As the incoming Chair, I wanted to thank you all for helping make ASA in NYC such a success and thank outgoing chair Steven Lopez for his work, leadership and enthusiasm. I also want to update you on section news and activities as we gear up for another exciting year and the run up to ASA in San Francisco next August.
First, ASA in New York was outstanding, particularly our mini-conference on Labor and Global Solidarity. We had over 220 attendees at the Murphy Center and over 40 paper presenters, including 5 of our exchange colleagues from China. The Chinese scholars were particularly impressed by the range of presentations and the possibilities for further collaboration and possible joint research. Thanks to Carolina Bank Munoz and David Fasenfest for helping me co-organize the conference and for everyone who participated and attended. We are now working on a publication plan and will continue our collaboration with the Chinese labor sociologists over the next year.
Second, we want to build on the momentum of the mini-conf and ASA and boost our membership numbers. Due to a big push last year, we reached the threshold of 400 members (we're now at 424), so we are guaranteed 3 paper session at next year's ASA meeting in San Francisco. However, we want to continue to build our section and the deadline for the "official" membership count is Sept. 30th.
So I urge all of you to reach out to colleagues and especially graduate students and encourage them to join. Membership in the section is only $10 for faculty and a bargain $5 for students. One great way to bring folks in is for faculty members to "sponsor" (ie cover the $5 membership fee for) grad students they know that would benefit from membership. A big bonus for students is our mentoring program that matches students with senior scholars to get research and career advice.
To join the section, just log in to ASA at http://www.asanet.org/index.cfm , and under Join/Renew, click on Join a Section.
I'll be sending another message soon about our section's 3 paper sessions at ASA in SF next year. We will be implementing some changes that the program committee and section council hope will increase interest and paper submissions to our sections panels.
Finally, we are still looking for someone to take on the editorship of our section's newsletter, In Critical Solidarity. Mike McCarthy is stepping down (thanks Mike!), and we really need someone to step up and take the reigns. Please contact me directly if you're interested or know someone who might be!
Thanks everyone and I look forward to building on our momentum through the year!
Associate Professor of Sociology
Director, Center for Labor Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz
Chair, ASA Labor and Labor Movements Section