award, 2013
    Congratulations! Jon Shefner, Head of Sociology, is the co-author of the best article awardfrom the Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) section of the ASA. The article, available free and open access, was published in the official ASA journal of the section.  Shefner, Jon, and Julie Stewart. 2011. "Neoliberalism, Grievances and Democratization: An Exploration of the Role of Material Hardships in Shaping Mexico’s Democratic Transition." Journal of World-Systems Research 17: 353-378.
  • New PhD Stoner wins Marxist Sociology section Best Paper Award, 2013
    Congratulations! Alex Stoner is the recipient of the Albert Szymanski-T.R. Young/Critical Sociology Marxist Sociology Graduate Student Paper Award of the ASA's Marxist Sociology Section, for his article, “Sociobiophysicality and the Necessity of Critical Theory: Moving beyond Prevailing Conceptions of Environmental Sociology in the USA” Critical Sociology doi:10.1177/0896920512471217. Available at 



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